New Scholarship Honors YSU Interim President Lafferty

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The fund advisers of the John S. and Doris M. Andrews Memorial Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Mahoning Valley have contributed $25,000 to establish a scholarship at the Youngstown State University Foundation in honor of outgoing Interim YSU president Helen K. Lafferty.

 “The Andrews Fund Advisers are pleased to honor the excellent leadership of Dr. Lafferty during her tenure as interim president of Youngstown State University and her commitment to the university, its faculty, staff and students and the greater Mahoning Valley community,” the advisers wrote in a news release. “Dr. Lafferty represented YSU very well and we want to recognize the goodwill created under her leadership.” 

The fund advisers welcome additional contributions from members of the community to the YSU Foundation for those who wish to join in building this scholarship to recognize Lafferty.

She was born and raised in Youngstown, graduated from Ursuline High School, and earned her baccalaureate and graduate degrees from YSU. She continued her studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her Ph.D. She then completed three post-doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University and the National University of Ireland-Galway.

Since then, Lafferty has spent more than four decades at Villanova University as a faculty member and in various leadership roles. Her continuous drive and passion to enrich and support students will always be remembered.

She was appointed YSU interim president last February and she’ll step down Dec. 31.

The news release says Lafferty was highly approachable during her tenure as YSU interim president.  She interacted with all constituents on campus including regularly attending meetings of the student council. She set the tone for negotiations for new contracts with both the classified employees union and the faculty, with both unions agreeing to contracts months before their current contracts were set to expire.  

“YSU has been blessed with excellent faculty, dedicated staff, and remarkable students,” Lafferty said. “Learning is our focal point and purpose. We can expect great things when we stay true to our mission, focused on learning and serving in meaningful ways. YSU truly remains that strong beacon and the university that transforms minds and hearts.”

The John S. and Doris M. Andrews Trust and Memorial Fund has given more than $5 million to YSU and the YSU Foundation since 2004.  Two of its most significant gifts were to establish the Andrews Endowed Faculty Chair in Accounting and to make the naming gift for the Andrews Recreation and Wellness Center in 2005.  Most recently, the fund has made major gifts to the proposed new student center and Beeghly Center renovations.  The current Andrews Trustees are David Sabine, Scott Schulick and Paul Williams.   

President Lafferty, who was on sabbatical from Villanova University while serving as YSU Interim President, will be returning to her faculty position at Villanova.  

The YSU Foundation, founded in 1966, is an independent, nonprofit organization that supports student scholarships, student development and career opportunities.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.