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 as well as an active member of the football team. The applicant must be enrolled in a four-year degree program at an accredited college or university with an interest in pursuing law enforcement. The applicant must provide two (2) letters of recommendation. One letter from a current or former teacher and another letter from a member of the greater Ravenna community who is not a relative of the applicant.

The applicant will be evaluated on his/her class ranking, grade point average, and the relative degree of difficulty as an indication of academic achievement. The ACT, SAT, or other national standardized test scores will be taken into consideration. Financial need will also be considered as measured by the cost of attendance as compared to the applicant’s financial resources. The applicant must demonstrate a commitment to Ravenna Ohio and/or the surrounding community as demonstrated by submitting an essay (not to exceed 500 words) describing their community service, citizenship, and involvement in extracurricular activities.

Review Committee

The Review Committee shall review all applications and make recommendations to the Portage Foundation’s Grants & Scholarship Committee for award consideration. The Review Committee shall not consider race, age, religion, sex, national origin or disabilities to determine the most qualified candidates. This scholarship shall not be awarded to applicants who are close relatives of any of the following individuals: a donor to the fund, a member of the fund’s scholarship Review Committee, a members of the Portage Foundation’s Board of Trustees, an employee of the Portage Foundation, or a close relative of any of the above individuals. A “close relative” is defined as a spouse, child, stepchild, parent, grandchild, sibling, first cousin, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle.

Review Committee Membership

The Review Committee will consist of the Athletic Director (or his/her designee) and other persons as recommended by the Athletic Director. The Review Committee will publicize the scholarships availability and application process. The Review Committee shall review all applications and make recommendations to the Portage Foundation’s Grants & Scholarship Committee for award consideration including the number of scholarships awarded and award amounts. The Portage Foundation’s Grants & Scholarship Committee will award the scholarships taking into account the Review Committee’s recommendations.

Application Open January 1 – March 1