Kent State University is deeply grateful to the many foundations that have generously supported the work of our faculty, staff and students. With these foundations’ support, we are able to continue to help our students understand and develop their sense of purpose, which supports their transition from students of life to persons of impact on campus, across the nation and around the globe.

We are proud to highlight the following foundations that have recently funded projects to accelerate vital research, programming and student success initiatives at Kent State. Through their generosity, they are helping advance the university’s mission to transform lives and communities through the power of discovery, learning and creative expression in an inclusive environment.

Cleveland Foundation
Amount Pledged: $15,000
In support of the Rising Scholars program, the Cleveland Foundation has awarded Kent State University Geauga a $15,000 grant through its Lake-Geauga Fund. This grant will enable promising, low-income and first-generation Geauga County students in grades 7-12 to participate in year-round, evidence-based interventions shown to increase high school graduation rates, enhance college and career readiness, improve academic attendance and performance, and prepare a technically skilled, professionally-trained workforce. Rising Scholars and their families will benefit from the comprehensive support of their school district, a Kent State Geauga mentor, university faculty and staff and the local community all working together to ensure participants discover their passion and move on with purpose, fulfilling their potential and reaching their academic and career goals.
Cleveland Foundation
Amount Pledged: $75,500 
The Cleveland Foundation has provided a $75,500 grant for Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s Creative Fusion 2019: Detroit Superior Bridge & International Student Exchange project. The grant supports an urban design project in downtown Cleveland with U.K.-based Squid Soup; this is a collaborative project that creates digital and interactive media experiences. Through this project, the designers will immerse residents and visitors in an interactive experience on the streetcar level of the Detroit Superior Bridge, by transforming this underutilized resource into a signature public space and bicycle/pedestrian connection. The grant also supports an International Design Exchange (INDEX) between Cleveland-based graduate students in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture from Kent State's College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), and the Lebanese American University in Beirut. These groups will explore commonalities between the Beirut and Cuyahoga Rivers and participate in a cross-cultural exchange of ideas between Lebanese and U.S. designers and design students.

Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. Foundation
Amount Pledged: $110,872 
A new scholarship fund has been created in honor of Rev. Dr. Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. This fund will provide scholarships to full-time, undergraduate student(s) from Summit County pursuing a degree in a liberal arts discipline, particularly Education or Political Science.  Rev. Dr. Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. was a member of the Kent State University Board of Trustees from 1982 – 1991. He received his Dr. of Divinity from Howard University. He was an ordained minister who served as associate minister at his lifelong church – Wesley Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Garrett enjoyed a historic career in public service that included a multitude of both elected and appointed positions, including positions under four United States Presidents. He founded Garrett & Co., a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm specializing in international trade. Dr. Garrett passed away in 1999 after a short but prolific life filled with inspiring accomplishments. The impact of his work and interests now lives on in this new endowment scholarship at Kent State University.

Saint Luke’s Foundation
Amount Pledged: $78,819
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Terry Schwarz
This grant will support the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s award-winning Making Our Own Space initiative. Making Our Own Space engages middle and high school students in designing and implementing their own public space improvements and amenities for commercial corridors in the Buckeye-Shaker, Mt. Pleasant, and Woodland Hills neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio.  


Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust
Amount pledged: $8,000
Primary Kent State collaborator: Student Financial Aid
This collaboration will support Last Opportunity Scholarships. These scholarships will be given to Kent State students who are residents of Akron, OH and the immediate surrounding communities in Summit County, or are graduates of the Akron Public School system with demonstrated financial need and have a minimum of 2.5 GPA. 

Schrank Family Fund of Akron Community Foundation

Amount pledged: $15,000

Primary Kent State collaborator: Justin Hilton

The Schrank Family Fund, bestowed through the Akron Community Foundation, will support a Kent State summer program offering experiential learning along with tours and competitions in various design areas for Akron Public Schools’ College and Career Academies design students and parents.


Herbert W. Hoover Foundation

Amount pledged: $140,000

Primary Kent State collaborator: Dr. Joe Ortiz

This grant, in partnership with Boston University, will help fund Science in Support of Management and Restoration in Biscayne National Park (BNP). This program will aid BNP management staff in restoring park health, maintaining ecosystem services and helping to make the park as resilient as possible to climate change through remote sensing, data portal and modeling, and monitoring of coral reef habitat.


The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation

Amount pledged: $20,000

Primary Kent State collaborator: David Jurca

This pledge will support an effort which builds on a successful pilot program piloted in 2017 in Cleveland’s La Villa Hispana neighborhood. The Making Our Own Space – La Villa Hispana Youth Workshop will promote six students from the pilot year to workshop assistants, and will engage six new youth to become community placemakers. Making Our Own Space is an after-school program, which trains middle school and high school students to design and build their own public space improvements.


Martha Holden Jennings Foundation

Amount pledged: $19,300

Primary Kent State collaborators: Dr. Linda Robertson and Dr. Mark Kretovics

This pledge supports the intense leadership institute, Creating Global Mindedness 3,which includes follow-up experiences to guide public school leaders to better understand the growing complexities of the world, and how leadership can influence schools and communities.


Peg’s Foundation

Amount Pledged: $2,500,000

Primary Kent State collaborator: J.R. Campbell

This generous pledge will fund the Margaret Clark Morgan Endowed Leadership Chair ($1,500,000), to be held by the Fashion School. Through this gift, Kent State will be able to recruit and retain the most distinguished professors and world-class leaders for this post. This pledge will also endow the Margaret Clark Morgan Study-Away Program Fund ($1,000,000), which will support direct student costs associated with participating in the Kent State Fashion School’s Study Away Program.


Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Amount pledged: $50,000

Primary Kent State collaborator: Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett

This collaboration will support a Birthing Beautiful Communities effort, which will extend the Sisters Offering Support/Sister Circle Intervention to expectant mothers in the central Cleveland neighborhood, with the goal of reducing stress and infant mortality.


Burton D. Morgan Foundation

Amount pledged: $300,000

Primary Kent State collaborator: Julie Messing

This pledge will support NEOLaunchNet programming and operations for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. LaunchNET promotes entrepreneurship and innovation, and helps clients (KSU students, faculty/staff and alumni) create new businesses or grow existing start-ups.


The Marion G. Resch Foundation

Amount pledged: $66,500

This pledge supports Kent State’s Rural Scholars Program at our Salem and East Liverpool campuses. Through this program, Columbiana County students are supported to ensure future success.


Werner-Henle Charitable Trust – Henle Fellowship

Amount pledged: $25,000

Primary Kent State collaborator: Dr. Gary Koski

This pledge helps to fund a Kent State fellowship supporting Dr. Gary Koski’s work in connection with immunology and oncology research.


John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Amount pledged: $45,000

Primary Kent State collaborator: Christopher Coles

This grant supports Nine Lives, Coles’ interdisciplinary piece that will immerse the audience into the lives and stories of nine African Americans killed during an evening prayer service in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.