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Parents boost investment to encompass needs of the university


April 24, 2012

Parents of Arizona State University students are passionate about helping their children succeed, and many Parents Association members are inspired to elevate their involvement with the university to include President’s Club membership to support the evolution of ASU as a new model of public higher education.

Ceda Austerman and Dave and Fran Ryan joined the Parents Association while their children were attending ASU. They began their own ASU journey supporting student success and building a parent community, and through their participation came to realize how their support of programs like the President’s Club could help the university achieve its goals of providing excellence in education, access to qualified students and a broad community impact.

“Fran and I wanted to divide our time and money to organizations that make a difference in the community,” Dave says.

The President’s Club is committed to transforming public higher education through the members’ support of the ASU president. Parents like Ceda and the Ryans provide intellectual and financial resources that assist the president in advancing ASU.

“I’ve seen what ASU has become because of President Michael Crow,” Ceda, a 1976 graduate says. “Besides being an ASU parent, I am also an alumna and it is a much different place than it was when I went there. There are many more opportunities for students now.”

Both Ceda and Dave feel their participation in the President’s Club is an extension of their passionate interest in fostering student success.

Ceda, who joined in December 2011, believes that President Crow’s vision for ASU has contributed to its growing reputation worldwide. Through the school’s international connections, students receive expanded opportunities to help prepare them for today’s global marketplace.

Dave shared that they joined the President’s Club in September 2011 because they believe President Crow’s vision of ASU as a New American University allows students to constantly be on the cutting edge of research. This is critical for the economic vitality of the state, Dave says as he commends the direction President Crow is moving ASU and the enterprise that it is becoming.

“President Crow is engaging the university’s faculty and students to strive for outcomes that benefit the community,” Dave says. “Whether that is providing an educated work force or forwarding research that has direct relevance to our daily lives.”

The first to extend their involvement between the two groups were Brian and Dawn Wagner. Brian is currently serving as the board liaison for the Parents Association to the President’s Club. They are active in both organizations and help develop the future of ASU for its students.

Dave and Fran, Ceda and the Wagners contribute annual investments to the President’s Club, which are used by the president as seed money for promising initiatives, to attract research funding and to build strategic alliances and partnerships.

“The President’s Club gives President Crow the ability to be entrepreneurial and innovative,” Dave says. “It advances the mission of ASU everywhere and creates new opportunities for everyone.”