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Community Event Will Celebrate Successful Partnership Between Kent State and City of Kent

Oct. 4 event also marks official opening of the new Kent State University Esplanade extension that now physically links the university to downtown Kent

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Pictured is the new Kent State University Esplanade
arch. Kent State and the city of Kent will celebrate their
successful partnership on Oct. 4 with a community
event that also marks the official opening of the new
University Esplanade extension that now physically links
the university to downtown Kent.

A community celebration of the solid partnership between Kent State University and the city of Kent, represented by the new Kent State University Esplanade extension that now connects the university to downtown Kent, will take place Friday, Oct. 4, starting at 3:30 p.m. The celebratory event will be held, rain or shine, at the new University Esplanade arch near Main and Willow streets in Kent. It is free and open to members of the public, and refreshments will be served.

The University Esplanade is built around the economic development of downtown Kent, and is a vital connection between the university and downtown projects that include PARTA’s new Kent Central Gateway multimodal transit center, and private developments from Acorn Alley and Fairmount Properties, to the new Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. It also provides a physical link and safe pathway for students to visit, enjoy and patronize local businesses; connects residents and visitors to the Kent Campus; and serves as a catalyst for changing the economy of the region by creating new jobs, spurring new investment and generating taxes to the state and local economy.

The celebration and official opening of the University Esplanade on Oct. 4 will begin with remarks from university, city and government officials. It will include the dedication of a newly planted pin oak Partnership Tree, generously donated by the Kent-based Davey Tree Expert Company, that symbolizes the town-gown partnership. Also on display at the event will be the Partnership Tree float that is modeled after the new University Esplanade arch and Partnership Tree. From 4-6 p.m., following the dedication and tree planting, attendees will have the opportunity to be a part of the float by signing their names and writing personalized messages on handcrafted leaves, which will then be hung on the Partnership Tree parade float. The float will be in Kent State’s Homecoming Parade on Oct. 5 at 11 a.m.

The successful collaboration between Kent State and the city of Kent has been recognized by several publications, including The New York Times, and by the International Town-Gown Association, which bestowed its inaugural award on Kent State and the city of Kent for the town-gown relationship that best represents the spirit of the association.

Kent State is making one of the largest investments related to higher education in the region and in Portage County. The university’s “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” initiative includes the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades to existing buildings and the creation of dynamic, new spaces at its Kent Campus and Regional Campuses.

For more information about the “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” initiative, visit

Posted Sept. 30, 2013 | Foluke Omosun

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Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Hitting Facility Takes Place Oct. 5

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A groundbreaking ceremony for the new baseball and
softball hitting facility, a part of Kent State University's
"Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future" initiative,
will take place Oct. 5 at Schoonover Stadium.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new baseball and softball hitting facility is set to take place Saturday, Oct. 5, at 9:30 a.m. at Schoonover Stadium.

Members of the Kent State University administration and the athletic department will take part in the ceremony. Student-athletes and coaches of both the baseball and softball teams will also be on hand to kick off the construction.

The state-of-the-art indoor practice facility will include batting cages, dirt pitching mounds, weight training equipment and offices.

The project is made possible by a lead gift of $500,000 by Dave Edmonds, ’80, and a generous donation of $100,000 by Tom Cole, ’72, both of whom are Kent State baseball alumni. Additionally, there were other gifts of between $5,000 and $25,000 in support of the project.

“Both Dave and Tom understand the resources needed to ensure that Kent State baseball remains the preeminent baseball program in the MAC and have a constant presence in NCAA post-season play,” says Matthew Geis, senior associate athletic director and executive director of advancement. “The construction of this hitting facility is one more piece to transforming an already impressive Schoonover Complex.”

The facility upgrade is part of the Building Champions initiative, the biggest fundraising initiative in the history of the athletic department that was announced earlier this year. The initiative will generate money from private donors to fund a $25 million dollar investment in athletic scholarships and a $35 million dollar investment in various enhancement projects.

On a larger scale, the project is also part of the university's "Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future initiative." This campus transformation involves the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and the establishment of dynamic, new spaces. The university has embarked on a major, multifaceted initiative to make each of Kent State's eight campuses everything a world-class, 21st-century campus should be, for the sake of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community enriched by the institution.

Changes to the Kent Campus are mirrored in the incredible renaissance of downtown Kent, strengthening the town-gown relationship and creating the enriching experience of a rising college town.

The hitting facility is part of continuing upgrades to the Kent State baseball facilities at Schoonover Stadium. In 2005, a field turf surface was installed, along with an underground drainage system, new dugouts, bullpens, backstop and outfield fencing. For the 2007 season, a home locker room, players' lounge, restrooms and concession stand were added. The updated scoreboard in right field was installed in 2008. Last season, Kent State baseball played night games after the addition of lights at Schoonover Stadium. The hitting facility and a new parking area for the 2014 season are made possible by both public and private funding.

