Ellen and Jim Tressel have made a $1 million pledge to Youngstown State University to help expand student employment opportunities on campus.
The gift will create the Ellen and Jim Tressel Student Work Opportunity Endowment Fund. Mr. Tressel, president of YSU, and Mrs. Tressel, a YSU alumna, announced the gift Monday afternoon at a meeting of university donors on the YSU campus.
“Research shows that students with part-time campus jobs are more successful in the classroom and have better chances of graduating on time, not to mention the benefits of earning extra money for the variety of expenses that college presents,” Mr. Tressel said.
Mrs. Tressel added, “We are pleased to be able to establish a fund that will expand these opportunities to even more students at YSU, providing both the financial assistance and the work experiences that will impact their futures and lead to successful careers beyond their time at YSU.”
Carole Weimer, chair of the YSU Board of Trustees, said: “This endowment is yet another example of Ellen and Jim’s commitment to Youngstown State University and the Youngstown community. On behalf of everyone at the university, we thank them for their continued support and hard work for YSU and our students.”
Paul McFadden, president of the YSU Foundation, added, “Ellen and Jim are passionate about the university, and particularly about our students. We are grateful for their generosity and leadership.”
The donation is yet another significant gift from the Tressels to YSU. Past gifts have included $500,000 to the YSU Watson and Tressel Training Site (WATTS) and $125,643 to the YSU Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
Jim Tressel became YSU’s ninth president on July 1, 2014. He came to YSU after two years as executive vice president for Student Success at the University of Akron. He previously was head football coach at Ohio State University (2001 to 2010) and YSU (1986 to 2000).
Ellen Tressel is a YSU graduate and an accomplished businesswoman and philanthropist who remains engaged in charitable causes and community organizations. She began her own career in her family’s business in Youngstown and served 15 years at Butler Wick and Co. as vice president of trading.