Executive Committee of the Williams Honors College Alumni Board Honors University of Akron Students

Akron, Community Outreach, University of Akron
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WHCABIf we believe Benjamin Franklin’s old adage, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” But today’s student loan market can discourage many young people from realizing their potential through higher education. As a result, I was thrilled to accept an invitation to chair The University of Akron Williams Honors College Alumni Board’s Endowed Scholarship Committee, which selects a junior in The University of Akron Williams Honors College to receive a scholarship to defray the costs of their senior year of study, allowing them instead to focus on successfully completing their college education while also juggling post-graduation plans.

Since assuming the role of Secretary on the Executive Committee of the Williams Honors College Alumni Board (WHCAB) in 2016, I have participated in many wonderful opportunities to meet emerging leaders and successful alumni dedicated to building the Akron community. However, reviewing the scholarship applications provided a renewed sense of pride in my alma mater and the place where I grew up; each student was incredibly accomplished, and determined to meaningfully contribute to their campus and community.

At our annual Alumni and Student Breakfast held April 8, 2017,  the Committee honored ten outstanding seniors, the recipient of the The John B. and Kathryn M. Hunter Award in Community Leadership and Service, and the 2017 Endowed Scholarship winner, Neil Bernard. Neil is a native of South Africa who chose The University of Akron Williams Honors College to begin his educational journey towards becoming a doctor, and he was selected for his excellent scholastic accomplishments, in addition to his civic engagement.

Looking to the future, I hope to continue fostering relationships between University of Akron students, alumni, and Akron’s community leaders, ideally to help Akron maintain bright, driven young people. I am extremely grateful to State and Federal Communications, Inc. for supporting me in this goal.



From Left to Right: Dr. Lakeesha Ransom, Dean, University of Akron Williams Honors College; Chanel Jackson, Graduate Assistant; Chris Burton, Treasurer, WHCAB; Neil Bernard, scholarship recipient; Holly Johnston, Secretary, WHCAB; Derek Daily, WHCAB; Lynn Lalley Wagers, Chair, WHCAB; Laura Defrain, WHCAB