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Advancement News

A Message From Ron Pizzuti, Centennial Campaign Chair

Posted May. 5, 2009

Ron PizzutiNinety-nine years ago, Kent State University began its storied history when it was selected as the site for a new institution to educate teachers. Students arrived three years later, and in the decades that followed, hundreds of thousands of scholars have secured their future with degrees from award-winning programs that span business to journalism, fashion to psychology. Along the way, faculty and student researchers have pushed the boundaries of human knowledge in fields from liquid crystals to conflict resolution to fuel cells. And our work has been an important economic driver in Ohio and beyond.

It’s with our first 100 years in mind that I write to tell you about a critical and thrilling effort to build the foundation for the next 100: the Centennial Campaign. This initiative has a goal of raising $250 million for our endowment, capital projects and current operating funds, with emphasis on student scholarships.

Students are at the campaign’s core: Our vision for the future includes technology and facilities that provide the latest educational tools; real-world and international programs, such as research, internships and study-abroad; and increased opportunities for first-time and underrepresented scholars through merit- and need-based scholarships. This fall, we will kick off the public phase of the campaign.

In the current economic climate, it might seem difficult to embark upon this effort. But our momentum is strong, as university staff and volunteers have been working on the quiet phase of the Centennial Campaign for the past few years. During that time, individuals, foundations and corporations have committed to $154.9 million through outright and planned gifts, bequests and grants. Supporters have endowed 322 new funds, including 261 new scholarships. They’ve also provided for new buildings for arts, science, health care and communications, among others. We’re confident that despite this temporary downturn, the campaign will achieve its ambitious goal.

I encourage you to think about how you might become involved with this vital and exciting campaign. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit our new Centennial Campaign website. You can also contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 330-672-2222 or

Thank you for your continued support of Kent State.

Ron Pizzuti, '62
Centennial Campaign Chair