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Philanthropy at Work

$1 million boosts Washkewicz Scholars

Two of CSU’s strongest supporters, Donald and Pamela Washkewicz, made an additional $1 million gift for the Washkewicz Scholars Program which provides full academic scholarships for undergraduate students in an engineering discipline.

Their gift was announced during the dedication festivities for Donald E. Washkewicz Hall, CSU’s new, state-of-the-art engineering building made possible by a combined $20 million gift from the couple and the Parker Hannifin Foundation. Washkewicz Hall includes teaching and research laboratories, simulation labs for computer modeling, student collaboration spaces, and smart classrooms and more.

Washkewicz graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Cleveland State in 1972 and joined Parker Hannifin the same year. He rose through the ranks to ultimately serve as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, retiring in 2016. He, his wife and Parker Hannifin have generously supported a wide range of CSU initiatives and needs. The College of Engineering is named in his honor.

“We hope this additional support will enable CSU to do even more to make engineering a core driver of job growth and economic opportunity in the region,” says Washkewicz.

Alumna supports study abroad

One of alumna Marjorie Shorrock’s favorite hobbies is traveling. She has made dozens of personal trips to Europe, mainly France, throughout the years and her international business travel for corporate clients has included speaking engagements in Dublin, London, Brussels, Hamburg and Singapore.

Now she is helping students follow in her footsteps and expand their horizons through the Marjorie B. Shorrock Study Abroad Endowment Fund. The fund provides students with scholarships to participate in course-related trips, including faculty-led programs, experientially-based learning opportunities, and international internships. They may also participate in longer-term academic residencies abroad or in summer study abroad programs sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS).

This is the third endowment fund that Shorrock, MBA ’98, has generously established to benefit students in CLASS. In 2007, the Shorrock family established the William I. Shorrock Endowed Scholarship honoring her late husband, a long-time history professor and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at CSU. In 2014, she established the Marjorie B. Shorrock Graduate Fellowship in History.

Of her latest commitment she says, “International experience is becoming a component of a well-rounded education. Participants in a Study Abroad Program are exposed to new cultures and viewpoints, honing of language skills, and personal development. Employers increasingly seek this experience. Scholarship support for the extra costs is vital. I am delighted to support this new Study Abroad Program Endowment Fund.”

Shorrock, an avid supporter of Viking basketball, is the retired president and owner of Resource Careers, a consulting firm specializing in employment assistance for the dual-career spouses of relocating corporate employees. She transformed the company from a small, Cleveland-based organization into a nationally recognized human resources consulting firm.

PNC supports mentors, scholarships

PNC awarded Cleveland State University a $750,000 gift to create the PNC Mentoring Program and the PNC Scholars Fund. The program provides peer mentors to assist incoming freshmen in acclimating to college life, while the fund provides financial assistance to upper level undergraduates who have maxed out of financial aid.

“Education is a key ingredient to the success of any young adult. We want to make sure that every student at Cleveland State has the academic and financial support they need to earn a college degree,” says Paul Clark, PNC regional president for Cleveland. “Through this support, PNC will help CSU strengthen the community now and into the future as we retain talent in the region.”

The PNC Mentoring Program trains student peer mentors who are placed within the University’s First Year Experience Seminar, which is mandatory for all freshmen. The mentors augment classroom instruction and help new students transition and acclimate to being a student at CSU.

The PNC Scholars Fund provides scholarships to undergraduates who have exhausted their financial aid and are within two semesters of graduation. The fund covers direct costs such as tuition and fees up to $3,000 per semester. It builds on CSU’s highly successful Radiance Scholars Program, which provides financial support to students who are doing well academically and are working toward degree completion, but who face financial challenges that threaten their continued enrollment.  

Foster support

Fund assists former foster youth

A $500,000 gift from Thomas and Marsha G. Hopkins advances CSU’s nationally recognized efforts to promote higher education attainment and career readiness among individuals who have aged out of the foster care system.

The Mathilde Jane Gutow Endowed Fund provides housing and meal plan assistance to CSU students who are former foster youth, as well as stipends for books and family emergencies. It also supports tutoring, peer mentorship and other services offered through CSU’s Pratt Center, which was created to centralize academic, mentoring and social support resources for former foster youth, one of the least likely groups to graduate from college.

Tom Hopkins earned a master’s degree in psychology at CSU in 1982 and spent his entire professional career at Sherwin-Williams, retiring as senior vice president for human resources. The fund is named in honor of Marsha Hopkins’ mother, Mathilde Jane Gutow, a former foster child who served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, later earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Case Western Reserve University and worked for many years as a social worker and teacher.

“Jane overcame a tremendous number of societal, emotional, economic and life issues to complete her education at the highest levels, serve her country, raise a family and be an active member of her community,” says Hopkins. “We are pleased to offer the foster students of CSU the opportunity to build meaningful and satisfying lives through the Mathilde Jane Gutow Endowment Fund.”

Adds Marsha Hopkins, “We are happy to do this on behalf of our family in memory of my mother who inspired all of us to reach our full potential and give back to our communities.”

Gift establishes Weston Ideation Lab

A generous $1 million gift from Weston Inc. and alumnus Anthony Asher, JD ’63, creates the Weston Ideation Lab – a collaborative, interdisciplinary learning laboratory designed to foster creative thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship across the Cleveland State campus.

Weston is one of the largest privately held industrial building owners and managers, with over 500 tenants in 11 million square feet of space in eight states. Founded in 1972 by chairman emeritus Anthony Asher, it remains a family business.

The Weston Lab, located within the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Monte Ahuja College of Business, helps students explore entrepreneurship through coursework, workshops, a speaker series and additional Engaged Learning opportunities. It also helps aspiring entrepreneurs access resources, including business mentors, prototyping services, legal and patent advice and business plan development.

“Cleveland has a rich history of innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit,” says James Asher, CEO of Weston Inc. “CSU is the ideal location to establish a space where entrepreneurs can learn, ideate, launch and grow.”

The lab augments the wide-ranging Engaged Learning, outreach and research programs offered by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Ahuja College of Business. These include an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship curriculum featuring multiple internship opportunities with local startups and business incubators, the Startup Vikes business development competition and the Small Business Development Center which provides business plan support and market analysis for new startups. 

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