Donation preserves 52 athletic scholarships at Ashland University


ASHLAND — Thanks to the generosity of Ashland University alumna and trustee Deborah Liebert Karl and several other donors, scholarships for 52 of the university’s student athletes will continue.

Earlier this year, the AU Athletic Department found it needed to reduce scholarships by $133,000 as a result of the financial pressures being felt all across higher education. That’s when department fundraiser Kyle Vaughn went to work, connecting with alumni and supporters for help.

Karl stepped up with a $100,000 gift and challenged others to join her. And they did. While the goal was $133,000, nearly $150,000 was pledged by roughly 200 donors in just a few weeks.

“For many of our student-athletes, attending Ashland while competing on a national level is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you have the opportunity to watch them compete, you know that they represent the high ideals that have been instilled in them by faculty, coaches and staff,” said Karl. “I want to thank the nearly 200 donors who accepted this challenge. Without you, none of this would be possible.”

AU Athletic Director Al King said there wasn’t an adequate way to express his gratitude to Karl and those who joined her in giving. “Nearly every day,” he said, “we hear about schools around the country trying to save sports teams and scholarships. Many are coming up short.”

Thanks to the generosity of many, King said, AU will not be one of those schools.

“At a time when scholarship costs are dramatically escalating, it is imperative that we continue to raise annual gifts to respond to the funding challenge. Increasing and sustaining scholarship aid is an important priority,” said AU Vice President of Institutional Advancement Margaret A. Pomfret. “Athletic scholarships are essential to provide opportunities for student-athletes to achieve their academic and athletic goals.”

Staff report

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