Paying It Forward

Studying on computer“Studying in the CSB/SJU community with the Benedictines has benefited three generations of our family,” says Sharon Pugil Ridgeway ’81 and her husband Jim. And they’re paying it forward, in a big way.

Sharon and Jim share a commitment to breaking barriers and providing support so every Saint Ben’s student can take full advantage of her experience and reach her potential. When the opportunity arose, the Ridgeways put their commitment into action.

In 2017, CSB/SJU embarked on initial concepts for an Academic Success Center that would align a variety of student support services. Sharon and Jim jumped on board, ultimately committing $500,000 to the program through the Ridgeway Family Fund for Academic Success.

“This fund is dedicated to identifying students who have academic and nonacademic learning obstacles and providing those students with the resources to be successful at CSB and beyond,” say Sharon and Jim.

Combined with their generous support of the nursing renovation in 2010, the Ridgeways have gifted over $1 million to Saint Ben’s—and their support is more than financial.

“Sharon and Jim have been true partners in developing the vision for the Academic Success Center,” says Barb May, academic dean. “They understand and share our goal of doing what is best for our students.”

The Academic Success Center will bring together existing services and programs, as well as new ones, to provide assistive technology; academic skills support; monitoring and coaching services; faculty and staff training and more—fueled in part by the Ridgeways’visionary leadership and generosity.