On the morning of Thursday, October 19th, President Matthew Wilson made an announcement to the community that surprised and astounded those in attendance for the speech. This semester, the University of Akron received the largest single gift of in the history of the university. That is, more than $20 million dollars donated by Jean Hower Taber.
President Wilson revealed how that $20 million dollars will be spent. Nearly two-thirds of the gift will be used for scholarships to support students pursuing audiology and those in the Williams Honors College. The other one-third of the money will be used to maintain the Hower House.
President Wilson expressed his gratitude and excitement for the gift, and described how this generous donation from Jean Hower Taber will affect students at the University of Akron.
President Wilson stated, “…It is just an incredible impact, and it will impact our students, it will facilitate students from the community to be able to come here and to obtain an education, and be able to realize their dreams…”
He goes on to explain the importance of such donations, and the scholarships they are used for.
“…We have many first generation students where their parents never had the opportunity to go to a university. You’ve got folks who are coming to the University from limited means…”
The Hower family has a history of philanthropy and community involvement in Akron. Jean Hower Taber has been a donor to the University of Akron since the 1980’s, although she was not a student here.
While the exact amounts of the scholarships designated for audiology and honors students have not been determined, they are expected to be awarded beginning in the Fall, 2019 Semester.