Douglas Cowell Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Doug Cowell was a lifelong resident of Ravenna, OH. Doug was born on October 31, 1943 and graduated from Ravenna High School in 1962. During his scholastic career at Ravenna High School, Doug was a member of the track, football and wrestling teams. As a defensive tackle, he became “famous” for scoring a 68-yard touchdown and still holds the school record for the Orange relay discuss.

Following high school, Doug attended the Allied Technical Institute in Chicago pursuing a career as a draftsman. In 1965, Doug joined the Ravenna Police Department where he became Ravenna’s first African-American police officer. Doug implemented a number of forward-reaching children’s community intervention programs including: a detective bureau that worked closely with schools; the block-watch program for children’s safety; a drug task force; and a crime prevention program. Doug retired after 24 years of law enforcement service.

Doug also made contributions to and deserves recognition for his work dealing with investigations relating to child abuse; involving senior citizens in the community; working with the Retired Senior Citizens Volunteer Program to build self-esteem, and working very closely with the Portage Boys’ Club. Doug received many accolades and honors. Doug was an active member of the F.O.P. #70 and the Retired Police Officers of Ohio. Formal recognition between 1956-1991 include: Boy of the Year for the Boys’ Club; Officer of the Year from the Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Columbus Club and State F.O.P.,Citizen of the Year for Maplewood Joint Vocational School, and serving as Grand Marshall for the 1990 Ravenna Balloon-A-Fair.

Doug’s passing in 1992 left a void in the community. He was an asset to our community; a man whom everyone respected and admired. He will always be remembered as a man who loved children, cherished the elderly, and served his community.

The scholarship bearing Doug’s name was originally held by Ravenna High School at Portage Community Bank. In December of 2009 the Ravenna School’s Foundation transmitted funds to the Portage Foundation to formally establish the Douglas Cowell Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund.


The applicant must be a graduating senior from Ravenna High School. The applicant must be enrolled in a two-year or four-year degree program at an accredited college, university or technical school to receive the scholarship award. The applicant must an essay (not to exceed 500 words) describing how they demonstrate any or all of the following characteristics in their life: leadership, strength, compassion, mentoring, and community involvement and volunteerism. The applicant should also answer the question, “Why should we choose you for this scholarship?”

To go to the Douglas Cowell Memorial Endowed Scholarship application