Couple Funds Scholarship To Honor Gannon Professor

Posted: September 3, 2013

Gannon University graduate Steve Hooper and his wife Sandy contributed $30,000 to honor the memory of beloved math professor Jim Freeman with an endowed scholarship called the Professor Jim Freeman "Power" Scholarship. The scholarship will support Gannon students from western Pennsylvania enrolled as mathematics majors.

The Hoopers established the endowment in November 2003, but their latest gift will be matched by Gannon under the provisions of the Tom Power "Power" Scholarship Challenge.

Born in Erie and a 1973 Academy High alumnus, Steve Hooper graduated from Gannon in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics. Hooper's mentor before, during and after his Gannon tenure was Freeman. Hooper believes that Freeman's guidance and steadying influence made the difference between success and failure at this crucial time of his life, and with Freeman's encouragement, Hooper attained his Master of Science degree in mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University in 1978 and has continued to enjoy professional success after graduation.

"Jim Freeman believed in me more than I believed in myself, and his positive influence led me to accomplish things that I never thought possible," Hooper said. "Sandy and I established the scholarship in Jim's honor so that other students can benefit from the caring spirit that Jim fostered at Gannon. We are especially grateful to Tom Power whose generous offer to match our most recent gift has further expanded the Professor Jim Freeman 'Power' Scholarship."

Freeman taught mathematics at Gannon for 34 years. In 1978, he became the first faculty member to receive an honorary degree from Gannon while serving on faculty. His colleagues and students considered him one of the best math teachers of the time. The accepted opinion was that "if Jim Freeman could not teach someone mathematics, then no one could."

For more information on the Professor Jim Freeman "Power" Scholarship, please contact Mark Gaeta, coordinator of capital support at Gannon, at (814) 871-7466.