In 2019, Perry Streidel, Class of 1975 and member of Hiram College’s Board of Trustees, along with his husband, Jim Asp, hosted student scholars from the James A. Garfield Center for Public Leadership at their home in Washington, DC. The students had been in the DC area for a program, but Streidel and Asp were happy to host a brunch and chat with the students about their trip, sharing a bit of their passion for travel as well. The brunch was one instance of Streidel and Asp’s continuing gifts to Hiram students and student travel. They have both been supporters of the College for years, and their support continues with this year’s Hiram Giving Day.

Streidel, the first in his family to attend college, studied history while at Hiram. Although he had originally intended to study political science with the goal of attending law school, his history professors—particularly Wilson Hoffman, professor emeritus of history—uncovered a passion in Streidel for the subject. He attributes his ability to think creatively and in new ways with his studies at Hiram, which prepared him for a career outside of the family vintage clothing and textile industry. Although he started his career in the family business, he eventually left to chart his own path into finance. Streidel spent a career in the mortgage and banking industries and retired from Bank of America as associate vice president.

“One of the best parts of Hiram is the opportunity to expand your experiences and get involved in different things,” says Streidel. “That is what Hiram is all about.” And Streidel, along with his husband, has stayed involved in his alma mater. Streidel joined the Board of Trustees in 2018, and both he and Asp have helped Hiram students through funding for travel abroad and for student organizations supporting LGTBQ populations. “Jim and I like to support Hiram, because we know the College makes a difference,” Streidel says. “We want to help students realize their dreams.”

Throughout the week of April 26, members of the Hiram community will be recognizing the impact that gifts, like those from Streidel and Asp, can make at the College. As part of the Philanthropy Week activities, the campus was decorated with orange tags, indicating to those on campus the buildings, equipment, programs, and more that were made possible due to philanthropic support.

Philanthropy Week will end with the 5th Hiram Giving Day, when alumni, friends of the College and many others will come together to show their support. Thanks to Streidel and Asp, the first $30,000 the College raises that day will be doubled. Asp, who has spent his career in development at organizations like Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital and the Nature Conservancy, recommends giving back to organizations that hold personal importance: “Philanthropy makes you feel good. And on Giving Day, we wanted to show our support to Hiram College, where we know students will receive experiences that will enrich their lives.”

To learn more about the 5th Hiram Giving Day and how you can support Hiram College on April 30, please use this link.

by Phil Eaves

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