Challenge accepted: Archer presents $250,000 to AU, first funds in gift for campus facilities, grounds

Bob Archer (right) hands the oversized check to AU Vice President of Operations and Planning Rick Ewing.

01/27/2020 ASHLAND, Ohio – It is, Ashland resident Bob Archer said simply, the right thing to do.

And with that, Archer handed an oversized check for $250,000 to Ashland University Vice President of Operations and Planning Rick Ewing.

It is just the first installment of the Archer Challenge Grant established five months ago by Archer, a member of the AU Board of Trustees, and his wife, Jan. The couple will provide a dollar-for-dollar match up to $1 million for every gift made in support of the campus’s facilities and grounds.

So far, Ewing said, the matches have totaled $283,000. Archer said he’ll be back with another check when the challenge gets to $500,000 and then incrementally until the $1 million goal is reached.

“We have a lot of things we need to do” on campus, Archer said, “and this is the right thing to do.”

Ewing said he is most grateful for the gift from the Archers and for the pledges that gift has spawned. The funds “will go toward many of the needs on campus, in our physical facilities and our grounds,” he said. “It will keep the campus looking good for our students.”

Among the needs are campus beautification items such as sidewalks, exterior lighting and landscaping; maintenance items such as parking lots and roof repair; and capital improvement items such as renovations to the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel, as well as the Physical Education Center lobby and locker rooms.

“We are grateful to Bob and Jan Archer for their continued philanthropic commitment to Ashland University,” said AU President Dr. Carlos Campo. “This challenge grant has pulled together people from this community and beyond to help ensure that the Ashland University campus will always be a jewel in this region.” 

The improvements will serve not only the campus community, but the greater Ashland area as well, as local residents often visit the Hugo Young Theater, AU’s lecture halls, sports facilities and the John C. Myers Convocation Center. The grounds also are recognized as a great place for residents to walk their dogs or go on outings with family members. “Ashland University is very important to this community,” Archer said, “and vice versa. We’re Ashland Rising with 2020 vision.”

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.###