When it comes to earning a college degree, the greatest obstacle can be funding.
For this reason, The University of Akron is pleased for the opportunity each year to assist talented, deserving students achieve their dreams, thanks to more than 1,300 named scholarships established through the kindness and generosity of thousands of UA alumni and friends, corporations, and foundations.
Scholarships truly are the best way to ensure that today’s students persist to graduation. Scholarships allow students to enroll full time and remain focused on their studies; they also reduce drop-out rates, decrease the stress of student loans, and shorten the road to graduation.
The need for scholarships grows each year, however, as students continue to face an increased financial burden in pursuit of a college degree. In fact, 94 percent of today’s baccalaureate students borrow to pay for college – versus just 45 percent in 1993. Across the country, the average college-related debt for borrowers in the class of 2016 was $37,172; for Ohio students, that figure was $30,239.
If you are interested in making a significant contribution to student success, please consider a gift to the MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND MOVING FORWARD scholarship campaign, which is the University's most important initiative. You may also establish a named scholarship at The University of Akron, which can be created to honor a living person, in memory of a loved one, or to contribute to the growth of an area of study.
To learn more, please contact the Department of Development at 330-972-7238.
Search for a Named Scholarship
The Hunter Award - The University of Akron Honors College Community Leadership and Service Award in Memory of John B. and Kathryn M. Hunter - will be presented to a graduating senior in The University of Akron Honors College who shows extraordinary leadership in his or her commitment to and involvement in organizations and activities that serve and improve the lives of humankind.
John Barton Hunter and Kathryn Motz Hunter left a lasting impression on the Akron Community through their successful business ventures and by playing key roles in supporting great organizations that served the citizens of Akron and surrounding areas.
Both John and Kathryn graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University. Kathryn was born and raised in Akron and graduated from Buchtel High School. At Ohio Wesleyan, Kathryn was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society, Mortarboard, and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She also graduated from The University of Akron, where she earned a master’s degree in guidance counseling in 1969. John was born and raised in Zanesville. At Ohio Wesleyan, John was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
John served in the Army Air Corps during WWII. When he returned from service in 1946, he joined First Akron Corporation and married Kathryn.
As president of First Akron Corporation, John was engaged in mortgage banking, residential financing, and commercial lending throughout the region. He served as president of the Mortgage Bankers Association and was named to its Legion of Honor. He was active in land development through First Akron and was a charter member of the Summit County Chapter of the Society of Residential Appraisers. John also served as chairman of Valley Savings Bank from 1955 until 1990, when he resigned his post. He passed away on Christmas day in 1990.
Kathryn always maintained a full schedule of her own. In addition to raising a family, she was both editor and publisher of three weekly newspapers: the Hudson Times, the Falls News, and the Summit County Democrat. During her 20 years in management, she worked to make them among the best weekly newspapers in Ohio and received many awards for her successes.
Kathryn also taught a course at The University of Akron that focused on adult women and the expanding opportunities that were available to them. She continued this instruction for 18 years, becoming a true inspiration to legions of women who sought to improve their lives.
After her husband’s passing in 1990, Kathryn took on leadership roles in several of the family companies. She assumed the role of president at First Akron Corporation and spent more than 20 years working with her three children as honorary chair of The Company at Valley Savings Bank and various other family ventures. She was always a helpful steward and took great pleasure in working and strategizing with her children.
Outside of her family, Kathryn’s greatest impact was felt by the thousands of people she touched – directly or indirectly – through her selfless giving of time and resources to organizations that contributed to the betterment of her community. She served as a trustee for both The University of Akron and Ohio Wesleyan University and was a founding trustee of the Edwin J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She also served on many local boards, including the United Way of Summit County, the Ohio Ballet, the Akron Community Foundation, the John S. Knight Center, the American Red Cross, and many, many others.
During her lifetime, Kathryn Motz Hunter was named Woman of the Year (Akron Beacon Journal), Business Woman of the Year (Inside Business Magazine), Woman of the Year (Women’s History Project), and Woman Philanthropist of the Year (United Way). Her extraordinary contributions also were recognized with a Founder’s Award (Women’s Network), Director’s Award (Ohio Historical Society), Crystal Cross Award (American Lung Association), and the prestigious Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award, which was presented to her in 2010.
The spirit of John and Kathryn continues to inspire their adult children and grandchildren. Their children are David M. Hunter (Margaret), James B. Hunter (Susan), and Ann Hunter Durr (James). Their grandchildren are Marie Hunter, Helen Hunter, Kathryn Durr, Lindsay Hunter, Lauren Hunter, and Joseph Durr.