For more information about Kent State athletics, visit

Posted Sept. 30, 2013

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Free Speech Icon Makes Stop in Kent on Nationwide Tour

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Mary Beth Tinker will speak to the Kent
State community on Oct. 1 during her
nationwide tour of high schools and
colleges. Tinker was at the center of a
landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision
on student rights in 1969.

Mary Beth Tinker, who was at the center of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on student rights, will visit Kent State University on Tuesday, Oct. 1, as part of a nationwide civics education tour to American high schools and colleges. She will share her personal story and the significance of the court’s decision with its declaration in 1969 that neither teachers nor students “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Tinker will speak to students, faculty, staff and community members on Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom as part of the Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) Regional Workshop. The hourlong session is free and open to the public.

"Tinker spoke at our OSMA state convention last year, and her message really inspired those who heard her," says OSMA Director Candace Perkins Bowen, who is also an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and director of the Center for Scholastic Journalism (CSJ) at Kent State.

Tinker was the lead plaintiff in the landmark 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. The case arose after she and two other students in Des Moines, Iowa, were suspended for wearing black armbands to school to mourn those who had died in the Vietnam War. The court upheld students’ First Amendment right to express themselves nondisruptively in public schools. To this day, the case sets the legal standard for students’ free-speech rights.

Today, the Tinker ruling continues to protect students’ rights and has been cited by judges in almost 6,000 student cases. It is included in most American civics and history textbooks.

Tinker is traveling the country in a colorful 29-foot RV that is sure to attract the attention of motorists and students alike. In all, the Tinker Tour will visit 19 states and the District of Columbia, including Tinker’s own junior high school in Des Moines, where it all began. The goal of the Tinker Tour is to bring real-life civics lessons to schools and communities through Tinker’s story and those of other young people.

Accompanying Tinker on the tour is Mike Hiestand, who has written and lectured extensively on legal issues affecting the student media and worked for more than 20 years as an attorney for the Student Press Law Center.

"Mary Beth Tinker is one of the most important activists in the nation for the civil rights of young people," says Mark Goodman, Kent State professor and Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism. "It's a great honor for Kent State to be able to host her and Mike Hiestand as they travel the nation this fall."

The Student Press Law Center (SPLC),, is the presenting sponsor of the tour. The SPLC is a nonprofit organization with nearly 40 years of experience supporting youth voices and is assisting the tour with organizational and promotional assistance. The SPLC is an advocate for, and provides programming in the areas of, student First Amendment rights, for transparency in government, for youth civic engagement and for online civility.

The tour has the endorsement of dozens of education and civil-liberties organizations, including the NAACP, the Journalism Education Association, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, the American Constitution Society, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Constitution Center and many more. Both the Ohio Scholastic Media Association and Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State helped to fund the Tinker Tour.

For more information on the Tinker Tour, visit The tour can also be followed on Twitter at #tinkertour and on Facebook at TinkerTour.

For more information about the Tinker Tour stop at Kent State, contact Bowen at 330-672-8297 or Goodman at 330-672-6239.

Posted Sept. 30, 2013

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Enjoy Free Coffee Oct. 4 at Nuts about Coffee

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The Kent State University Alumni Association will kick-off
the Homecoming weekend with Nuts about Coffee on Oct. 4.
Kent State faculty and staff are invited to sample signature
coffees from local Kent coffeehouses.

Don’t forget to stop by the Williamson Alumni Center’s Hospitality Tent at 1200 East Main St. between 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4. to enjoy free coffee samples. Downtown Kent coffee shops will be offering samples of their signature blend for faculty and staff to taste. After sampling, vote for your favorite coffee to help decide which Kent coffeehouse can lay claim to having the best coffee in town.

For more information, visit

Posted Sept. 30, 2013

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Kent State School of Theatre and Dance Presents the Timeless Farce, She Stoops to Conquer

The highly amusing production will delight audiences; costumes will amaze

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Theatre major Emily Cline (Miss Kate Hardcastle) gets
fitted for her lavish 18th-century gown by alumna and
veteran costumer Grace Cochran Keenan, '08. Costume
design is by graduate student Susan Williams.

Kent State University’s School of Theatre and Dance opens its 2013-2014 season with Irish author Oliver Goldsmith’s comedy of manners She Stoops to Conquer running Oct. 4–13 in Wright-Curtis Theatre, 1325 Theatre Drive in the Center for Performing Arts (formerly Music and Speech Building). For tickets, call 330-672-ARTS (2787), purchase online at or in person at the Performing Arts Box Office located in the Roe Green Center lobby at 1325 Theatre Drive, Monday - Friday, noon to 5 p.m.

