UA honors Chimas with honorary degrees
|Photos courtesy of The University of Akron|
UA officials state the honorary degree, first conferred by UA in 1873, has been reserved for those distinguished people who have made a significant and remarkable impact on the university and its students. Since 1963, the Chimas have provided substantial philanthropic support to UA, establishing The C.P. and Cornelia Chima Family Center to assist the College of Education and The C.P. and Neal S. Chima Department of Athletics Ticket Office to recognize their support of Zips athletics, as well as providing numerous other gifts, primarily in support of scholarships, according to UA officials.
“Giving to this university has always been a wonderful and rewarding experience,” said C.P. Chima after accepting his degree. “My wife and I have always believed in supporting institutions that have a vision and a plan, and that certainly describes The University of Akron, and most especially Dr. Proenza, whose leadership continues to impress me.”
Chima was attending UA until the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Following three years of service with the U.S. Air Force, during which he earned 28 decorations (including a silver star and the Croix de Guerre with Palm, France’s highest honor), C.P. was honorably discharged as a colonel and returned to Akron to manage the family business, Chima Travel and Insurance Cos., according to UA officials. He went on to found five additional companies and established himself as a leading business and civic executive in the Greater Akron community, UA officials added.
He has worked with the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor’s Traffic Control Commission and served on the boards of the International Institute, the Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Summit County Sheltered Workshop Fund and Akron General Medical Center.
Cornelia Chima, a Wayne State University graduate and lifelong advocate of the power of education, taught in the Detroit and Akron public schools and at Kent State University before becoming a partner with her husband, according to UA officials. She has also volunteered with the Junior Women’s Civic Club, the Akron Woman’s City Club, the Fairlawn Country Club and the Women’s Auxiliary Board of Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, and was a board member of UA’s Women’s Committee and Ardmore Inc., a local agency whose mission is to provide services and support for individuals with challenges.
Shown at right top, C.P. Chima is vested with the hood of the doctor of humane letters by Mike Sherman, UA senior vice president, provost and chief operating officer and UA President Luis Proenza (not shown). Cornelia Chima is shown receiving the same honorary doctorate at right bottom.
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