Making a Difference
Investing in the Future: Timken Global Scholars Have Big Plans
September 13, 2019
Once a year in February, Timken CEO Rich Kyle and Chairman of the Board John Timken gather a few students in a room and over a webcast to announce the winners of The Timken Company’s Global Scholars program for the children of associates all over the world.
“The excitement is palpable,” says John Timken. “They often bring a favorite teacher with them, who has helped them toward their goals, along with their families. Sometimes older siblings who have also won scholarships will be there, so they can give each other a little bit of a ribbing.”
While all the students know they won some fraction of the $540,000 that Timken awards every year, no one knows the dollar amount of their scholarship. Awards range from a one-time $10,000 award up to two larger scholarships that are renewable for up to three additional years—the $25,000 Jack Timken Scholar Award and the $35,000 Henry Timken Scholar Award.
A proud moment in Romania
This year’s scholarship ceremony recognized 17 scholars from six different countries—Romania, the United States, India, Germany, China, and the United Kingdom. When the program began in 1957, its five recipients were all from Ohio. Two of them were young women. This year, the two biggest winners also happened to be women, and the ratio of women to men has grown.
Ioana Babarus of Ploiesti, Romania, won the 2019 Henry Timken award, which provides up to $140,000 toward living expenses and books for her studies at the University of Versailles in Paris, France. Her mother, Dana Babarus, is a senior process design engineer at Timken’s Ploiesti facility.“This award enables me to spread my wings and pursue my passion,” says Ioana. She plans a career in pharmacy, both for its practical value and because of the impact she will be able to have on her fellow human beings. She envisions curing the diseases of the 21st century and establishing an NGO that makes it possible for pharmaceutical students to travel to isolated communities around the world, providing free medicines.
Ioana is passionate about her volunteer work coordinating homework assistance for children in foster care. She also writes articles for local newspapers, enjoys swimming, and has studied abroad in China, Japan, the U.K., and France. She’s working on her French in anticipation of living in Paris for the next four years.
“Ioana has always liked to learn and discover new things,” says Dana Babarus. “I was so proud when John Timken announced that Ioana had earned the Henry Timken Scholar Award. It was the moment I realized that all my efforts toward my daughter’s quality education have been worthwhile.”
Unfailing support in Kansas, and ambitious plans in India
Charles Hill, raw edge cure associate at Timken Belts in Fort Scott, Kansas, says he isn’t sure where his daughter Jeanna got her talent and drive to excel. She won this year’s Jack Timken award for up to $100,000, and will apply it toward her studies at Emporia State in Kansas.
“She was encouraged to read,” says the elder Hill. “My wife read to her a lot, and I also encouraged her to use what she’s been given to try to earn scholarships, rather than chasing sports. That path certainly paid off, and we very much appreciate it. We’re so blessed.”
Jeanna plans a double-major in English and math. While she excels in math, she also loves to write and is hard at work finishing her first novel. She’s also an avid musician, playing the flute and piccolo and attaining leadership positions in her school band.
Jeanna attributes her success to hard work and unfailing support from her parents. “I think I developed my dad’s perseverance,” she says. “He’s not one to give up.”
Another winner, Ayush Gupta of Jamshedpur, India, plans to use his $40,000 scholarship to follow the path of his hero, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Like Nadella, he will start with an engineering degree from a school in India and then pursue graduate studies in the United States or Germany.
All three of the winners we interviewed demonstrated ambitious plans for their futures, but also deep humility and gratitude for the opportunities they’ve been afforded. “I strive hard,” says Gupta. “I don’t think I’m supreme or anything.”
Educational opportunities for Timken communities
The Timken Company has a long history of supporting education, beginning in the company’s hometown of Canton, Ohio, where Timken High School was originally built as a technical school.
“I think members of the family recognized that, while the jobs change over the years, they wanted to provide opportunities for local communities to take advantage of new technologies and remain current within the employment landscape,” says John Timken.
Company leadership took that tradition of lifelong learning to heart as Timken expanded around the world, building Timken training centers and educational facilities in many different countries. The company has awarded more than $23 million in global scholarships through the Timken Educational Fund since 1958.
As master of ceremonies for the scholarship program, John Timken receives many thank you notes from recipients. “It’s gratifying and heartwarming to get them,” he says, “but no one within The Timken Company has any input into who the winners will be.”
Scholarship recipients are chosen by an unbiased program administrator according to Timken criteria, such as academic record, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, and educational and career goals.
An investment in associates and their families
Timken scholars win their awards because of their hard work and commitment to giving back. As Kyle stated in his opening address at the ceremony, the heart of the program is “encouraging the next generation of leaders to gain the knowledge they need to help make the world a better place.”
That ethic clearly starts at home. Even over the phone, you can sense the strong bonds that these Timken associates have with their children. Jeanna Hill and her dad enjoy watching superhero movies together and clearly nurture a mutual fan club. Ioana Babarus says her mom is her best friend, teaching her from a young age the difference between right and wrong, and encouraging her volunteer work.
Ayush Gupta says his dad is his main teacher and influence. “He tells me about his life,” he says, and those stories don’t get old. “Every time I hear them, I’m fascinated.”
For The Timken Company, the scholarships are an investment in associates and their families, says John Timken. “It’s about acknowledging the quality of our associates. They are the reason the company has had such an excellent, 120-year run.”