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University of Akron

The University of Akron
University of Akron Seal
Former names
Buchtel College (1870–1913)
Motto Fiat Lux (Latin)
Motto in English
Let there be light
Established 1870
Type Public
Endowment $206 million[1]
President Scott L. Scarborough
Academic staff
Undergraduates 22,619
Postgraduates 3,975
Location Akron, Ohio, United States
Campus Urban, 218 acres (0.88 km2)

Blue & Gold[2]

Athletics NCAA Division I FBSMAC
Nickname Zips
Mascot Zippy the Kangaroo
Website .edu.uakronwww
University of Akron Logo

The University of Akron is a public research university in Akron, Ohio, United States. The university is part of the University System of Ohio and is regarded as a world leader in polymer research.[3] As a STEM-focused institution, it focuses on industries such as polymers, advanced materials, and engineering. In the last decade it has sought to increase its research portfolio and gain recognition for its productivity in technology transfer and commercialization.[4]

The University of Akron offers about 200 undergraduate[5] and more than 100 graduate majors.[6] With an enrollment of approximately 27,000 students from throughout Ohio, the United States, and 71 foreign countries, The University of Akron is one of the largest principal campuses in Ohio. The University's best-known program is its College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, housed in a 12-story reflective glass building that overlooks downtown Akron and the western edge of the campus. UA’s Archives of the History of American Psychology,[7] an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, contains famous psychology artifacts and is visited regularly by researchers from around the world.

The university has multiple branch campuses, Wayne College in Orrville, Ohio, the Medina County University Center, in Lafayette Township, Ohio, and UA Lakewood, in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio. In addition, the University hosts various nursing programs in affiliation with Lorain County Community College under the University Partnership program.[8]


  • History 1
    • Buchtel College 1.1
    • 20th century 1.2
    • Recent expansion 1.3
  • Partnership 2
    • Polymers 2.1
  • Academics 3
    • Undergraduate 3.1
      • Honors College 3.1.1
    • Graduate 3.2
    • Law 3.3
    • Academic divisions 3.4
    • National rankings 3.5
  • Research 4
    • BioInnovation Institute 4.1
  • Athletics 5
  • Greek life 6
  • Notable people 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


John R. Buchtel, in front of Buchtel Hall

Buchtel College

In 1867, at the annual Convention of the [9]

Tragedy struck the small college on December 20, 1899, when Old Buchtel burned to the ground. Insurance only covered $65,000 of the estimated $100,000 in loss. While new campus buildings were being constructed, the Crouse Gymnasium was divided into seven classrooms and served as the college until a new Buchtel Hall was opened in 1901. The new Buchtel Hall, which itself was gutted by fire in 1971, survives to this day but had some blackening on the exterior up until a 2011 restoration.

20th century

In 1907, the college shed its Universalist affiliation and became a non-denominational institution, in order to be able to receive funds from the Carnegie Foundation, which would not give funds to religiously affiliated schools. In 1913, Buchtel College trustees transferred the institution and its assets to the city of Akron, and Buchtel College became the Municipal University of Akron. At this time, the enrollment was 198 students. Tax money levied for the school and Akron's growing population led to strong growth for the university. Over the next several decades the university continued to add new buildings to accommodate its growing student population, acquiring more land through purchases and donations. In 1963, Governor Jim Rhodes approved the university as a state-assisted institution. Enrollment in 1964 was 10,000 students. In 1967, it fully became a state university, providing its current name as The University of Akron.

Recent expansion

University of Akron's Student union at night

Under the direction of its 15th president, Dr. Luis M. Proenza, The University of Akron underwent a $627 million construction project, called "A New Landscape for Learning."[10] A new football stadium, InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field, was also constructed on campus. The new stadium opened for its first game on September 12, 2009, receiving a sellout crowd.[11] The stadium replaced the Rubber Bowl, which is 3 miles from campus and was built in 1940.

The University purchased the Quaker Square Crowne Plaza Hotel and shopping complex and uses it as a residence hall space. The University did a land-swap with the city of Akron so that the city may find a new downtown hotel. This means the University of Akron campus is made up of 82 buildings on 222 acres (0.90 km2) near downtown Akron with a total property value of $1.84 billion.[12][13]



The tire and rubber industry and the University of Akron share an intimate history. Historically, numerous leading corporations in the world, such as Goodyear, Firestone, and Goodrich, had their headquarters in Akron. In 1909, the world’s first courses in rubber chemistry were offered at the University. The University is also credited with featuring the first College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering in the world, which was founded in 1988. The University of Akron's newest addition, the National Polymer Innovation Center, was unveiled at a groundbreaking ceremony on September 14, 2009. The 42,750-square-foot (3,972 m2) center, scheduled for June 2010 completion, will house 10 laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art research instruments and a multipurpose-processing high-bay area designed for the installation of prototype manufacturing apparatus. The $13.2 million building is fully funded with state dollars through the Ohio Third Frontier initiative.


