Retired EU professor grants $1.1 million bequest to university

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at 5:04 PM

The Ackerman family is dedicated to education.

Dr. Ralph Ackerman, who grew up in Bronx, New York, fought in the army during World War II. After the war, though, he received a Bachelor of Science in Education, then went on to get his master’s in education. He then earned a doctorate and began teaching psychology and counseling at Edinboro University from 1961 to 1993.

Ackerman's passion for teaching was shared by his wife, Eileen, who taught high school music until she passed away in March of 2013.

Given the Ackerman's background in the education field, its no surprise their estate gifted Edinboro University $1.1 million to fund scholarships for Edinboro students majoring in psychology and music education.

“This gift is a testament to their strong commitment, dedication, and love of education, and will forever carry on their legacy of learning,” said Edinboro University Major Gifts Office arylin Goellener.

Financial Aid Director Diana Sanders also commented on the Ackerman’s scholarship.

"The scholarship will be a huge help to university students."

Sanders continued to explain that the office of financial aid will contact students eligible for the Ralph E. and Eileen A. Ackerman Scholarship through email.

However, the Ackermans are not alone in their generosity to the university. According to the Office of University Advancement's annual giving report, the university receives average annual contributions of more than $10,000 to $450 from alumni, along with employees past and present, local businesses, and corporations located in the region.

Last year the university raised a total of $4,763,892 from donors alone. The money went towards athletic scholarships, the university honors program, the Porreco Promise scholarship, and various other department scholarships.

The amount raised last year was the most raised in the past five years, and according to the report, the university has received a steady increase in donor contributions since the 2011-2012 academic school year.

Approximately 90 percent of Edinboro students receive some form of financial aid. “The Ackermans’ generosity will have a lasting impact on the university and its students," Goellener said. 

Shayma Musa is a staff writer for The Spectator.

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