Emory & Henry College Announces the Ashleigh “Stardust” Langbein Memorial Fund to Provide Support for Theatre Students

by Billy Chandler

Emory & Henry College is proud to announce the formal dedication of the Ashleigh “Stardust” Langbein Memorial Fund scholarship with a signing ceremony on Friday, February 3, 2023, at 10 a.m. in the Calliopean Room located in Byars Hall at the Emory campus.

The ceremony began with welcoming words from Vice President for Advancement, Greg McMillan, and opening remarks from Emory & Henry President, Dr. John W. Wells.

Dr. Kelly Bremner, theatre department chair, reflected on memories of Ashleigh as a student. “I got to know the tiny force of nature that was Ashleigh. In class, her hand was nearly always up; So eager to dig into what we were learning,” she said. “Ashleigh’s energy was a constant in my classroom that semester,” she added, referring to Ashleigh’s second semester at the College.

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Langbein Scholarship Signing (Feb, 3, 2023)

The fund was initiated in 2020 with the intent of providing support opportunities for theatre students to expand their training beyond the College through related workshops and conferences and will help these students continue their education while keeping Ashleigh’s memory alive in the campus community. Students Madison Harosky ’24 and Camille Hoad ’24 will have the opportunity to access professional development opportunities with the Memorial Fund. “We are so grateful that these funds are being made available to us and our peers, and we know how much it would mean to Ashleigh to be a part of helping us reach our full potential,” said Harosky ’24. “Having heard so many incredible stories about Ashleigh and the person that she was, we know that the students that receive help from these funds will feel her love just like we have during our time so far with the Emory & Henry Theatre Department.”

A memorial walkway, named Ashleigh’s Way, was donated by her family during the Duck Pond renovation in 2019, which was one of Ashleigh’s study spots on campus. In addition, a memorial tree was planted by her sorority sisters at a 2017 Tree of Life Celebration in front of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts, home of the theatre department. At the ceremony, Dr. Bremner stated at the beginning of each semester, she takes “a moment with Ashleigh’s tree” to ground herself in the upcoming semester and thinks of her desire to support her students through good times and bad, and reflects on Ashleigh’s light.

The ceremony concluded with remarks from Ashleigh’s parents and co-founders of the Ashleigh Langbein Project, Russell and Paula Langbein, who visited from Katy, Texas to attend the signing in honor of their daughter. “Ashley was a student who created her own path,” said her father, Russell Langbein. “She explored and embraced her uniqueness and wanted to connect in some manner with those she crossed paths with. She saw the light in everyone. We hope this gift will support future students to dig a little deeper in their love of theatre and one another as they continue to build their lives.”

 

Ashleigh Langbein '24

About Ashleigh:

Ashleigh Nicole “Bear” Langbein graduated from Emory & Henry College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and planned to continue her education up to the Doctoral level. Nine days shy of her 24th birthday, Ashley was killed in an incident that became a tragic loss for the Emory & Henry Community and the world.

Ashleigh was born in Orlando, Florida to Navy parents that moved often. Ashleigh lived in South Carolina, Virginia, California, Hawai’i, and Texas. Upon graduating high school, she moved to Hawai’i with plans to attend college on the islands. Shortly after her arrival, Ashleigh received word that she was offered a Presidential Scholarship at Emory & Henry and decided to move to Emory, Virginia to begin classes in 2012. Ashleigh quickly became a vibrant and active member of the E&H community. According to a biography written by Ashleigh’s parents, Paula and Russ Langbein, “Ash loved theatre and moved toward the dramaturgical aspects in keeping in line with her love of research and facts. She rushed and became a sister in Pi Sigma Kappa, and later a member of Alpha Psi Omega.”

Read more on Ashleigh Langbein ’24 on the Ashleigh Langbein Project website.

“We are honored to continue her legacy of talent through this scholarship opportunity to future students as we continue to grow the theatre department that she loved so much.”
-Kelly Bremner, Theatre Department Chair

Location:

Byars Hall

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