AU Alum Donates $1 Million to Establish Military Veterans Resource Center

Ashland University alumna and Columbus, Ohio, resident Deborah Liebert Karl has made a $1 million gift to Ashland University to fund a Military Veterans Resource Center on campus.

Liebert Karl, who is an AU trustee, said she made the gift in honor and memory of her father, Jack W. Liebert. He served in the Navy during World War II and enlisted in the Korean War.

“My father fought for our country’s freedom. We should never forget the sacrifices that our military have made for our country. The Military Veterans Resource Center will demonstrate our pride and thankfulness for their service,” she said. “I envision the center to be a dedicated facility that will help assimilate veteran students to Ashland University and the community.”

The Center will welcome and receive veterans as they transition from military service to campus life. Support services that will be offered to student veterans through the Center include recruitment, admission, registration and GI Bill processing, financial aid, academic advising, accessibility services, mental health counseling and career development.

AU President Dr. Carlos Campo said the $1 million gift allows the university to create a facility that will include conference spaces and offices for the veterans coordinator and support staff, a USO style veteran’s lounge where veteran students and staff can share a sense of comradery in a comfortable space, and two studio apartment style receiving rooms to provide emergency housing accommodations to veterans and their families at a moment’s notice. Also, living communities will be formed to meet the specific needs of current student veterans living on campus.

During halftime festivities at AU’s football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, Campo will present, on behalf of Liebert Karl, an oversized replica of the $1 million check to Joyce Lamb, chair of the AU Board of Trustees. The game will feature many proceedings honoring active military and veterans in honor of Veteran’s Day.

“It’s a transformative gift from an amazing lady who loves this university and wants to elevate it,” said Campo. “It’s truly an investment in the lives of those who have served our nation, and we are privileged to better serve active military as well as veterans and their families.”

Campo said the center will be committed to ensuring that military-affiliated students successfully make the transition from the military environment to campus life and are assisted in their progress toward completing their academic degree. “We want to ensure we are doing all we can to help our active and retired military succeed in all aspects of their life,” he said.

Before this gift, Liebert Karl had given $1 million to her alma mater for scholarships, and most recently, $250,000 for the renovation of AU’s Deborah Liebert Karl Tennis Complex.

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