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Advancement News

Devine Makes $1.2 Million Bequest

Posted Sep. 24, 2009

The public phase of Kent State University’s Centennial Campaign received its first major gift in the form of a $1.2 million bequest from Judy Devine.

A long-time member of the Kent State Athletic Department and a 2003 inductee into the Varsity “K” Athletic Hall of Fame, Devine¹s pledge will fund the Judith K. Devine Athletic Equity Endowment and is the third-largest gift in the history of Kent State Athletics.

“The intent of the Athletics Equity Endowment is to provide funding to ensure that all future generations of Kent State female student-athletes will receive equity in access, provision and opportunity in all facets of their intercollegiate athletic experience,” Devine says. “Once that standard of equity is met, the endowment is designed to help ensure the long-term well-being of all athletes by supplementing the athletics scholarship fund for all sports.”

Coupled with her gift in the fall of 2008 that went towards the expansion of Kent State’s Academic Resource Center in addition to permanently endowing the Athletic Academic Honors Dinner, Devine¹s contributions towards the Centennial Campaign now total more than $1.4 million.

“Judy’s longtime support of athletics has ensured our student-athletes have the best resources to achieve at the highest academic levels,” Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton says. “Her latest commitment will allow Kent State to be a leader in addressing gender-equity issues as they pertain to Title IX, and is once again a testament to her remarkable vision of the modern needs of our athletics program.”

Considered the matriarch of Kent State University Athletics, Devine retired from her post as associate athletic director in 2000 following 31 years in a variety of roles within the department. She came to Kent State as a graduate assistant in 1969 and went on to serve for two seasons as the first head coach of the women¹s basketball team, in addition to directing the field hockey team from its inception in 1975 through the 1980 campaign.

When the men’s and women¹s athletic programs were merged in 1975, she was given the responsibilities of assistant director of athletics before being elevated to associate A.D. in 1978. At the time of her retirement, she coordinated financial aid, housing, awards and the academic performance of Kent State¹s student-athletes. She also handled compliance and eligibility until 1999.

“Having had the opportunity to work with Judy and getting to appreciate her values and her goals for Kent State intercollegiate athletics, I¹m so honored to have her become one of the major benefactors to our wonderful university,” Kent State Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy says. “Judy is a shining example of what is right about college athletics and support for our student-athletes.”