Kevin Blann

Kevin Blann

Alumnus

Class of 1981

I started at Ashland as a pre-med student, but was really struggling with mathematics. Dr. Alan Poorman saw I was having trouble and took me under his wing. I came to Ashland as a remedial math student and left the college with differential equations. Throughout the entire process, this man would take me to his house, sit me down, and teach me various types of mathematics. It was really that simple. I ended up working at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio doing high level applied science; I was a stock broker and portfolio manager for the Columbus office of Smith Barney; and now I’m with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. Much of my success has a direct correlation with Dr. Poorman keeping me after class and working with me on the weekends to ensure I learned what I needed. He could have pulled me aside at any point and told me the class wasn’t for me. But instead, he insisted on pouring even more of his time into me.

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Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Kyle Vaughn | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Thor McDonald

Allison Daugherty

Aaron Stephens

Jordan Hampton

Carlie Schlatter

Lilyanna Antonio

Babita Bhandari

Madison Stacey

Nolan Perrin

Hannah Tarr

Valerie Painter

Jesse Baker

James Firestone

JAMES FIRESTONE

Alumnus

Class of 1956

I arrived at Ashland College from Pennsylvania in 1952 and joined the football team. Two years later, in 1954, we brought on Coach Brownson as football coach, and we went undefeated in his first year. The first undefeated team in school history. Everything seemed to change at Ashland College. I was fortunate to make All-League in 1954 and 1955 and was later inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. I received my degree in Education and later earned a Master's degree, allowing me to work as a head high school coach for 18 years and a school principal for 26 years. I made many friends at Ashland, and one of my roommates, Ray Peltcs, is still a very close friend. I married a girl from Ashland, and we just celebrated our 66th anniversary. Thank you, Ashland University.

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Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Kyle Vaughn | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Thor McDonald

Allison Daugherty

Aaron Stephens

Jordan Hampton

Carlie Schlatter

Lilyanna Antonio

Babita Bhandari

Madison Stacey

Nolan Perrin

Hannah Tarr

Valerie Painter

Jesse Baker

Maria Dehne

Maria Dehne

Alumna

Class of 2006

Being a student-athlete while attending Ashland is my overarching "Ashland Story." The memories and friendships that came from playing women's basketball were all life-changing. People who were once strangers from different places all over the world soon become teammates-turned-best friends and extended family. Juggling everything involved with being both a student and an athlete can be very challenging and demanding. But having teammates and coaches going through it all with you was so helpful and also rewarding. I was able to travel the country, and even the world, while attending and playing for Ashland, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities and doors AU opened for me as an athlete and as a human being. The Ashland Women's Basketball program has had so much NCAA tournament success since I graduated, and I'm so thankful that it can never be taken away from our teams. I was part of leading the way by being on the first team in school history to make it to the NCAA tournament. It was such an honor to be coached by Hall of Fame Coach Sue Ramsey and it's incredible to see the women my teammates have become since attending AU. The lessons, stories, friendships, ups/downs and more that occurred while being a basketball student-athlete are forever etched in my mind and heart.

see more stories

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Kyle Vaughn | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Thor McDonald

Allison Daugherty

Aaron Stephens

Jordan Hampton

Carlie Schlatter

Lilyanna Antonio

Babita Bhandari

Madison Stacey

Nolan Perrin

Hannah Tarr

Valerie Painter

Jesse Baker

James Harris

James Harris

Student

Class of 2023

I went through life with only an eighth grade education. I got into some legal issues and ended up in prison. I am so grateful to Ashland for giving all of us in the CE program a chance to be better men and women in the DOC system. To walk out with a degree and the knowledge I gained, is priceless and I owe so much to Ashland University. It’s truly been a godsend. Especially since they also took my daughter to be a Future Eagle! This college goes above and beyond and makes you feel like family. So, for a person like me who came from my type of background, the opportunity to learn at this level is life changing. Thank you, Ashland, and to your amazing staff for giving us in the CE program a chance to make something of ourselves.

see more stories

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Kyle Vaughn | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Thor McDonald

