Ashley Young, one of the first students touched by the vision of Ralph and Doris Klose

Ashley Young, Klose scholarship recipientAshley Young, a Klose scholarship recipient, is framed by Ralph and Doris Klose. A print regarding the story behind the Klose estate gift hangs near the dean's office in the Corbin Education Center. 

“Ralph and Doris Klose were very wise people,” said Ashley Young, “They understood the drive to succeed, but knew how difficult that road can be, sometimes.”

The Kloses were graduates of WSU whose estate gift of nearly $7.5 million in 2010 covers full tuition, fees and books for approximately 20 WSU secondary science and mathematics teacher candidates in their junior and senior years. Young, a junior pursuing her degree in secondary education-chemistry, is a Klose scholarship recipient whose family stresses the importance of education.

“My mom told me,” Young said, “‘no matter how you do it, pursue it. There’s always a way.’”

Graduating from WSU in the health care field, Young’s mother and sister worked while pursuing their education. Young always thought she’d follow her mother’s footsteps, but was encouraged to look at her own personal strengths. She decided her inherent patience, love of science and high-regard for teachers were qualities befitting a chemistry teacher. She began taking classes at WSU — and working.

As Young struggled with the realities of work and school, her father suffered from health issues, which kept him from working, something he found incredibly difficult. She worried about him. But when Young applied for the Klose scholarship, she chose not to reveal her father’s disability in the personal essay, wanting to be selected on the basis of her work ethic and academic record, not sympathy. She applied and continued to work and worry.

Then she received a life-changing email.

“Never in a million years did I dream of receiving such a blessing,” said Young.

The email was a notification of her selection as a Klose scholarship recipient. She remembers screaming, and then calling her mother at work, whose reaction was the same. Her father was next in line to hear the news. The joy in his voice was more than enough for Young. That email remains hanging on the refrigerator door as a motivator.

“I want to succeed because it means so much that someone felt I deserved this opportunity,” said Young. “And I owe it to my family. They’ve been so supportive.”

As for the Kloses, she wishes they were alive so she could give them each a big hug and thank them for not only changing her life, but the countless lives of others.

“I wish they could see the ripple effect of what they have created. Their vision will affect students and their future classrooms forever.”

If you are interested in learning more about how your planned gift can change the lives of students, please contact Mike Lamb, WSU Foundation vice president for planned and annual giving, at (316) 978-3804 or mike.lamb@wichita.edu.

© 2014 Wichita State University Foundation

Wichita State University Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.