Tickets are $16 for adults; $14 for Kent State alumni, faculty and staff; $12 for seniors (60+); and $8 for college students outside of Kent State or 18 years and under. All full-time, Kent Campus undergraduate students are free of charge. Groups of 10 or more are $10 per person. The box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks and cash. Opening night is Friday, Oct. 4, and features a free reception following the production.

The play, which was first performed in London in 1773, is a great, generous-hearted and ingenious comedy of the English language, which offers a celebration of chaos, courtship and the dysfunctional family.

The production is directed by professor and equity actor Eric van Baars, who comes off his recent Porthouse Theatre directorial debut of Fiddler on the Roof, which played to record numbers and glowing reviews this summer. Graduate student and equity actress Tracee Patterson assists van Baars in directing the performance. The production features the talents of costume design graduate student Susan Williams, scenic design by Ben Williams, lighting design by Dave Ruggles, technical direction by Ryan T. Patterson and production stage management by Cullen Motak.

“This play is mischievous and silly,” says van Baars. “It’s been so much fun to direct the students and watch them discover their comedic timing in this timeless farce. Audiences are in for a real treat. Not to mention that the costumes are astonishingly lavish and authentic.”

The School of Theatre and Dance celebrates its 100th anniversary on Oct. 25 with the opening of Plain and Fancy directed by Terri Kent, professor and director of the musical theatre program and artistic director of Porthouse Theatre. A special dinner to raise scholarship funds will take place in the EZ Theatre on Oct. 25. For more information, contact the School of Theatre and Dance at 330-672-2082.

Posted Sept. 30, 2013

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Daily Kent Stater Digital Archive Celebration

Join in celebrating the Daily Kent Stater digital archive during an open house on Friday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the first floor, quiet study area in University Library. Issues of the Daily Kent Stater from 1959-1969 are now available online at

The Daily Kent Stater digital archive is a multiyear project to digitize every issue of the Kent Stater/Daily Kent Stater campus newspaper. The pilot project, now complete and funded by the Kent State University Libraries, includes issues dating from fall 1959 through fall 1969.

Also included are issues of the Kent Summer News published during that time period. Please come, relax and enjoy refreshments while you view posters and other archived images projected on two large presentation screens of archived Daily Kent Stater articles, ads and images.

For more information about University Libraries, visit

Posted Sept. 30, 2013 | Karen Hillman

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Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center Presents Celebrating Our Own on Oct. 1

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Pictured are Kent State University students at the Wick
Poetry Center's Celebrating Our Own event last year.

Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center invites faculty, staff, students and other members of the community to Celebrating Our Own, the annual undergraduate and high school scholarship reading, on Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will honor Ian Bennett, winner of the Wick Poetry Center’s first annual National Teen Writing Contest. Bennett is a student at South Carolina Governor’s School of Arts and Humanities.

Winners of the undergraduate scholarship reading competitions include Kent State students Thomas Freeman, Leanna Lostoki, Mark Zurlo and Joshua Jones. High school student winners who will be recognized at the event are Ashley Spangler, Taylor Jacob and Kaley Utz.

Poet Carolyn Creedon, winner of the 2011 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, judged the contest.

“Celebrating Our Own is really at the heart of the Wick Poetry Center’s mission, which is to encourage and support new voices,” says Jessica Jewell, program manager for the Wick Poetry Center. “Each year, Wick awards more than $30,000 in tuition scholarships to Kent State. The Celebrating Our Own reading is our way of congratulating these extraordinary students and also giving the community a chance to hear Kent State’s emerging young poets.”

For more information about Celebrating Our Own and other Wick Poetry Center events, visit

Posted Sept. 30, 2013

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Elevator Pitch Competition and Professional Fair

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Kent State University's Blackstone LaunchPad will host an
elevator pitch competition on Oct. 3 from 5:30- 8 p.m. on the
fourth of floor of University Libraries.

Imagine walking into an elevator and finding yourself face-to-face with a venture capitalist or CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Do you have what it takes to pitch your business or professional skills before they reach their stop? Give it a shot during Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad elevator pitch competition on Oct. 3 from 5:30-8 p.m. on the fourth of floor of University Libraries. The winner will take home $500. The competition is open to Kent State students, but all are welcome to attend.

Those not competing can network and grab refreshments while prepping at the professional job fair with services available, such as business card printing, LinkedIn profiles, professional etiquette and personal websites.

For more information, visit

Posted Sept. 30, 2013

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