The Art of Giving
Mick Aschoff ’71 has an undergraduate degree in art from the University of Florida and an MBA in finance, as well as a professional certification in computer applications and information systems, from New York University. He speaks three languages and has worked around the world in various fields, including hospital administration, wholesale textile sales, computer programming, information technology project management, and information systems compliance with legal and government regulations.
Of all the roads he’s traveled, Aschoff says the one that makes him the happiest is that which that brings him back to the University of Florida. Ten years ago, he made the decision to endow the Michael Aschoff Dissertation Fellowship for graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Aschoff started thinking about leaving a legacy while still in high school in Merrick, N.Y., when his school paper assigned him to profile a local philanthropist, who did not have his own children but established a scholarship for area students. The idea of funding future generations resonated with Aschoff, who thought, “I want my name as a donor on one of those awards someday.”
“Private citizens need to step up to fill the gap that exists between state and private funding for many public universities across the country these days.”
Several years after graduating from college, Aschoff began contributing an annual gift of $25, steadily increasing his giving over time. Around the 20-year anniversary of his first gift to UF, Aschoff met then-dean, Willard W. Harrison, who suggested that he could make a larger impact in perpetuity. Once he realized how simple the process was and how low the initial amount was for creating an endowment, Aschoff decided to dedicate a portion of his estate to support student scholarships. In Aschoff’s case, he created a fully funded named endowment with $30,000 a year for five years, but an initial named endowment can be created with $30,000 over five years.
“Private citizens need to step up to fill the gap that exists between state and private funding for many public universities across the country these days. There is a real need, especially for graduate level scholarship support, which I know from personal experience,” says Aschoff. “Many ‘state’ universities are not funded primarily by the state anymore. I’m so proud that I can make a difference in the lives of these students at my alma mater for generations to come.”