9/26/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s Ralph Tomassi, senior associate vice president for development, will retire Oct. 10 after 36 years of service at Ashland University.
Tomassi will be honored for his dedication and commitment during halftime of the AU vs. Malone University football game on Oct. 4 and also will be honored at the All Alumni Reunion during AU homecoming festivities on Sat., Oct. 11.
A native of Scranton, Pa., and a 1973 graduate of the Milton Hershey School, Tomassi came to Ashland, Ohio, in 1973 as a student at Ashland College and was a four-year captain of the baseball team. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1977. In 1978, he returned to the then Ashland College as director of transfer admissions and has been with the institution ever since.
During his tenure at Ashland, he held many positions including Director of the Annual Fund, Executive Director for Development, Interim Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, Associate Vice President for Development, and Senior Associate Vice President for Development. He was involved in the planning and implementation of numerous fund raising campaigns at the University and helped bring those to successful completion, and also was the founder of the Gridiron Club and the Varsity Walk program.
His dedication and commitment to the City of Ashland has been just as impressive, serving as a charter member and on the board of directors for the Ashland County Community Foundation, the board of directors for Ashland Business Community Charter, member of Rotary International, former member of Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, former member of Kiwanis International, member of The Young Men’s Business Club, member of the Board of Directors for The Country Club of Ashland, member of the Board of Directors for the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, facilitator for the Charity Task Force and Strategic Planning Committee of the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, coach for Ashland Youth League Baseball, and a member and usher for St. Edwards Catholic Church.
Tomassi also served as a consultant and volunteer for numerous fund raising campaigns in the Ashland area, including United Way of Ashland, Choice Place Christian Home, St. Edwards Catholic Church, The Ashland County Humane Society, Ashland Symphony Orchestra, Johnny Appleseed Outdoor Theatre, Associated Charities of Ashland, Boy Scouts of America, Hospice of North Central Ohio and The Ashland Bicentennial Campaign.
He received a number of awards and honors through the years, including the Golden Helmet Award from the Eagle Gridiron Club in 2009, the Special Achievement Award from the AU Alumni Association in 2003, the Outstanding Greek Administrator in 2000 and the Distinguished Service Award from the AU Alumni Association in 1985.
Tomassi’s support of Ashland University Athletics through the years has been unmatched and, in 2005, he authored and published a book titled “Go Eagles: The History of Ashland University Football.
Tomassi, and his wife, Betty Jo, plan to remain in Ashland following his retirement.
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###