Walsh University Blouin Scholars Program Secures $1.25 Million Funding

Stark County couple invests toward endowment of keystone program

At a special event held on September 7, Walsh University President Tim Collins announced a major investment to support one the University’s most cherished programs, the Blouin Scholars, an intensive study of some of the most challenging issues that contribute to poverty in our local, national and global communities. A Stark County couple, who wishes to remain anonymous, gifted $1.25 million toward the program.

“It is with immense gratitude that I announce this investment in the Blouin Scholars program,” said Collins. “The Blouin Scholars are living out the Walsh University ‘Education for Life’ model, as they take what they learn in the classroom and are empowered with the knowledge and skills to become change-agents and servant leaders in our world.   This gift will allow us to take an important step toward ensuring this program endures and grows for future generations.”

Named in honor of former Walsh University President and fierce advocate of social justice, the late Brother Francis Blouin, F.I.C., the program launched with its first cohort of 25 students in 2012. The Blouin Scholars were challenged with the task of addressing issues of food, hunger, and sustainability. They spent the next four years studying the causes to food insecurity, experiencing first-hand the impact this had on those most affected, and exploring solutions through service to those in need in the Stark County Community and abroad. These experiences shaped their worldview and in many cases their career trajectory and life purpose.  

Each fall since, a new cohort of incoming freshmen is identified from a diverse range of majors and disciplines, and spends the next four years together studying a different topic related to social justice and human dignity including human trafficking, access to clean water, healthcare, education and other important issues. As Blouin Scholars, they develop a passion to become leaders in service to others and learn the critical thinking, problem solving, communication and intercultural skills that empower them to make meaningful change in their communities throughout their careers.

The $1.25 million investment, spread over the next five years, will sustain the program while the University works to secure an additional $10 M to endow the program in perpetuity. These resources will support renewable financial scholarships for students, local, national and global experiential learning opportunities and other special programmatic and curricular needs.

The anonymous donors first became aware of the Blouin Scholars while attending an event on the Walsh campus and experiencing the passion these students have for their studies and the direct impact they have in the community. The program’s mission and stories of student service resonated with the couple, who found the Blouin’s program to be in perfect alignment with their personal mission and the best way to leverage the impact of their philanthropy by investing in the future leaders in our community who are passionate about lifting people out of poverty locally, nationally and abroad. For more information about the Blouin Scholars Program and the endowment, please visit   

Read the coverage in the Canton Repository.