Ms. Karen Ashkar Murley '63


Ms. Karen Ashkar Murley '63Through her generous support for a variety of programs at Millersville University, Karen Ashkar Murley ’63 has made a tremendous positive impact in the lives of Millersville University students. In 2007, Murley established the first Philip C. and Karen Ashkar Murley ’63 Scholarship to be awarded to an incoming freshman. Within a short time, she created a second Murley scholarship to be awarded to a rising senior majoring in chemistry, mathematics, meteorology or physics. In 2018, she began funding the annual Karen A. Murley Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program in Chemistry (MURF). The fellowship program, offered in summer, supports two MU exceptional undergraduate chemistry majors whose original research will be published in a professional journal and whose research results will be presented at a national conference.

Ms. Murley has made contributions to the arts and humanities programs in support of new facilities and student travel opportunities, and other contributions include: Murley Recital Hall; a private study room in McNairy Library; the Ashkar Family Fund for Global Experiences (study abroad); the Millersville Marauder Marching Band Uniform Fund campaign; and funding the named scholarship in honor of Dr. Edward Rajaseelan, professor of chemistry. Most recently, she responded to the need for meal plan support for students by creating the Murley Meal Plan Support Endowed Scholarship.

After Ms. Murley completed her bachelor’s degree at Millersville State College, she then completed an MLS degree at (now) Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education.  Her professional career was with the IBM Corporation’s Components Division in Hopewell Junction, NY; there she served as research librarian, manager of library services and records management, and education program manager. As retirees, she and her husband, Philip, a mathematician, changed paths and entered the world of higher education – Philip at Marist College and Karen at Vassar College – and those experiences gave impetus to their goal of supporting academically successful undergraduate college students. Since relocating from New York to Lancaster County, Ms. Murley has served as a member of the Millersville University Foundation Board and enjoys on-campus events and interactions with imaginative, energetic, and diligent students.

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