Archer Challenge accepted -- and now met

Back in January, AU alumnus and trustee Bob Archer (right) presented a check for $250,000 from he and wife Jan to AU Vice President of Operations and Planning Rick Ewing, the first installment on the Archer Challenge Grant, for which the couple pledged to match dollar-for-dollar every gift made in support of AU's facilities and grounds, up to $1 million. The $1 million mark was surpassed this summer when the couple agreed to match an endowment fund created at the Ashland County Community Foundation to support facilities maintenance and specific needs of the Heritage Room in the John C. Myers Convocation Center.

08/05/2020 ASHLAND, Ohio – In less than a year, supporters of Ashland University have risen to the challenge issued to them by AU Trustee Bob Archer and his wife, Jan.

In September of 2019, the Ashland couple challenged donors to make gifts totaling $1 million to support the University’s facilities and grounds. In turn, the Archers would make a dollar-for-dollar match.

The $1 million mark was surpassed recently when the couple agreed to match an endowment fund created at the Ashland County Community Foundation to support facilities maintenance and specific needs of the Heritage Room in the John C. Myers Convocation Center. 

“ACCF is extremely pleased to create this new endowment fund for long-term support of the Heritage Room at AU’s Convocation Center and we hope that this will inspire others to consider doing something similar,” said ACCF President and CEO Jim Cutright. “Ashland University is such an important anchor institution in our community, and we root for their success at every level. The fact that we could help provide a capstone to the Archer gift made this especially appealing.”

At the outset of the challenge, Bob Archer said that, as a trustee, he was aware of a list of projects on campus that needed completed, including sidewalks, exterior lighting and landscaping; maintenance items such as parking lots and roof repair and capital improvement items such as renovations to the Chapel as well as the Physical Education Center lobby and locker rooms.

"The passion, the dedication, and the advocacy that Bob and Jan exhibit towards the University continues to benefit Ashland far beyond just the financial and physical impacts, but this generous challenge gift from the Archers has enabled significant and noticeable improvements that have enhanced both the beauty and functionality of the Ashland Campus facilities and grounds," said AU Vice President of Operations and Planning Rick Ewing.

In the past several months, the Archers have matched a $500,000 gift from the Schar family which will be used to upgrade clinic and simulation equipment at the AU’s Schar College of Nursing, as well as the relocation and expansion of the Human Gross Anatomy Lab that will move from Kettering Hall to Jacobs Hall, as well as $75,000 from the Fauber family that is being used to create the 1,200-square-foot Bernice Fauber Baker Active Learning Lab/Classroom inside the AU library. And yet another gift – for $150,000 -- matched that of trustee and alumnus Tom Minnich and his wife Loretta.

“Jan and I are great believers in Challenge Gifts,” Bob Archer said.  “We are pleased that so many AU supporters matched our $1 million to improve our campus infrastructure.”

AU President Carlos Campo said, “We are so grateful to Bob and Jan Archer for their continued commitment to this community and the University. When the Archers issued this challenge, they did so believing that others would jump in and take advantage of this opportunity, and they were absolutely right. We were able to secure the $1 million match within the 12 month deadline, and these donations will have an immediate impact on our campus that will enhance the student experience at Ashland University.”

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.eduvalues 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.###