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Devoted alumna, teacher and volunteer recalls those who helped her on her journey
Terry Eberhard Asch '64

“I owe my success to all who contributed to my education, and because people helped me achieve my goal, I would like to give to someone else who needs help today.”

In her eloquent testament to those who helped her achieve a college education, Terry Eberhard Asch summed up her own reasons for giving, volunteering and pursuing a teaching and administrative career in public education in Connecticut.

As one of the keynote speakers at the annual Recognition Reception for Donors and Scholars in November, Eberhard Asch harkened back to her roots at Danbury State College, as Western was known in the early 1960s. “This college was the first and only choice for me because of its proximity to my home and the cost for an education,” she said. “I had always wanted to be a teacher, and I would be able to receive a degree here but, most importantly, I could afford to go to college here.”

Eberhard Asch described her experience at Danbury State as extremely positive and singled out three professors as outstanding role models for her life and her career in education: Dr. Edward Rosenberg, Dr. Truman Warner and Dr. Lon Edwards. “These three gentlemen made me a creative thinker and taught me to question.  I know they influenced my life and how I taught my students,” she said.

Her career as an educator was devoted entirely to the public schools in Brookfield.  She taught first grade for four years, then left to begin her family. Six years later, she substituted for an ill friend, and the temporary position became permanent. After teaching several different grades, in the mid-1980s she became assistant principal of Whisconier Middle School and remained in that position for 17 years until retirement in 2002.

Eberhard Asch is the consummate volunteer, serving continuously since 1997 on the Board of Trustees for the Connecticut State University System. She was a member of the board’s academic affairs and audit subcommittees of the board and currently is secretary of the board’s executive committee. She has served on CSUS search committees that interviewed candidates for president of each of the system’s four universities and as well as evaluation committees that reviewed university presidents’ performance.

Eberhard Asch is a member of the WCSU Foundation Board and the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association.  Additionally, she is first vice president of the Woman’s Club of Danbury/ New Fairfield.

“Throughout my life I have faced many incredible milestones, some extremely happy and others extremely sad, but I have faced each with a positive attitude and a will to strive to continue to achieve my goals,” Eberhard Asch said. “I advise students to realize the importance of a degree from WSCU and the opportunities that will be available as a result of this degree, and, therefore, to keep their focus on the goal they have set for themselves.”

Eberhard Asch’s late husband Richard also became involved as a fundraiser for scholarships at WCSU.  After his death in 2008, she established the Richard A. Asch Memorial Scholarship, an endowed scholarship for full-time theatre arts majors who show evidence of financial need. “My college years were difficult in terms of finances, and without the generous help of my grandmother and aunt, I would not have been able to continue toward my degree,” she recalled. “It is a wonderful feeling to know that donations to the university can result in a student being able to finish school.  As graduates of this great institution, we must be responsible for helping the next generation.”

Eberhard Asch has two grown children, Suzanne and Christopher, and two grandchildren, 7-year-old Mikayla and 10-year-old Braedan. “Although I have lost two husbands, I have continued to face each day with a renewed spirit and a determination to be a model for my children and grandchildren,” she said.  In her spare time, Eberhard Asch enjoys movies, book club, golf and traveling with her special companion, Dr. Hans Kuss, a retired community college president.

Reminiscing about college, Eberhard Asch has especially fond memories of Spring Weekend and the annual “sing-off” event. After months of practice, she recalled, classes competed against each other in a fierce sing-off of hymns, original songs and Broadway hits, providing a “vehicle that established camaraderie with classmates and helped to bond us to the school.” Her devotion to Western is evidence of that bond, and she urges fellow alumni to continue a relationship with the university through the Alumni Association and through giving back. 

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