The history of Kent State University can be seen in the diversity of architecture styles and the commitment to refurbishing historically significant buildings on campus.
The history of Kent State University can be seen in the diversity of architecture styles and the commitment to refurbishing historically significant buildings on campus.

About Kent State History

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The History of an Ohio University

Since its founding as a teacher-training school in 1910, Kent State has become an engine for economic, cultural and workforce development in the region and beyond as a premiere university in Ohio. This Ohio university has also earned acclaim for applying new knowledge to address the needs of the communities it serves and society as a whole through a vast array of continuing education courses and much more. To learn more about the university's history and what makes it one of the best colleges in Ohio, explore the links below.

A History of Kent State University

Read about the history of Kent State University, written by William H. Hilldebrand, professor emeritus of English, from the beginnings of the Kent State Normal School through nearly a century of university pride.

Commencement Nostalgia

Fast forward or rewind to the milestone of graduation by visiting this web page, where you'll find links to academic regalia, the alma mater and the mace. Also access the Kent Stage fight song, victory march and hymn.

Former University Presidents

Want to find out more about Kent State's past presidents? Here you can find a listing of former Kent State presidents along with links to biographical and other information about them.

May 4, 1970

Find links to some major sites devoted to understanding and commemorating the events of May 4, 1970, in which four Kent State students were killed and nine wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen.

  • May 4 Visitors Center

The Visitors Center was established Oct. 20, 2012, for the purpose of educating students and the public about the shooting of 13 Kent State students by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970.

The Kent State University School

Use this site to find classmates of the former K-12 school, located for many years on the Kent Campus.

University Timeline

This timeline offers a concise summary of major milestones in the history of Kent State University, one of the most memorable Ohio colleges.

  • Centennial Celebration – 2010
    The university celebrated its 100th year throughout the year of 2010, which included burying a time capsule on Risman Plaza near the Kent Student Center Kiva.

Victory Bell

The original Victory Bell, located on the Kent State University Commons near Taylor Hall, has stood as a symbol of Kent State pride since the early 1950s. It was erected to unify the student body with the help of Kent State’s Alpha Phi Omega chapter. The fraternity also built a second, mobile bell deemed “Victory Bell II” a few years later to take the tradition off campus. Both the original Victory Bell and its second iteration were primarily rung after an athletic win.

After years of silence from the tradition, the Kent State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics was approached by Kent State alumni Buzz, ’67, and Marilyn, ’71, Starner to reintroduce a victory bell. Promoting and supporting Kent State traditions was a top priority for the Starners, who have both been active supporters of Kent State Athletics for more than 30 years.

The new victory bell was selected from a foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2011 and formally donated to the athletics department by the Starners in 2012. It is estimated to be more than a century old and previously occupied a bell tower. The 500-pound bell makes its way to and from the majority of Kent State Athletics’ home contests and is rung when a university team is victorious. The honor of who rings the bell after a win is determined by each team.