By Matt Windsor

richard cashio scholarship

Richard Cashio and scholarship recipient Dylan Fulton

Richard Cashio knows a good investment when he sees one. An organizing director and board member for Servis First Bank who also has run two successful businesses in the steel industry, Cashio was interested in partnering with UAB, his alma mater, to help a new generation of students. “I wanted to give back,” says Cashio, who graduated in 1979 with a degree in political science.

The Blazing the Way Scholarship Match Initiative, which launched in 2018, was a perfect fit. For annual scholarships, the program doubles a donor’s investment with a one-to-one match from UAB. For endowed scholarships, such as the one Cashio and his wife, Amy, established in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences in June 2018, UAB provides the full amount of the scholarship payout for two years and supplements the payout for another two years, enabling student recipients to start benefiting from the award while the full pledge builds. That means that the Cashios didn’t have to wait to see their gift make an immediate impact. The Amy and Richard Cashio Endowed Scholarship is already helping UAB students realize their dreams.

Music and memories

In January, Cashio met the endowed scholarship’s first beneficiary, Dylan Fulton, a freshman in the Department of Music. Fulton, who is from the small town of Kennedy in west Alabama, chose UAB for its well-known and well-equipped music technology program. He played the alto sax in the Pride of the Tigers marching band at Fayette County High School and has the same role with the Marching Blazers. He was on the field for UAB football’s big win at the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl in December 2018. “My parents saw me on TV,” Fulton says. “It was an amazing experience.”

Although his contribution wasn't musical, Cashio also played a role in the return of UAB Football as a contributor and member of the fundraising committee for the UAB Athletics campaign, which has raised more than $50 million since 2015. And, like Fulton, he has his own Fayette County connections. His wife’s father lived there. And when he was growing up in Homewood, Alabama, Cashio was friends with one of the sons of legendary WVOK radio personality Joe Rumore—who frequently advertised Golden Eagle Syrup, headquartered in Fayette County, on the air. “He was always going on about how good it was on fried chicken,” Cashio recalls.

Learn more about Scholarship Match opportunities and increase the impact of your gift by contacting David Allen, Assistant Vice President for Development, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fulton says the Golden Eagle plant is still a landmark in downtown Fayette. And he has his own sights set on radio fame. He plans to be a producer, “working with other artists and developing a radio-friendly sound that people want to share,” he explains. Fulton says when he toured UAB as a high-school student, the music department’s professional-level recording studio, including a top-of-the-line Avid S5 Fusion console, got his attention. “I’ve always been fascinated by how music is built and marketed and the creative process behind it.”

The Cashio scholarship “has made it possible for me to continue pursuing my degree,” Fulton says. “As the first person out of a working middle-class family to go to college, it is important for me to earn a degree.”

Staying true

In the mid-1970s, when Cashio was working to pay his way through school, UAB’s campus was far more humble, he notes. “But I liked it here and I had a good experience. It suited me well.” He chose political science because he enjoyed history and politics and, traumatized by algebra, he wanted to avoid math for a while.

scholarships

After graduation, he went into the steel business and became CEO of Tricon Metals & Services before founding TASSCO, where also served as CEO. “You never know where your career is going to take you,” Cashio told Fulton during their meeting. “Stay true to what you enjoy and do the best job you can.”

“My great-grandma always used to say, ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing right,’” Fulton agreed, nodding. “Our family has taken that phrase to heart.”

"Your great-grandma is right,” Cashio said. “You keep at it, and people will notice – and that will take you places.”