Flagler Student’s Spirit Lives On through Memorial Scholarship

Ashley Sellers
November 29, 2023
By Nancy Moreland
If you were at Flagler College between 2018 and 2020, you might have crossed paths with Ashley Sellers ’20. With her contagious laugh, creativity, and passion for design- Ashley brought an excitement to everything she experienced at Flagler and into her career as a graphic designer.

“Ashley was a loyal friend to many, with a giving, compassionate nature, an empathetic heart, and a talent for art and design,” Tricia Sellers, Ashley’s mother said. 

Several months after her graduation from Flagler, as she was beginning her career, Ashley Sellers tragically died in an automobile accident. Despite their loss, her parents found a way to help others while honoring their remarkable daughter through a memorial scholarship. 

Ashley Sellers

As the Sellers remember their daughter, they paint a vivid picture of a talented young woman on the cusp of a promising future. Ashley’s creativity flourished through Flagler’s graphic design curriculum, yet the hardworking student also had a playful side, as evidenced by her sense of humor and "baby Yoda collection." Curious and open to adventure, Ashley’s parents said that she loved to travel and hoped to visit some of the famous European art collections she had studied in college. Always ready to lend a hand or a hug, they said her kindness touched many lives.

At Flagler, Ashley’s talents blossomed, winning her “Best of Show” at the senior graphic design portfolio show, a leadership role in the campus chapter of a national organization, and a graphic design internship.  

“Flagler College was a real turning point for Ashley,” Bob Sellers, Ashley’s father said. “She thrived there. A professor connected her with the Troika Studio internship. That gave her real-world experience and helped her get a job after college.”

After graduating from Flagler, Ashley worked as a graphic designer at Fortegra Financial in Jacksonville.  

“Ashley was thrilled with the opportunity and really enjoyed working with the graphic design team,” Tricia Sellers said. “She even got to be part of rebranding and designing the new company logo.”  

Like so many students, Flagler was a launching pad for Ashley. The young artist was passionate about design, often staying at the College art studio late into the evening. She worked on creative projects in her spare time, helping friends and small businesses with their design needs.  

Honoring Ashley Through a Place Where She Thrived

It was their daughter’s memorable experience at Flagler that motivated the Sellers to support the College as donors.  

“She was drawn to Flagler because of the small school atmosphere and inspiring campus, 
Tricia Sellers said. “The faculty and staff have always been welcoming and involved with the students’ well-being and progress. The small class sizes had a very positive impact on Ashley and gave her the opportunity to really get to know her professors.”  

They said that being part of a close-knit college community gave Ashley confidence. As an active member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), she became the design director for AIGA’s Flagler chapter.  

“A professor encouraged Ashley to take a leadership role which made her feel valued and appreciated,” Tricia Sellers recalled.  

Another professor played a pivotal role in Ashley’s trajectory by getting her an internship interview with Troika Studio, a position which she landed. The internship provided hands-on experience, and her parents said that it solidified Ashley’s commitment to her craft.

“One day, I had this overwhelming feeling it was time to create a scholarship,” Tricia Sellers said. “There couldn’t have been a better time; I honestly feel that Ashley was orchestrating the timing and gave me a nudge when she felt the time was right to get the match.”  

The perfect time which Tricia Sellers refers to was the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust matching grant opportunity. The Trust has earmarked $2 million to match donors who establish an endowed scholarship. To date, 90 donors have taken advantage of this historic incentive, pledging $1.8 million in scholarships. The College is close to meeting the Trust’s $2 million benchmark.  

“The Ashley Elizabeth Sellers Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Graphic Design  
keeps Ashley’s spirit alive by helping others,” Bob Sellers said about the endowed scholarship which has already benefited two Flagler College students.  

Leaving an Enduring Impact 

By establishing this scholarship, the Sellers said they are eager to continue helping deserving students and honoring their daughter in a meaningful way.  

“It makes me feel uplifted to create something positive out of something that was and still is, such a devastating loss for us,” Tricia Sellers said. “Ashley was such a giving person; I know she would be so happy that even now, she can give back and make a difference to someone else.” 

The Sellers said their positive experience working with Flagler’s Office of Institutional Advancement to establish the scholarship was another reason they would encourage others to support the College as donors. 

“They were helpful every step of the way and continue to be attentive if we have questions,” Tricia Sellers said. “I strongly recommend supporting Flagler; it is a wonderful college with strong programs, and a great faculty, staff, and students.”  

Though her time at Flagler was brief, Ashley’s parents believe her legacy as a committed and enthusiastic student endures through this scholarship and her example of a life well lived.  

To learn more about the Kenan match opportunity, contact Flagler’s Senior Director of Development, Jeff Davitt, MBA, CFRE, ’07 at 904-819-6489 or JDavitt@flagler.edu. 

Share This Story