Allison Daugherty

Aaron Stephens

Jordan Hampton

Carlie Schlatter

Lilyanna Antonio

Babita Bhandari

Madison Stacey

Nolan Perrin

Hannah Tarr

Valerie Painter

Jesse Baker

Brad Follett

Brad Follett

Alumnus

Class of 1977

I became a business management major during my sophomore year at Ashland. I enjoyed my classes and looked forward to entering the business world after graduation. Three years ago I retired after spending over 40 years in the metals industry, both in distribution and in manufacturing. I spent most of my career in sales management and general management including both staff and line management positions. But my first "management" job was at Ashland. I became a resident assistant at the start of my junior year and continued as an RA my senior year. I enjoyed it and was blessed to have a floor of solid individuals that, for the most part, behaved well (for college students). It was truly my first taste of "management" and convinced me that I could do it in the real world.

see more stories

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Kyle Vaughn | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Thor McDonald

Allison Daugherty

Aaron Stephens

Jordan Hampton

Carlie Schlatter

Lilyanna Antonio

Babita Bhandari

Madison Stacey

Nolan Perrin

Hannah Tarr

Valerie Painter

Jesse Baker

Mark Schiess

Mark Schiess

Alumnus

Class of 1974

There are usually two stories that I tell of my experiences at “AC” (Ashland University). One involves my first day there and the other is about an odd situation that led me to where I am today in retirement. Story one: My first day at Ashland was for freshman orientation. My parents drove me from New York the day before. I was running late at home and my father was in a hurry to get going on our 628-mile trip. I still remember the mileage as I made this drive 46 times in my 5 years at Ashland. Well, in my haste, I packed my belongings by just tossing them in the suitcase and squeezing it shut. Unbeknownst to me, a can of Right Guard deodorant (Gillette 1970s) lost its cap and got wedged against my other belongings. Somewhere, during our 12-hour drive, the full can of Right Guard decided to expel all of its contents. Upon arrival and opening the suitcase, we were met by a gagging perfume-like aroma. There was no time or place to wash all my clothes and sundries. I took exams, attended orientation, and met a lot of people that day. I’m sure many of them thought, “Do all kids from the East wear this much deodorant/cologne?” I sometimes excused myself and explained my story, but mostly I was too embarrassed to speak. Didn’t stop me from attending Ashland two months later though.

Story two: I should start this story by stating that I am a brewer amd brewery owner in my retirement. After Ashland, I did some research and then went to Ohio State University to become a physician assistant and later a perfusionist. I retired in 2013 and went to school (UC Davis, Siebel Institute) to further my knowledge of brewing science. This was a longtime hobby and interest of mine—and one that may have its roots on the campus of Ashland University! In the Spring of 1971, I was running near Kem Hall’s parking lot where there were two guys heating and stirring a pot on a camping burner. They were making beer! (I won’t reveal the name, but I think it was Dave with a last initial “R”.) He explained what I now know as the use of canned malt extract to brew beer—which has been commonly done since prohibition and is now a hobby for millions of “homebrewers”. At the time, I thought it was amazing.

Later in my junior year, my girlfriend (and I) would make wine (Old Normandy) in her dorm room (hey, it was the rebellious 70s!). One (the last) batch of this sugar, yeast and grape juice mix turned out very cloudy. As an assistant in the lab in Kettering Hall, I thought we should sneak the wine to the lab on the weekend and use Büchner funnels to filter this cloudy mess. Well, the filters kept getting clogged up and the whole clandestine operation took way too long. We were just getting ready to close up shop when in walked Drs. M, N, and R. They laughed, lectured me, and told me that we would probably get sick if we drank this “wine”. We cleaned up the lab and they kept the secret with my promise of no more wine. Few people knew why Kettering Hall smelled like concord grapes for a month in 1973. Little did I know that this would spark a lasting interest in fermentation science and a late-in-life career. To the gentlemen making that beer, that girlfriend, those great professors and Ashland University–I would like you to know that I will always be grateful. Thank you.

see more stories

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Kyle Vaughn | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Thor McDonald

