YSU Announces Creation of Rick and Joni Blase Scholarship Endowment

Lauren Blase YSU runner
Lauren Blase was a part of the track and field program from 2007-10

The Youngstown State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is pleased to announce the creation of the Rick and Joni Blase Scholarship to enhance the YSU Athletics Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Rick and Joni Blase established this scholarship endowment on behalf of their family who are proud supporters of Youngstown State University athletics. Lauren Blase, their daughter, is a proud YSU graduate who competed in track and cross country for the Penguins from 2007-10.

The Blase family has owned and operated Rick’s Ranchwear since 1978. They currently have seven stores in the U.S., two are located in Nashville Tenn., two more in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and they have single stores in Orlando, Fla., Lake City, Fla., and Boardman.

The Blase family believes that Youngstown State University serves as a source of great pride for the Mahoning Valley. The annual recipient will be a student-athlete who is in good academic standing. A preference on the award recipient will be given to an Education major.

"We are excited about the direction of Youngstown State University and we are proud to support YSU athletics, where our daughter, Lauren, competed and graduated,” Rick and Joni Blase said. “YSU is a source of great pride for our community."

In creation of the scholarship endowment, the Blase's graciously donated $50,000 to provide impressive support for the student-athlete recipient. 

Paul McFadden, President of the YSU Foundation, said the Blase family has always been committed to supporting YSU and its athletics programs.

 “We are very proud to have a scholarship endowment that recognizes the Blase family,” McFadden said. “They are parents that know firsthand what it’s like to have a daughter be a student-athlete. Their contribution is very much appreciated and will help assist many future student-athletes.”

For more information, or to endow an athletic scholarship at Youngstown State University, contact the YSU Foundation at (330) 941-3211 or contact Dan Kopp at dkopp@ysufoundation.org