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Robert Luft Named Ashford University's Outstanding Alum of the Month
Robert Luft, Ashford University's Alum of the Month.

Growing up in a family where education was not a top priority, Robert Luft had a firsthand account of the lack of career opportunities that can accompany the lack of a college education. Therefore, he made the decision to place obtaining a college education as a top priority to better position himself for success.

Luft grew up in the impoverished Over-the-Rhine and Price Hill neighborhoods of Cincinnati. He was raised by a single mother who did not finish high school. The family got by thanks to help from a foodbank, local churches, and public assistance programs. It was a difficult upbringing, during which Luft attended four different high schools—but in the end, he was able to graduate.

Luft quickly realized the limitations of a high school diploma. In his first job, he worked as a janitor for the Citizen’s Committee on Youth, a program that served underprivileged children and provided summer jobs to teens. That job taught Luft the value of hard work, and it imbued him with a desire to overcome the circumstances into which he was born.

Looking for a path to success, Luft turned to the military. He enlisted as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army, an experience that helped him to grow into a leader. While in the Army, Luft decided to further his education. Being an active-duty soldier, he needed to find a school that would accommodate his unique needs. “As a member of the U.S. Army, I had the honor to serve on multiple deployments that placed me in a position where conventional college courses were not an option,” said Luft.

Ashford was the ideal choice for Luft. “The faculty and staff were nothing short of spectacular. Their willingness to provide academic accommodation during my deployments while ensuring that I maintained the academic standards set by Ashford University had a profound impact on me,” said Luft.

Luft earned his bachelor of arts in Public Relations and Marketing from Ashford in 2012. “Ashford University allowed me to pursue my dream of completing my college education and continue to serve at the same time. I can proudly say that I completed my bachelor’s while serving in Saudi Arabia,” Luft said.

It is a degree that has served Luft well in his career path since leaving the military. “After returning home from active duty, I was able to obtain a position with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in their Leaders in Motion (LIM) program. LIM is a highly selective management development program that requires a bachelor’s degree to be considered for entry. My selection into this program can be considered a direct result of Ashford’s commitment to the education of military personnel,” explained Luft.

The future looks bright for Luft. He has started his own business called Surefire Innovations and is applying the knowledge he gained at Ashford.

“Ashford University provided a platform that allowed me to serve my country, enhance my professional skill sets, and complete my degree requirements.”


About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs online, allowing students to balance life by providing the flexibility to do school work anywhere, anytime. For more information, please visit,,, or call Marianne Perez, Media Relations Manager, at 858.513.9240 x11636.