Allison Daugherty

Aaron Stephens

Jordan Hampton

Carlie Schlatter

Lilyanna Antonio

Babita Bhandari

Madison Stacey

Nolan Perrin

Hannah Tarr

Valerie Painter

David Steiner

David Steiner

Alumnus

Class of 1990

I don't recall ever wanting to attend any college or university other than Ashland. Both of my parents graduated from Ashland and I knew many of the faculty and staff through their affiliations. Every visit made to the campus and my eventual freshman arrival felt like a visit to home and family. Academically, I had to search for something challenging and found my niche in political science (especially after my sophomore year), my joy in religious studies and my passion in piano performance. Hours from home, friends became family. Those four years at Ashland will always be remembered for maturing academically and spiritually, but mostly emotionally. I reestablished the most important connection of all, which was to my mother, through the stories and shared expressions of their own recollections of her. The holes in my story about her were filled in, which allowed me to become a better student, leader, friend, and, eventually, boyfriend (even though she had to ask me out first). Ashland's "Accent on the Individual" helped me develop into a complete person, which surprised me upon graduating since I thought I was only going for an academic education. Asked a few years later whether I would choose Ashland again, I initially responded that I would probably not (mostly for more academic rigor), but later realized that education is more than books. In fact, Ashland addressed everything I needed as a young man. I will be forever grateful.

see more stories

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Kyle Vaughn | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Thor McDonald

Allison Daugherty

Aaron Stephens

Jordan Hampton

Carlie Schlatter

Lilyanna Antonio

Babita Bhandari

Madison Stacey

Nolan Perrin

Hannah Tarr

Valerie Painter

Natalie Gunderson

Natalie Gunderson (Southworth)

Alumna

Class of 2012

I hadn't really planned to start my Masters with Ashland when I did. I started out just trying to get a 4/5 endorsement and then found myself RIF's (laid off from my school district). I got lucky and found out about a cohort that was starting for educational leadership and quickly got involved. However, once I lost my job I started wondering if perhaps special education was a better choice for me at the time and so I switched. I never took a single class from main campus Ashland. In fact, I've only been there three times (a college visit in high school, once to pick up my cap and gown & once to graduate). I did however get to see the Elyria campus at LCCC, Stark campus (it was the only place offering a class I needed to stay on track) and Columbus campus for my internship after moving for my administrative degree. Ashland allowed me to be a bit nontraditional with how I got my license and I was able to make a great connection with professors including Dr. Denney with Elyria campus. I found out before I walked for graduation that I would be in the Academic Hall of Fame (2012 Outstanding Master Graduate) and that is something I will carry with me forever. I appreciated Ashland and the flexibility so much that I got my administrative licensure from there as well.

see more stories

Olivia Plank | Drive for Ashland

Dr. Lucille Ford | Drive for Ashland

Kyle Vaughn | Drive for Ashland

Fred & Carlos | Drive for Ashland

Kevin Blann

Natalie Helenthal

Katie Nageotte

Jim Phelps

Grant Marzio

Arline Alli Gray and Sherrill Beckswith (Burley)

James Firestone

Tiffany Sims

Kenna Cline

Zander Throckmorton

Veronica Eckroth

Samantha DeVerna

Ron Violante

Pat Sheridan

Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem

Maddy Klinger

Leighann Rotsinger

Kayla Pitts

Jourdan Swett

Joseph Meredith

Gracie Wilson

Ellie Richardson

Carolina Amparo

Camille Ringot

Caden Morris

Ashley Bowker

Amanda Baker

Alexa Forse

Maria Dehne

James Harris

Susan Alley

Brad Follett

Kylie Anne Shansley

Lily Boldman

Nicholas Reimund

Thor McDonald

Allison Daugherty

Aaron Stephens

Jordan Hampton

Carlie Schlatter

Lilyanna Antonio

Babita Bhandari

Madison Stacey

Nolan Perrin

Hannah Tarr

Valerie Painter

Linda Navroska

Linda Navorska (Freeman)

Alumna

Class of 1976

I entered Ashland College as the first person in my family to attend college. I knew I wanted to be an elementary teacher. Very early in my freshman year, I found the co-ed Christian organization Alpha Theta. Here, I made life-long friends. I had three different roommates, which allowed me to visit parts of New York I would never have seen otherwise. Upon graduation, I taught for the Ashland City School District at Edison Elementary. My college academic adviser became principal there. I also met my husband while at Ashland, His father was attending the college on his GI Bill and brought his son to a combined Alpha Theta/Fellowship of Christian Athletes event... and the rest is 40 years of married history!