New Chairman of the Board and Director Named

July 1, 1997

The John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University announces the appointments of former Executive Director, Charles E. Parton to Chairman of the Board of Advisors and former Director of Special Programs Peter W. Schramm, to Executive Director. Mr. Parton replaces former National Review Publisher, William A. Rusher, as Chairman, though Rusher remains an active member of the Board.

"Chuck Parton has done a wonderful job as Director of the Ashbrook Center in the last four years, and he was the obvious person to succeed me as Chairman of the Board of Advisors. The Ashbrook Center is stronger and more self-reliant today than ever, and we have Chuck Parton to thank for that fact," said Mr. Rusher.

After a long career as a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Parton enrolled at Ashland University in the fall of 1990 with the goal of becoming a civics and history teacher to help young people realize their potential. Upon graduating with honors, Parton was appointed to the Board of Advisors of the Ashbrook Center and became Executive Director in 1993. During his tenure as Director of the Ashbrook Center, Parton expanded and enhanced its programs—particularly the Ashbrook Scholar Program.

The Ashbrook Scholarship is rewarded to students at Ashland University on the basis of academic merit and interest in public affairs. Ashbrook Scholars follow a course of study steeped in the great books and American political thought and participate in the programs, lectures, conferences and internships arranged by the Ashbrook Center.

As Director, Parton has improved the recruitment of Ashbrook Scholars and the development campaign. He has increased the size of the endowment with the goal of recruiting at least 100 Ashbrook Scholars by the fall of 2000. With his leadership, the Ashbrook Scholar Program was recently honored with a place on the prestigious Templeton Honor Rolls, which recognizes academic programs around the country for their academic integrity and commitment to the principles of liberty. In addition, Parton has expanded the program by involving the surrounding community in the Junior Ashbrook Scholar Program. Junior Ashbrook Scholars are selected from Ashland middle and high schools to attend monthly seminars, taught by Parton and faculty on the great books and American political thought. Junior Ashbrook Scholars also attend many Ashbrook Center events.

The new Executive Director, Peter W. Schramm, served in the Reagan Administration as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education. He is Professor of Political Science at Ashland University and has worked as Director of Special Programs at the Ashbrook Center since 1988. He has been honored with Ashland University’s Mentor Award three times.

"Being called upon to follow Charles Parton in any endeavor is extraordinarily difficult," said Schramm, "His work at the Center has been so good that one is almost embarrassed by the presumption of the attempt. Yet, in another, perhaps more important way, Charlie has made it easy. It will be easy because thanks to his work, the Center already has some of the most outstanding programs, students, and scholars in the country. We are dedicated to the task of taking our positions as teachers, students and—above all—citizens seriously. From that big fact, the rest will follow. My task will be to secure this sound foundation and make sure that it continues to live up to its name. We will continue to grow in our work and in our financial support from the community. I can think of no other task more worthy of our efforts."