Dr. Lester A. Lefton

Lester A. Lefton

President, Kent State University

Because of the students

A Letter and Video Message from Lester Lefton

Frankly, that’s the priority of everything we do here at Kent State. This year’s Kent State Foundation Annual Report takes a look at some of the reasons that our donors, students, faculty, staff and alumni believe that Kent State University is worthy of their support and investments.

Students remain the priority for everything we do at Kent State. Across our eight campuses, the faculty and staff are engaged in efforts to make our curriculum as relevant to the real-world environment as possible. Our goal is to raise the profile and ranking of Kent State so that a degree from our university has more value; and to ensure financial aid is available, so that a higher education is attainable for every student.

Our focus on students makes this year’s outstanding giving by our supporters even more meaningful. For the fiscal year ending in June, donors contributed more than $42.1 million — our third straight record-breaking year. This philanthropic growth is having a remarkable effect at Kent State and a direct impact on the quality of students’ education and lives.

As you journey through this year’s Foundation Annual Report, you’ll notice how many of the gifts are directed at student scholarships and at creating an innovative student education. You will also discover what motivates that support, and the stories are inspirational. We are so grateful to everyone who has embraced the Excellence Agenda and responded with a contribution — because of your support for Kent State, our students are achieving excellence and making an impact on our future.

Lester A. Lefton
President, Kent State University

Cathy Hemming

Cathy Hemming

Chair, Board of Directors

Because of a
decades-long partnership

A Letter from cathy hemming

For more than 45 years, the Kent State University Foundation has been the primary partner to Kent State, stepping in to help accomplish its mission of creating exceptional educational opportunities for students. By accepting and stewarding private contributions, the foundation makes possible support for student scholarships, capital projects, faculty research and experiential learning initiatives.

This year, the foundation’s ability to perform actions the university cannot was even more apparent — and the potential impact on the university and its students, and the city of Kent and its residents, is even greater. For years, the university community has wished for a world-class hotel and conference center in the heart of Kent. The right facility would not only provide a home base for visitors and students’ family members, but would also create a space for symposia, meetings and other events that will build the university’s reputation within the region and beyond.

Finally, those dreams are becoming a reality, and the Kent State University Foundation is proud to be an integral part of this transformative project. Without the foundation as a partner, the new hotel and conference center probably would have remained on the drawing board. Now, the groundbreaking has taken place, and by 2013, the facility will be welcoming guests as part of the broader Kent/Kent State University revitalization.

Of course, the foundation’s important, everyday work of supporting the university continues to thrive — and it’s only possible because of your continuing contributions to support the goals of Kent State and its students. Thank you for the role you play in making possible the Kent State renaissance in which we are all proud to be a part.

Cathy Hemming
Chair, Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors