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Alyson Rae Von Handorf

Aly’s Purpose - The Alyson Rae Von Handorf Scholarship

"Aly changed the lives of everyone who knew her. This scholarship, Aly’s Purpose, will enable her to continue changing the lives of others while preserving her memory and spirit forever."

Jeff Von Handorf and Mary Beiting recently established a scholarship in honor of their daughter, Alyson “Aly” Rae Von Handorf. Aly passed away at the age of 32 in February of 2022.

The Alyson Rae Von Handorf Scholarship—Aly's Purpose—will support an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing studies in special education.

“Aly had an inner sweetness and a smile that could light up a room. People were naturally drawn to her.”

Aly was born with a rare condition called San Filippo Syndrome. She lived her life with special needs and benefitted from many individuals who dedicated their lives to serving people with disabilities.

“The doctor who diagnosed Aly’s condition told us ‘Your lives would be changed forever.’ He was right—because she changed many lives, but for the better.”

Having overcome numerous hardships throughout her life, Jeff and Mary describe Aly as resilient and said she lived with a “whatever it takes” attitude.

“She was always the toughest person in the room.”

Jeff and Mary, along with their youngest daughter Becky, are graduates of NKU. They hope the scholarship helps a student who has a passion for serving the special needs population.

“We are grateful to Mr. Von Handorf and Ms. Beiting for supporting our learners through this scholarship,” said Dean Ginni Fair.

Applicants must be a degree seeking undergraduate or graduate student pursuing studies in special education to be eligible for Aly's Purpose—The Alyson Rae Von Handorf Scholarship.

Students can apply by contacting Financial Aid. To learn about scholarships for education majors and how to apply, visit

If you’d like to make a gift to Aly’s Purpose—The Alyson Rae Von Handorf Scholarship, visit