An art student painting

Because of the smell of oil paints

Karen Novotny Tischer

Karen is making a significant estate gift, in honor of her parents.

Kent State is responsible for Karen Novotny Tischer’s existence, as she tells it. Her mother wouldn’t marry her father — legendary professor Elmer Novotny — until he got a “real job.” Kent State provided that, as well as deep memories that remain today.

Karen still remembers the smell of linseed oil and turpentine, the scents of an oil-painting artist. Her father was the longtime director of the School of Art — and the artist responsible for painting the portrait of every Kent State president until his retirement. As a child, she would quietly watch her father at work in his studio, and served as a model in his drawing classes.

It’s those warm memories of early days at the university that drive Karen’s significant estate gift. The trust will add to an existing scholarship named for her parents — two people whose partnership greatly benefited Kent State and who continue to be an important force in their daughter’s life today.