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Philanthropy at Work

Cleveland Foundation Grant Supports Medical Partnership

A $5.5 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation to the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health supports the education of urban primary health care professionals. The generous grant is the largest-ever gift to the Partnership, an initiative that recruits and trains medical students who reflect the socio-economic background and cultural makeup of their communities to address and eliminate health disparities. The goal of the partnership is to graduate 175 medical students in the next five years who will return to their communities as primary care physicians.

This was the Foundation's third grant in support of the Partnership. In 2010, the Foundation provided a one-year planning grant of $250,000, followed by a $1.5 million start-up grant in 2011 to bring total support to $7.25 million.

With a shortage of primary care physicians practicing in urban areas, the Partnership for Urban Health is creating a new workforce of caregivers for underserved communities by targeting students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend and successfully complete medical school. 

KeyBank Foundation Creates Scholars Program

A $1 million grant from the KeyBank Foundation is funding the KeyBank Foundation Scholars Program, a series of initiatives to help students who graduated from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) complete their CSU degree in a timely manner.

The Scholars Program includes a seven-week summer academic program to help freshmen successfully transition into college; CSU student peer instructors; cohort and peer relationship-building activities; engagement with academic advisors; guidance in securing on-campus employment and scholarship opportunities; and instructional support for coursework.

Some 150 CMSD graduates enroll at CSU as freshmen each year. The KeyBank Foundation Scholars Program is open to incoming freshmen and current students who came to CSU from CMSD. 

George and Mary Stark Bequest Supports Gene Research

A bequest from scientists George and Mary Stark will endow a graduate scholarship in CSU’s Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD). The planned gift is the largest ever pledged to GRHD, one of the leading gene research centers in the United States.

A world-renowned research scientist, Dr. Stark is chair of the GRHD advisory committee, a member of the College of Sciences and Health Professions Visiting Committee, and the Distinguished Scientist of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, where he served as chair from 1992 to 2002. He was instrumental in developing a Cellular and Molecular Medicine program jointly offered by CSU and the Lerner Research Institute. He received an honorary doctor of science degree from CSU in 2003.

Mary Stark was trained in physics at the University of Michigan and has worked in the laboratory with her husband for many years.

The George R. and Mary B. Stark Endowed Scholarship will provide support for GRHD graduate students. GRHD was founded in 2008 with a grant from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission and is dedicated to improving understanding of biological processes and how malfunctions of those processes result in various diseases, including heart disease, infectious disease and cancer. GRHD researchers have secured more than $15 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and other sources, and have published more than 120 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals that have been cited more than 1,500 times. 

Walthall CPA Group Establishes Accounting Scholarship

The Walthall CPA Group has nine partners – six of whom earned their degrees at CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business. So it comes as no surprise that the firm understands the value of a CSU education.

To help ensure a continuing pipeline of excellent graduates, the firm established the Walthall CPAs Endowed Accounting Scholarship Fund in the College of Business.

“We created this scholarship to give back to deserving CSU accounting students and to help provide them opportunities to complete their education and pursue successful careers. It is important to the Walthall CPA Group that we invest in our community and help make Northeast Ohio a great place to live and work,” says managing partner Richard T. Lash.

Lash is one of Walthall’s proud CSU alumni partners, earning a BBA in 1984. His fellow alumni partners are Richard H. Cause, BBA '77; Kenneth A. Stefanski, BBA '88; Thomas G. Scharf, BBA '77; Charles (Chuck) P. Battiato, BBA '75; and Paul Weisinger, BBA '98.

Founded as Walthall and Drake in 1944 with only three employees, Walthall CPA has grown to four Northeast Ohio offices with more than 70 employees. In 2015, Walthall was listed as a Top 15 CPA firm in Northeast Ohio by Crain’s Cleveland Business. 

Annie and Bernard Champa Scholarship Supports Ready-to-Go Engineers

Annie Champa, widow of alumnus Bernard “Bernie” Champa, BSME ’60, describes her late husband as a “short-sleeve engineer,” meaning he was a hands-on sort of professional. A 42-year employee of TRW Inc., Champa epitomized what the Washkewicz College of Engineering has always been about: graduating Ready-To-Go engineers by offering practical, hands-on learning experiences that help students succeed as professionals in the field.

Champa passed away in 2010 at the age of 88. To honor him and continue the legacy of job-ready engineering graduates, Mrs. Champa established an endowed fund in the Washkewicz College of Engineering using a unique vehicle – her Certificate of Deposit, with the Cleveland State University Foundation as the account’s primary beneficiary.

The Annie and Bernard Champa Engineering Scholarship Fund provides tuition support for engineering students.

A long-time teacher in the Cleveland schools, Mrs. Champa believes everyone is unique and has a special talent. With this endowment, she is supporting the promise in CSU students by providing financial assistance to help them achieve their educational goals.

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