Friend of the Campus: The Marion G. Resch Foundation

Kent State University at Salem recently held its annual awards ceremony, during which students were recognized for their scholastic achievements. Also, during the event, The Marion G. Resch Foundation received the 2024 Friends of the Campus award, the highest honor presented annually to non-students.

The annual award recognizes community members and businesses that support increasing access to higher education in Salem and surrounding communities. The Resch Foundation and the Kent State Salem Campus have a long-standing partnership that supports the Rising Scholars program in Columbiana County.

Brad Bielski, Ph.D., interim dean and CAO of the Columbiana County campuses, presented the award to Stephanie Shaw, executive director of the Resch Foundation. 

The partnership between Kent State Salem and the Resch Foundation began in 2017 when leaders of the Rising Scholars program applied for a grant. Since then, the Resch Foundation has awarded nearly $700,000 to the Kent State program.

The late Marion G. Resch was a philanthropist who generously supported students and educational programs at local colleges and universities. She was always interested in the youth of the Mahoning Valley and recognized that they were the “lifeline to its future,” leading her to create her foundation in 2000 as a way to help area youth reach their potential and become influential leaders in the community.

The Foundation is focused on promoting education in primary and secondary schools, trade schools and institutions of higher learning.

Kent State University's Rising Scholars Program offers first-generation college-bound students from 11 Columbiana County school districts a college access program designed to give them and their families the knowledge, rigorous academic exposure and social support they will need in order to be successful at a world-class university. 

Students begin the program in seventh grade and continue through high school graduation. The goal is for every student in the Rising Scholars program to complete their chosen paths of success, whether it is college, the military, or the workforce, and ultimately reinvest their talents in their community.

“The Rising Scholars Program aligns closely with the mission and values of the Resch Foundation, making it an ideal recipient of their support,” noted Stephanie Shaw, executive director of the Resch Foundation. “As a mentorship initiative catering to at-risk students, Rising Scholars addresses key areas of concern that resonate with the foundation's philanthropic goals. By providing guidance and resources to these underserved youth, the program empowers them to overcome challenges and pursue higher education, ultimately contributing to breaking the cycle of poverty. Resch's financial backing not only aids in the program's sustainability but also directly impacts the lives of these students, fostering long-term positive change within the community.”

Jessica Paull, Ph.D., is the Rising Scholars program coordinator and noted that the Resch Foundation’s support is greatly appreciated and vital to the program’s success.

“The Marion G. Resch Foundation has been a key factor in the development of our program. Their generous support has unlocked new opportunities for first generation students across Columbiana County and allows them to realize their full potential,” she said. “We're honored to be a part of Mrs. Resch's legacy and we will continue to do the work that would make her proud.”


Cutline: The Kent State Salem Friend of the Campus Award was presented to the Marion G. Resch Foundation for its strong support of the Rising Scholars program. Pictures is (from left) Ingrid Lundquist, Resch Foundation board president; Brad Bielski, Ph.D., interim dean and CAO of Kent State Columbiana County; Stephanie Shaw, executive director of the Resch Foundation; and Karen Cohen, Resch Foundation board treasurer.

POSTED: Monday, May 6, 2024 02:33 PM
Updated: Monday, May 6, 2024 02:59 PM