Bierce Library, the main campus library.

The University of Akron offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, ranging from certificate programs to the PhD. The largest college of the university is the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences. Bierce Library is the main campus library. It is named for Lucius Bierce, a Civil War era General, whose personal library constituted the first collection of the University Libraries.[14]


The University offers about 200 undergraduate majors. The various undergraduate schools offer an array of Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Associate's degrees. In conjunction with the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOCOM), the University offers an accelerated six-year, BS/MD program, where ambitious students can earn a bachelor's degree in two years and complete medical school in the traditional four years.[15] The University of Akron is also the first and only University in the nation to offer a baccalaureate program in corrosion engineering.[16]

Honors College

The University of Akron Honors College students earn degrees from any of the four-year accredited colleges in the university while receiving special advisement and having the opportunity to live in the Honors Complex, a resident hall exclusively for honors students. The college has numerous clubs and organizations, including: EUREKA Honors Engineering, the Honors club, Honors Delegates, Honors Business group, Association of Honors Educators, Rhythm n' Roos': Honors A Capella singers, Honors Book Club, Honors Nursing Club,Honors Commuter Association, and Honor's Chess Club.[17]


The University of Akron currently offers more than 100 graduate degrees to its current population of nearly 4,000 graduate students.[18] The graduate schools at the University of Akron variously offer the Master's degree, PhD, J.D., and LL.M., among others. The Cleveland Clinic and University of Akron have formed the Integrated Bioscience Fellowship in Biomedicine. The first fellowships in this newly joined program will be awarded in Fall 2010. Fellowships will allow students to conduct cutting edge research at the University of Akron and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute while pursuing a PhD in Integrated Bioscience. Recipients of Fellowships will be able to work with faculty at both institutions.[19]


The University of Akron School of Law was founded in 1921 as Akron Law School and became affiliated with the University in 1959, becoming fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 1961.[20] It has both day and evening full-time and part-time programs that lead to the J.D. and LL.M. The University of Akron School of Law is also one of only 22 institutions in America to offer the LL.M. in intellectual property, and one of two such programs in Ohio.[21]

Academic divisions

E.J. Thomas Hall on The University of Akron campus

The University of Akron comprises the following colleges, schools, and campuses:

  • Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Health Professions, including the School of Nursing
  • School of Law
  • School of Music
  • College of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering
  • Honors College
  • The Graduate School
  • University College
  • Wayne College
  • College of Applied Science and Technology (formerly Summit College, formerly the Community and Technical College)

National rankings

  • The University of Akron is one of 161 institutions designated Best in the Midwest by the Princeton Review in its 2008 Best Colleges: Region-by-Region edition.[12][22]
  • One of only 12 universities in the nation named as a Carnegie Cluster leader in recognition of teaching and learning achievements.
  • #1 in Ohio in highest rate of return per research dollar in technology commercialization, according to the Ohio Board of Regents.
  • Recipient of the University Economic Development Association’s 2007 Award of Excellence in Technology Commercialization.
  • #1 in patents issued per million dollars in research expenditures, 2000–2004, by the Milken Institute.
  • The College of Business Administration graduate program was recognized in the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 editions of The Princeton Review's Best Business Schools.
  • The College of Business Administration's undergraduate business program was recently ranked by BusinessWeek magazine as being the 93rd best program in the United States, placing it in the top 6th percentile of all 1,600 such business programs in the country.[23]
  • UA's College of Engineering is the 3rd fastest growing college of its kind, and its Cooperative Education program is the 2nd oldest engineering co-op program in America.[24]
  • UA ranked third among the nation's top 50 campuses with the greatest wireless Web access in a 2005 Intel Corporation survey.
  • School of Law was ranked #2 in 2004 as a best value by National Jurist and Pre-Law Insider magazine.
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology program ranked 6th nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Only public university in Ohio with a science and engineering program ranked in the top five nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Engineering students placed 2nd among 17 college teams in 2005 - the first year of the three-year competition sponsored by GM to design a fuel-efficient, "green" SUV by 2007.
  • Engineering students met a real-world challenge in April 2008 by placing first in the Micro Class unmanned aerial vehicle competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers and again in 2014 by placing first in the Advanced Class, also setting a competition record for closest to the target.[25]
  • In March 2008, students in the Surveying and Mapping Technology Program took first place in a national competition sponsored by the National Society of Professional Surveyors. Since this competition was inaugurated in 2002, UA has placed first four times and finished second three times.


