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Department of Sociology News

Kent State University’s Department of Sociology Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Posted Aug. 27, 2012
enter photo description
Pictured above is a historical photo of
Kent Hall, former location of Kent State's
Department of Sociology, (it is now
located in Merrill Hall).

This fall, Kent State’s Department of Sociology will celebrate its 75th anniversary. The department was founded in 1937 by James T. Laing. The celebration begins Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. with a reception and presentation by Glen Elder, Ph.D., a distinguished sociologist from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Kent State University alumnus.

On Friday, Oct. 12, there will be programs including a keynote address by Bernice Pescosolido, Ph.D., of Indiana University, a film by Kent State Associate Professor Will Kalkhoff, Ph.D., on the history of the department, a panel of Kent State alumni talking about their time at the university and a panel on current departmental research with current faculty and doctoral students. The day will end with a tour of the May 4 National Historic Landmark site guided by Jerry M. Lewis, Ph.D.

During the celebration, Kent State alumni will receive a new award developed by the department. This award – the Oscar Ritchie Distinguished Alumni Award – is named for the first African-American to become a full professor in the Ohio Higher Education System. The Oscar Ritchie Distinguished Alumni Award will be given annually to recognize alumni contributions in the areas of teaching, research or service.

More information about the anniversary celebration and registration to attend the events will be announced soon.  RSVP for the event to Vanessa Decker at the Department of Sociology at or call 330-672-8339.