Ridgeways pay it forward for Student Accessibility Services

Sharon Pugil Ridgeway ’81 and her husband, Jim, say studying in the CSB/SJU community with the Benedictines has benefited three generations of their family. That’s why they decided to pay it forward, in a big way.

Sharon and Jim share a commitment to breaking barriers and providing support so every student can take full advantage of the Saint Ben’s 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 new and existing student support services. Sharon and Jim jumped on board, ultimately committing $500,000 to the program through the Ridgeway Family Fund for Academic Success. The Academic Success Center provides assistive technology, academic skills support, monitoring and coaching services, faculty and staff training and more — illuminated, in part, by the Ridgeways’ visionary leadership and generosity.

“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,” said 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,” said Barb May, academic dean. “They understand and share our goal of doing what is best for our students.