News Late Kalie Hostutler Ashby Honored With Distinguished Alumni Award - Garrett College
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May 22nd, 2018

Late Kalie Hostutler Ashby honored with Distinguished Alumni Award

Kalie Hostutler Ashby Distinguished Alumni Award

The late Kalie Hostutler Ashby was posthumously awarded the Garrett College Distinguished Alumni Award at Garrett College's 46th Commencement this past Saturday.

Pictured is Brittney Hostutler, Kalie's sister, accepting the award from Dr. Richard Midcap, GC's president.

Photo by Bob Carney

The late Kalie Hostutler Ashby was posthumously awarded the Garrett College Distinguished Alumni Award at the College's 46th annual Commencement this past Saturday. Honoring former students who have excelled in their academic and professional pursuits, the Garrett College Distinguished Alumni Award is one of the most prestigious awards bestowed upon former students and alumni.

"Kalie exemplified how Garrett College can play a pivotal role in a student's higher education experience," Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president, told those attending commencement. "By including Garrett's high school dual enrollment program in her educational planning, and with her motivation and determination, Ashby earned 30 college credits while still in high school, and was able to graduate from Garrett College just one short year after graduating from Southern Garrett High School.

"Remarkably," added Midcap, "Kalie transitioned from a high school diploma to a master's in business administration all in just four years' time."

Ashby became a member of the Garrett College staff in 2009, working part-time while pursuing her master's degree, and eventually rose to the position of assistant director of institutional research and planning.

After receiving her MBA, Ashby completed another of her goals by adding adjunct instructor to her list of accomplishments. She made a lasting impact on her students and colleagues, according to GC staff, and had a promising future as a higher education administrator.

"Kalie believed in the possibilities that a higher education could bring today's young people," Midcap said. "She remained a vocal advocate for the College's high school dual enrollment program and encouraged local students to make the most of the opportunities available to them."

To honor Ashby and the value she placed on the high school dual enrollment program, the employees of Garrett College established the Kalie Hostutler Ashby Academic Achievement Fund. With the help of her family and friends, the fund recently reached endowment level, which means her legacy will continue to shine for years to come.

At the graduation rehearsal, Ms. Kim DeGiovanni, GC's registrar, felt it was imperative for members of the 2018 graduating class to know of Kalie's character, and more of who she was – to appreciate her legacy to the fullest.

"One of the extraordinary things about Kalie is that she was truly genuine. She loved growing up in Garrett County," shared DeGiovanni, who nominated Ashby for the alumni award. "She was full of energy; interested and excited by just about everything."

Ashby decorated cakes and loved to shop for bargains, according to DeGiovanni, and also enjoyed car shows and demolition derbies. She taught children's church and volunteered at vacation bible school every summer.

"I think what Kalie loved most of all, was being a mom to Sawyer," said DeGiovanni, referring to Ashby's son, who was an infant when Ashby died as a result of a car accident.

"Kalie worked hard at everything she did, but no matter how busy she was, she would always jump at a chance to help others. She never judged others or discounted anyone's beliefs or thoughts," said DeGiovanni. "Kalie always chose to see the best in everything. She would help you focus on your potential and encourage you to succeed."

Marcia Knepp, GC staff member and fund committee member, said Kalie will be remembered as someone with drive and determination, a big infectious smile, and a positive outlook.

"Kalie brought joy to so many lives and was always the first person to offer assistance, no matter what was needed," Knepp stated. "Her positive attitude and smile is a constant reminder to all to keep moving forward, striving to achieve more, in all walks of life."

At GC's commencement, it was announced that later this month, the Kalie Hostulter Ashby Academic Achievement Fund will award its first scholarships to two dual enrollment students who will be coming to Garrett College this fall.

Additionally, in recognition of Ashby's distinguished alumnus accomplishments, this year's "Distinguished Alumni Award Scholarship" will be awarded to a Southern Garrett High School graduate in her name.

Brittney Hostutler, Kalie's sister, accepted the award at commencement.

"Words cannot express the gratitude I have for Garrett College and the Alumni Association. Kalie was so hardworking, and accomplished so much in her short time here," Hostutler stated. "I can only imagine what else she would be doing today. I was beyond blessed to have her as my sister, friend, and role model."

Ashby is the second recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.