The Goodyear Polymer Center on the University of Akron campus

The University of Akron produced more revenue in technology licensing in 2007 than any other year in its history, bringing in $6.33 million - more than all other Ohio public universities. This licensing amount gives UA a ranking of seventh in the nation among public and private U.S. universities without medical schools, just behind such notables as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology and the University of Texas. When normalized with respect to research expenditures, UA ranks No. 1 in the country. This is the first time UA has achieved a top national standing in licensing efficiency. A 2007 report supported by the National Science Foundation identified UA as one of 10 exemplars for technology transfer, commercialization and industry partnership.[26]

BioInnovation Institute

The BioInnovation Institute in Akron is creating a center of research excellence, Center for Biomaterials and Medicine, with core strengths in orthopaedics and wound healing. The Center will capitalize on Northeast Ohio’s rich 100-year history in polymer science and engineering, including: world-class commercial capability, a highly educated workforce, extended R&D capabilities, and knowledgeable capital sources. The Center will be a collaboration of regional organizations including: The University of Akron, The Summa Health System, NEOUCOM, Akron General Health System, and Akron Children's Hospital.[27]

In fact, Akron is already developing early-stage companies and clinical centers with a key emphasis on orthopaedics and wound care. The region boasts more than 200 researchers in orthopaedics and polymers, and more than 50 companies are directly linked with the orthopaedic device industry. The Center for Biomaterials and Medicine plans to recruit 40 additional senior researchers and their lab teams in the following focus areas:[27]

  • Biomaterials for orthopaedic and wound care applications;
  • Polymers as coatings for implanted medical devices; and
  • Polymers combined with growth factors and/or seeded with cells for tissue regeneration and repair.


The Akron Zips 2009 home opener against Morgan State.

The University of Akron's athletic teams are known as the "Zips," originally short for "Zippers," overshoes that were nationally popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and the zipper—an invention from Akron (Judson). The university's mascot is "Zippy," a kangaroo.[28] Zippy is one of only eight female college mascots in the United States. Zippy won the title of Capital One National Mascot of the Year in 2007. Akron facilities include InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field James A. Rhodes Arena and the FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field. In football, Akron's major football rivalry is with Kent State University. In 2005, the Akron Zips football team won their very first MAC championship giving them a chance to play in the Motor City Bowl, Akron's first Division I-A bowl game appearance where they lost to the University of Memphis. In soccer, the Akron Zips men's soccer team, ranked number one throughout the 2009 regular season, went undefeated, making it to the NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship. The following they season by capturing the 2010 "College Cup" against the University of Louisville. This was the first NCAA national team championship won by the University of Akron.[29] In 2009, the men's basketball team captured the MAC Tournament title, defeating Buffalo in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena 65–53, thus qualifying Akron for its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 1986 and first as a MAC member.[30] In 2010, the team reached the MAC Tournament Championship game for the fourth straight year, but lost in overtime.[31] The Zips played in the postseason CBI tournament where they lost to Wisconsin–Green Bay 70–66.[32]

Greek life

The University of Akron is home to more than twenty fraternities and sororities. The

  • Official website
  • University of Akron athletics website
  • Buchtel College at Ohio History Central

