Ashland University Receives $500,000 Gift from Medical Mutual of Ohio

Medical Mutual's Jared Chaney (l) and Rick Chiricosta present a $500,000 check to Ashland University's Margaret Pomfret and President Fred Finks (r).

8/20/12 ASHLAND, Ohio – Medical Mutual of Ohio has made a $500,000 gift to Ashland University as part of the “Compassion, Community, Commitment. Building a Healthy Tomorrow” campaign for the University’s new Dwight Schar College of Nursing facility.

Ashland University President Dr. Frederick Finks received the gift Monday from Rick Chiricosta, president of Medical Mutual of Ohio, and Jared Chaney, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Medical Mutual of Ohio.

“We are very grateful to Medical Mutual of Ohio for its support of Ashland University’s campaign to build the new state-of-the-art Dwight Schar College of Nursing located in Mansfield,” Finks said.

Finks noted that Ashland University and Medical Mutual of Ohio have been partners in health care for more than 20 years.

"Medical Mutual of Ohio has helped us manage our health care program and contain costs. They have been proactive in recommending valuable changes to ensure that our health care program provides excellent care to our employees,” he said. “Their commitment today to our College of Nursing campaign is just one more step in ensuring quality health care for Ohio."

Finks said the Medical Mutual gift will be used to name the Student Commons area on the first floor in the new 46,000-square-foot academic and nursing facility located on the University’s Balgreen Campus at the corner of Marion Avenue and Trimble Road. The building was completed in time for the fall classes that started today.

The Medical Mutual gift is the third largest gift to the “Compassion, Community, Commitment. Building a Healthy Tomorrow” campaign that has raised more than $12 million in gifts and pledges toward the $15.5 million goal. 

Medical Mutual President Chiricosta noted there were a number of reasons why Medical Mutual decided to make this gift to Ashland University.

“There are three things that we love. We love our customers, we love anything that is devoted to improving the wellness of our community and most importantly we also love education,” he said. “This certainly fits all three and we are proud to be part of supporting Ashland in this effort.”

At Monday’s event, Chiricosta also announced that Medical Mutual of Ohio will commit an additional $62,500 to establish a Nursing Scholars Program over a five-year period and this commitment will fund five $2,500 nursing scholarships annually at Ashland University.

Medical Mutual's Rick Chiricosta and Jared Chaney pose with the five senior nursing students who were selected as recipients of the Medical Mutual of Ohio Nursing scholarships.The five senior nursing students selected as recipients of the Medical Mutual of Ohio Nursing Scholar Program scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year also attended the event on Monday. Those selected are Emily Buckner of Mansfield, Lauren Hale of Columbus, Kelly Hudak of Mansfield, Amon Lester of Mansfield, and Kelsey Thiel of Bucyrus.

Finks also praised Medical Mutual for its establishment of the Nursing Scholar Program. “This is a great partnership because of Medical Mutual’s need for qualified nurses,” he said.

Faye Grund, interim dean of the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences, said the college received 21 applications for the scholarship program.

“It was a difficult determination as the essays were professional, demonstrated commitment to the profession, and showed commitment to involvement at the College, University and the community,” Grund said.

According to Grund, the scholarship determinations were made based on meeting the defined criteria of the program and the responses to the six short essay questions. Students selected must have completed their junior year of undergraduate studies in nursing, possess a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average, be nominated by one or more of the Schar College of Nursing faculty or administration and complete a scholarship application for review by the selection committee.

The nursing scholars will be selected from the pool of applicants in March of each year and an annual scholars’ luncheon will take place in April to recognize the recipients. This luncheon will include representatives from Medical Mutual of Ohio, members of the selection committee, recipients and their families. 

“The College is very pleased to be granted this scholar program opportunity by Medical Mutual of Ohio and we look forward to identifying scholars in the upcoming years,” she said.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2012, 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. ###