Education

$1.9M Scholarship Gift to YSU Honors Kaufman Legacy

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A  scholarship of $1.9 million was donated to the Beeghly College of Education at Youngstown State University by the estate of Ned Kaufman, a YSU alum and local teacher.

The gift, which sets aside $80,000 per year in scholarships for students in the education college, was announced Tuesday morning at Beeghly Hall. Along with Kaufman’s brother, Herbert Kaufman, YSU President Jim Tressel spoke at the announcement, as did Paul McFadden, president of the YSU Foundation.

“Ned was very appreciative of the education he received and I consider myself a proud messenger of my brother. I hope students who receive this scholarship come to appreciate the education they’ve received here at YSU,” Kaufman said. “I am very proud of my brother and my parents would be extremely proud.”

Ned Kaufman was a Korean War veteran who later went on to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree from YSU. He taught English in the Youngstown and Boardman school systems before he died in February at the age of 89. Growing up, Herbert Kaufman said their father, Donald, taught the brothers that as adults, they have three obligations: to have a roof over their heads, put food on the table and to get an education. This scholarship is given in honor of their parents, Donald and Ann Kaufman. He spoke highly of his late brother’s passion for education and making a difference in future lives and was very pleased to see a large picture of his brother and parents in McKay Auditorium where the announcement was made. Donald Kaufman was a long-time attorney in the Youngstown area.

Kaufman said he was unaware of his brother’s intention to make a gift to YSU until he was named executor of the estate last year. “It was a nice surprise,” he said after the ceremony. “I think our parents would have been very proud.”

Scholarships have played an important role in creating opportunities for success in the lives of YSU students. Tressel stressed the appreciation for the families who have given back to YSU. He also mentioned the importance of mentors in many students’ lives, whether they be parents, community leaders or educators.

“This country was really built on families that came here, made a difference, raised families of their own, went on and did great things,” Tressel said. “And now days like this happen where they step back and make a difference in future lives of the people here in the Mahoning Valley, at Youngstown State University and in this case, through their passion for education. This has been a special gift that we truly appreciate.”

The YSU Foundation and scholarships have made their mark on the students of YSU already.

“It’s really been an amazing impact that the scholarship program has made. We received nearly $90 million from the YSU Foundation that we were able to pass along to our students for scholarships, which is extraordinary,” Tressel said. “We were just picked as one of the seven most affordable universities in America recently and when you add scholarship help to that, it really brings us closer to our goal. We want our students to graduate with as little to no financial debt as possible.”

McFadden was happy to present this award to the college of education as well.

“This gift is special in every way. What’s most special is Ned dedicating the award to his parents,” McFadden said. “Generations of students will carry the name of the Kaufman scholarship. It means everything to this great Youngstown family, whose legacy will live on.”

YSU is currently running the We See Tomorrow fundraising campaign, which focuses on the future of the students at the university in terms of experience, education, accomplishments, recognition and success. Scholarships play a very important role in the campaign. Both Tressel and McFadden stressed how much of an impact the Kaufman scholarship will make toward it.

“Scholarships are already ahead of its goal in the campaign. With this gift today, it’s going to propel it even further,” McFadden said. “Scholarships are really embraced by donors because they see it as a way of directly impacting students and also directly impacting the university. They have resonated so well in the campaign and we really appreciate it.”

Isabel Stoeber, a junior in the Beeghly College of Education, was thrilled to welcome this scholarship into her college of choice and spoke of how her college career has grown.

Many students in the college today participate in as many as four field experiences before they graduate, noted dean Charles Howell, gaining far more real-world knowledge than when he was in school where he took part in just one. Being able to support students so they can have those experiences instead of having to find extra work to support themselves is crucial, he said.

“For students, it gives them confidence that they can achieve their degree and get through the entire college experience because a lot of families don’t have the financial support that others do,” Stoeber agreed. “For me, it gave me the ability to not have to worry about the financial aspects of life because I knew that I had a scholarship to fall back on.”

Stoeber is proud to be an education student at YSU and has had a great experience so far.

“I chose YSU because of how accredited it was in the education program. I knew if I wanted to be a teacher, I would have the experience through YSU’s field work,” she said. “I went this route because of the support I saw the faculty give me initially. I have been able to take ownership of my college career. It’s been incredible.”

Pictured: YSU student Isabel Stoeber, Herbert Kaufman, YSU President Jim Tressel and Beeghly College of Education dean Charles Howell announced a $1.9 million scholarship gift Tuesday. In the picture to the left are Donald and Anna Kaufman, who the scholarships are named for.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.