Today, Parker Hannifin announced a $5 million gift, part of an existing financial commitment from the Parker Hannifin Foundation, to establish the Parker Hannifin Living and Learning Community at CSU, which will provide Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) graduates studying at CSU with two years of free on-campus housing and student support services.
Providing financial support for on-campus housing reduces a significant economic barrier many students face when pursuing a college degree and enhances student progression and graduation rates. Studies have shown that students who live on campus, particularly as freshmen and sophomores, progress and graduate at higher rates and become more integrated and engaged students across campus. The Parker Hannifin Living and Learning Community will also offer mentoring services that match students with faculty and peer mentors and directed career preparation activities such as job analysis support, internships, co-ops and hands-on research projects.
This investment is aligned with a broader community effort to support the Say Yes to Education initiative, for which local businesses and community organizations have already raised more than $85 million. Cleveland was recently designated as the fourth Say Yes to Education city, a national initiative that seeks to revitalize communities by helping to provide every public high school graduate access to college or other post-secondary scholarships, with local support of additional services to develop the gifts and talents of each individual.
“Parker is proud to support Cleveland State University and Say Yes to Education by strategically investing an existing commitment that will have a great impact on the future success of Cleveland public school students,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Parker Hannifin. “This initiative further strengthens our long-standing relationship with Cleveland State University and is aligned with our broader commitment to help improve education.”
“Creating a unique living and learning community for CMSD graduates is a game-changer that will advance our ability to deliver the kind of on-campus experience that drives successful retention and graduation rates for Cleveland students in the program. We are grateful to our long time partners at Parker for making this investment,” said Harlan Sands, President, Cleveland State University.
The program builds on CSU’s nationally recognized student success initiatives, which seek to assist all students in graduating on time with less debt. It also builds on the University’s comprehensive education and research partnership with CMSD, including the housing of two public schools on campus.
“The Parker Hannifin Living and Learning Community is a great example of how the Cleveland area has come together around Say Yes to Education and the promise it holds for our students,” CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon said. “District graduates who receive Say Yes tuition scholarships can now have access to campus housing, if they choose that option, and the mentoring support we know is critical to success in postsecondary education.”
The gift from Parker Hannifin is a component of a broader commitment to CSU, which has funded the construction of the Parker Hannifin Administrative Center and Parker Hannifin Hall on campus, as well as the creation of the Parker Hannifin Scholars Program to provide academic scholarships to students.