David Koschik ’79 knows all too well how hard college can be, especially when you’re paying your own way. Growing up in blue-collar Ashtabula, Ohio, he worked diligently to earn money for tuition, and he still had to take out loans.
That’s a major reason why he and his wife, Izumi Hara, have donated $1 million to the LEADS Institute in Miami University’s College of Arts and Science (CAS).
Their gift will help establish the David Koschik and Izumi Hara Academic Excellence and Leadership Development Program. This initiative will expand innovative, high-touch, and comprehensive student-success programming for first-year students majoring in humanities, the social sciences, and STEMM (science, technology, equity in public health, mathematics, and medicine).
It also will provide support for peer mentoring, study away and abroad opportunities, and experiential learning outside the classroom.
A founding member of the Pre-Law Alumni Advisory Board at CAS, Koschik, a partner and vice chair at the international law firm of White and Case, serves on Miami’s Foundation Board and is its incoming board chair.
A champion for every student
“We are incredibly grateful for this donation from David and Izumi that supports our vision of providing all students, including high-achieving diverse student populations, with the opportunity to succeed at obtaining a college education,” said Carolyn Craig, CAS director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
“The gift will have an immediate impact, and the DEI team we have assembled here at CAS is excited to offer these opportunities this fall to our incredibly accomplished group of incoming students,” she said.
Chris Makaroff, dean of CAS, said he is pleased to recognize David and Izumi’s contributions.
“Since his days on the Sue J. Henry Pre-Law Alumni Advisory Board, David has always been a proud champion for not only underrepresented students, but every student who comes to Miami in pursuit of their dreams,” Makaroff said. “This gift takes us ever closer to our commitment to a diverse, equitable, and high-quality learning and workplace environment.”
An enhanced sense of belonging
Koschik, who has served on DEI task forces at his firm and on Miami’s Foundation Board, and his wife strongly believe in giving to places they know are doing good things for others, or, in Miami’s case, “great things.”
“We want to help ensure that in addition to recruiting diverse students, Miami has the resources needed to make sure they thrive here,” Koschik said. “The LEADS Institute is doing just that.”
The LEADS Institute provides innovative programming to enhance the academic, personal, and professional development of high-achieving students. With its five foundational pillars of leadership, excellence, achievement, diversity, and scholarship, the institute accelerates talented students’ transition to and success in college and strengthens their potential to become competitive for graduate and professional schools and in employment opportunities.The institute also aims to better address diverse students’ academic, professional, cultural, and social interests and enhance their experiences and sense of belonging in CAS. For more information, visit the CAS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.