students enjoying the Lyceum Cafe

Lyceum Café a new centerpiece of the AU campus

Published on Dec. 20, 2023
Ashland University

ASHLAND, Ohio – One of the highlights of 2023 at Ashland University was the opening of the Lyceum Café, a new centerpiece on the AU main campus where students, faculty, staff and the Ashland community have been gathering for meetings, fellowship, study time and delicious food and drinks since its October opening.

Located on the completely renovated main floor of the Archer Library, the Lyceum Café is 2,075 square feet of dazzling, inviting space and complements the student support resources in place. The floor also contains the Writing and Communication Center, the IT student help desk, a flexible learning space/conference room, new furnishings and technological resources.

“What we have here is renewed, kind of a re-nourishment of what a library should be in this day and age,” remarked AU Provost Amiel Jarstfer during the dedication ceremony. “We are absolutely thrilled to have this space.”

AU President Carlos Campo reflected on the Lyceum Café being the latest example of the university’s commitment to exceptional quality in all that it does. “When I think about this project and what it will mean, we want to draw people in … the first look that people get is walking into this space and then the promise of excellence is played out in all that we do. It’s how our faculty connect with students and push them to be better, to be more excellent in all that they do and all that they think,” he said.

The distinct features of the Lyceum Café include the natural light that flows in and the eye-catching view that overlooks College Avenue and parts of campus. An atrium consisting of 1,500 square feet of glass will make the space feel bright during all seasons, open and welcoming.

Adding to the modern look is locally-sourced Amish wood and quartz-topped, cast iron furniture. The credit for the highly-praised aesthetic vision goes to Karen Campo, wife of Carlos Campo, as she selected the color scheme, the accent lighting, the flooring, the stylish furnishings and decor in great detail.

Based on the initial reaction, the Lyceum Café appears well on its way to being a major success. One alum, Harold “Bud” Boughton ‘73, joked “If this were here when I was a student, I never would have gone to class,” while Rob Pool, vice president for student affairs and auxiliary services, noted that “admission tour guides are gobsmacked” and “students are thrilled.”

The Lyceum Café, one of the last in a series of current campus beautification projects that have taken place over the last 18 months, was made possible by $1.6 million from Dwight ’64 and Martha Schar, Construction started in April and was completed in just about six months.

“When we talked to Dwight and Martha Schar about campus improvement, we talked about several of these elements of the master plan, and Dwight said ‘put them in some sort of priority,’” recalled Carlos Campo. “This (the Lyceum Café) was our No. 1 priority.”

The 63-seat café offers various baked goods, flatbreads and toasts, fresh brewed coffee, tea and espresso drinks, and grab-and-go sandwich and salad options. For more information, visit or follow the Lyceum Café on Instagram.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.