Campaign raises record $46M in private support


Funds donated to The University of Akron are critical to sustaining and expanding its commitment to world-class teaching and research.

The University of Akron has raised a record $46.7 million in private support in Fiscal Year 2010-11, including a significant boost in funding for student scholarships, representing an overall increase of 14.3 percent from the previous year and 27 percent more than the five-year average of $36.6 million. The previous record was $43.9 million in FY 2008-09.

Scholarship dollars raised by UA's Department of Public Affairs and Development in 2011 totaled more than $6.6 million, compared to $5.5 million in 2010, a nearly 20 percent increase for student scholarships. This increase in funding for student scholarships means more students have the opportunity to attend UA.

Gifts crucial to teaching and research efforts

Recent Coverage

UA sets record in donations, Akron Beacon Journal, Aug. 2.

"These funds are critical to sustaining and expanding our commitment to world-class teaching and research, while also helping us to meet many of the financial needs of our students," said Dr. Luis M. Proenza, president of UA.

"It is a tribute to the loyalty of our donors in these difficult economic times that they continue to be so generous in their support of The University of Akron," Proenza continues. "I am grateful for our many supporters, wonderful people such as Jim and Vanita Oelschlager, who, through their individual giving, have provided nearly $1 million for student scholarships in FY 11 and $16.2 million overall to the University through the years."

Jim and Vanita Oelschlager are among UA's most generous supporters. They have given $16.2 million overall to the University.

The Oelschlagers, founders of Oak Associates Ltd., a growth equity investment firm in Akron, have been valued supporters of the University for 20 years, according to John LaGuardia, UA’s vice president for public affairs and development.

In December of 2010, the couple once again provided support to the Oelschlager Summer Leadership Institute and the Oelschlager Leadership Award scholarships, and additional funds to be distributed as scholarships to students with immediate need.

New collection to benefit students

The Akron couple also is funding an exciting new educational project – the Jim and Vanita Oelschlager Native American Collection. The Oelschlager Collection is a unique compilation of several hundred Native American-made items, including blankets, baskets and ceremonial objects; and a mixture of 20th century popular culture materials. These rare items provide The University of Akron’s Department of Anthropology and Classical Studies, and UA’s School of Art students with an invaluable learning experience as they work within the collection.

Media contact: Laura Massie, 330-972-6476 or