Ashland University Holds Victory Celebrations for Employee Phase of Campaign

4/1/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University held "victory celebrations" on Thursday and Friday to celebrate the raising of $248,577 as part of the Employee Phase of the Dwight Schar College of Nursing Campaign.

The celebration held at the Dwight Schar College of Nursing in Mansfield on Thursday included a welcome and remarks by Ashland University President Dr. Fred Finks and comments by Holly Finks, vice chair of the Schar College of Nursing Employee Phase.

The celebration on Friday on the Ashland University campus in Ashland included remarks by Finks as well Dr. Dawn Weber, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, who served as the chair of the Employee Phase. Also recognized at the Ashland event were the five vice chairs of the Employee Phase -- Cheryl Given, Holly Finks, Carl Walley, Mike Russell, Dwight McElfresh and Holly Finks.

The celebrations, which were attended by many of the nearly 350 faculty and staff members who donated to the campaign, signaled the conclusion of the Employee Phase segment of the campaign to raise $15.5 million to construct a new Dwight Schar College of Nursing facility in Mansfield.

Dr. Finks noted that 97 percent of the employees at the Schar College of Nursing in Mansfield donated to the campaign and that raised a total of $46,170, while a total of 43 percent of all Ashland University employees gave to the campaign.

The University's fundraising campaign, titled "Compassion. Community. Commitment. Building a Healthy Tomorrow," received a $5 million lead gift from Ashland University alumnus and longtime supporter Dwight Schar and is now beyond the halfway mark, according to Finks.

Earlier this year, the University's Board of Trustees approved construction plans for the new Dwight Schar College of Nursing facility in Mansfield and set the new building's groundbreaking for June 16, 2011.

"The Board of Trustees recognizes that this new facility represents an important step in our strategic plan and have embraced the vision for seeing the new academic facility become a reality by the fall of 2012," Dr. Finks said.

After acquiring MedCentral Health System's College of Nursing in August of 2010, the University began planning the construction of the new 46,000-square-foot academic and nursing building on the University's Balgreen Campus, located at the corner of Marion Avenue and Trimble Road in Mansfield.

The new facility will include a variety of clinical practice labs, including the Center for Simulations, Health Foundations Practice Lab, Family Health Practice Lab, Adult Health Practice Lab, Complex Care Practice Lab, ICU/CCU/NICU Patient Room and Advanced Care Lab. Other spaces in the College will include traditional classrooms, faculty/staff offices, student study and lounge areas, and student support spaces.

The new building will replace the old MedCentral facility on Glessner Avenue, which is being leased by the University as part of the agreement with MedCentral.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University 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.