Joseph Lightfoot

Joseph Lightfoot

Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management, 2013

“I love the community on campus; it’s like one big family.”


Joseph Lightfoot, 22, transferred to Ashford University after attending a community college for two years. “I was looking for a school and a basketball program where I could finish out my degree and be comfortable.”

After being contacted by the Ashford men’s basketball coaches, Joseph visited the campus in Clinton, IA with several of his family members and found the tight-knit environment to be just what he was looking for. “I knew this was the place for me to be.” 

As time went on, his gut feeling proved to be right. “I love the community on campus; it’s like one big family. Because it’s a smaller campus, everybody knows everybody.” And he witnessed an evolution of sorts over the past two years. “When I first came, a lot of renovations were being done. Smart rooms, computer labs, the science wing, and all the things they’re doing outside in the courtyard. The campus is really growing a lot, and it’s a special place.”

Joseph was not only pleased with the Clinton campus, but also with the intimate learning environment its small size affords. “It was very personal, which I needed a lot. Classes were not huge. Teachers could have a direct conversation with you, which was really nice.”

Joseph, who attended Ashford on “just about a full ride basketball scholarship,” wants to use his Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management to become an athletic director, ideally at the very high school he went to. 

A special aspect to Joseph’s story is the fact that he and his mother took classes at Ashford simultaneously, but she did so using the institution’s online modality. The two were even able to graduate together. Together at their commencement ceremony, Joseph told us, “Today is very outstanding for me because I know that it’s all over, finally being finished with school. And having a special opportunity to graduate with my mother is unbelievable.”

Standing in cap and gown, the pride the two felt for their own accomplishments and each other’s was clear. “It really seems surreal, seeing as we worked so hard,” said Joseph. “So to actually see it come full circle is wonderful.

Read Joseph’s mother Claudia’s story about attending Ashford online here.