External links

  1. ^ As of 2013. "Colleges – University of Akron".  
  2. ^ University of Akron Brand Standards. Official UA Colors. 2012. Accessed Dec. 6, 2013.
  3. ^ College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering - The University of Akron
  4. ^ Strategic Plan - Report
  5. ^ "Academics & majors at UA : The University of Akron". 
  6. ^ "The University of Akron : An Error Occurred". 
  7. ^ "Center for the History of Psychology". The University of Akron Center for the History of Psychology. 
  8. ^ "Lorain County Community College - University of Akron Bachelor's Degree Programs" Retrieved May 15, 2010
  9. ^ Old Crouse gym served Akron campus Retrieved September 12, 2010
  10. ^ "Campus Then and Now : The University of Akron". 
  11. ^ "University of Akron stadium home page". 
  12. ^ a b Quick Facts: "Brief History of the University" Retrieved September 22, 2010
  13. ^ "Quick Facts" - Retrieved September 22, 2010
  14. ^ Info on Libraries Accessed May 10th, 2009
  15. ^ [4]
  16. ^ "Promo Detail : The University of Akron". 
  17. ^ Honors College Student Groups Accessed June 8th, 2009
  18. ^ "The Graduate School". 
  19. ^ "Graduate Programs at the Lerner Research Institute and University of Akron". 
  20. ^ ABA Info Retrieved on June 22, 2009
  21. ^ "LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law" index Retrieved on June 22, 2009
  22. ^ "University of Akron Office of Technology Transfer : The University of Akron". 
  23. ^ "Top Business School Rankings: MBA, Undergrad, Executive & Online MBA - Businessweek". 
  24. ^ Engineering news Accessed June 8th, 2009
  25. ^ "Collegiate Design Series – Aero Design® Series – Results and Awards".  
  26. ^ "Among Ohio publics, UA tops in tech transfer". 
  27. ^ a b [5]
  28. ^ "Zippy's home page : The University of Akron". 
  29. ^ [6]
  30. ^ "Freshman guard Hitchens sparks Akron to its first NCAA tourney berth since 1986". 
  31. ^ "Ohio overcomes Akron in overtime, earns improbable NCAA tournament bid". 
  32. ^ "Green Bay Phoenix vs. Akron Zips - Box Score - March 17, 2010 - ESPN". 
  33. ^ "Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma". 
  34. ^ "ADPi". 
  35. ^ "Our Chapter - Ohio Epsilon". 
  36. ^ "Quinn and Brenes Join MLS Ranks On Day Two Of SuperDraft". 
  37. ^ Beaven, Michael. "World champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber turns pro, forgoes final year of eligibility at UA by signing contract with Nike". Retrieved 2015-10-08. 


Former Akron Zips Track and Field Athlete, Shawn Barber, went professional in 2015, signing with Nike,[37] after winning the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Men's Pole Vault.

Former Akron Zips Soccer Players in the MLS (23) include Colorado Rapids (1): Dillon Serna (2012); Columbus Crew (2): Chad Barson (2009–12), Wil Trapp (2011-12); D.C. United (2): Perry Kitchen (2010), Chris Korb (2008–10); Houston Dynamo (1): Kofi Sarkodie (2008–10); Montreal Impact (2): Evan Bush (2005–08), Sinisa Ubiparipovic (2004-06); New England Revolution (1): Scott Caldwell (2009–12); New York Red Bulls (1): Eric Stevenson (2009–13); Philadelphia Union (2): Robbie Derschang (2012–13), Aodhan Quinn (2011-13); Portland Timbers (6): Bryan Gallego (2011–13), David Meves (2009–12), Darlington Nagbe (2008–10), Michael Nanchoff (2007–10), Steve Zakuani (2007–08), Ben Zemanski (2006-09); Seattle Sounders (2): Blair Gavin (2007–09), DeAndre Yedlin (2011-12); Sporting Kansas City (2): Reinaldo Brenes (2010–13), Teal Bunbury (2008-09); Vancouver Whitecaps (1): Darren Mattocks (2010–11).[36]

Former Akron Zips baseball players Mike Birkbeck and Mark Malaska have gone on to find success in Major League Baseball. Birkbeck played for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1986 to 1989 and the New York Mets in 1992 and 1995. Malaska played for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003 and was a member of the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

Former Akron Zips football players Chase Blackburn, Charlie Frye, Domenik Hixon, Dwight Smith, and Jason Taylor have each gone on to find success in the National Football League. Blackburn and Hixon were members of the 2008 Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, while Smith won a Super Bowl Ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003. Taylor was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and was named the NFL's Man of the Year in 2007.

Minerva councilman Phil Davison earned a bachelor's degree in sociology, a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in public administration, and a master's degree in communication from the University of Akron. Davison unsuccessfully sought to become Stark County treasurer, however ultimately was not elected due to his notorious speech to the Stark County Republican Party Executive Committee.

The University of Akron has seen many prominent individuals pass through its halls. Former Akron mayor and Ohio Congressman Thomas C. Sawyer attended undergraduate and graduate school there. United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit federal judge Deborah L. Cook received her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the university. Current Ohio congresswoman Betty Sutton received her Juris Doctor from the university as well. Former Republican National Committee chairman Ray C. Bliss graduated from Akron in 1935. The university's Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics is named for him.

Notable people


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