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Scholarship fund honors New College's Elizabeth Langland

Elizabeth Langland
June 04, 2013

As Elizabeth Langland prepares to leave the dean’s office in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences after six years of leadership, the college is establishing a scholarship fund in her name.

“After a number of discussions among faculty and staff as well as members of the Dean’s Advisory Board, we concluded that a scholarship endowment would be a truly meaningful way to thank Dean Langland for all she has done for ASU, New College and, most importantly, the students,” said Herschel Fink, New College’s development officer.

“Dean Elizabeth Langland has worked tirelessly to support our students – to help them succeed at ASU and in attaining their educational goals,” said Marlene Tromp, the college’s incoming dean. “This scholarship is an extraordinary way to extend the college’s support in her name, carrying on the work to which she was so deeply committed.”

Valley business owner Ed Vasko, a New College graduate and member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, is enthusiastic in his support.

“My wife and I proudly donated to the Dean Elizabeth Langland Scholarship Award because Dr. Langland possesses those qualities we wish to impart in our daughters – leadership, integrity and service,” Vasko said. “Her leadership has allowed ASU’s West campus to thrive and grow in the worst economic times since the Great Depression.”

Langland, who came to ASU in 2007 after holding administrative positions at Purchase College in New York, the University of California at Davis, the University of Florida and Converse College in South Carolina, said the honor caught her by surprise.

“I was, frankly, speechless when I first learned of this extraordinarily generous gift,” she said. “There could be nothing more meaningful to me than to have board members, faculty and staff establish an endowed scholarship fund in my name. I am deeply touched by this thoughtful gesture that extends support into the future for the talented and deserving students who come to New College.”

Funds collected in Langland’s honor will be held in a non-endowed account at the ASU Foundation for A New American University until the gifts reach $25,000, at which point they will be permanently endowed to honor her legacy at ASU. In the event that the funds do not reach the $25,000 threshold by June 30, 2014, the accumulated total will be made available for immediate use for New College student scholarships.

Under Langland’s leadership, New College has developed a focused mission. Adapting a classic model from preeminent colleges around the United States, the college has emerged as an outstanding interdisciplinary arts and sciences school on a campus enriched by schools of business and education.

Langland’s tenure has been a period of significant advancement and innovation for New College, which has pioneered interdisciplinary research clusters and theme-based common general education, as well as funded undergraduate research. Under Langland’s leadership, New College has developed new undergraduate majors and new master’s programs, multiplied its research and fundraising dollars, and added substantial numbers of new faculty to teach the increasing numbers of students it has recruited.

In her role as university vice provost, Langland has guided the West campus as it has added new buildings and amenities for students. The new student residential facility, Casa de Oro, is specifically designed to help freshman students thrive in a university setting. The Verde Dining Pavilion and Sun Devil Fitness Complex also opened during the past year.

Despite the fact that Langland is stepping down from her dean and vice provost positions, she will remain an active member of the university community. She will have the opportunity to devote more of her time to research and teaching, the passions that first drew her to academia.

Vasko said he is pleased the university will continue to benefit from Langland’s talents and experience.

“Dean Langland inspires people to reach for new ways of thinking and presents a strong, yet flexible style that achieves goals through compromise without sacrificing integrity,” Vasko said. “Her service and commitment to excellence has been unmatched in my years of supporting ASU. Because of these special qualities, my wife and I felt it important to support the establishment of this scholarship so that other excellent students at the West campus can have the opportunity to become future leaders like Dr. Langland.”

Donations to the scholarship fund may be made online or by contacting Herschel Fink at (602) 543-5308 or