Keeping Our Balance

Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,

The notice of an upcoming Golden Flashes gymnastics meet caught my attention for two reasons. First, I enjoy watching our gymnasts compete, and second, I immediately thought of the balance beam, which always fascinates me.

I don't know about you, but I find competition on the balance beam nerve-wracking to watch. I can't imagine the levels of talent, practice and resilience required to succeed in this event. Balance? Our Golden Flashes gymnasts have a lot of it, both in the arena and in the classroom. Last year, they posted the 11th highest GPA among all gymnastics squads in the nation and were one of only four squads nationwide on which every student-athlete earned a GPA above 3.5 for the academic year.

I know that I will never succeed on the balance beam. (I know that I will never even stand on a balance beam!) Yet balance and the search for balance have marked all that we have done during the pandemic. At every step, we have done our best to provide the safest environment in which our students could learn and our employees could thrive. That balancing act continues during the spring semester.

I look forward to opening the semester as scheduled with safe in-person classes and enriching opportunities to learn and grow. We have already informed you about the ongoing and additional steps taken to operate during this surge in COVID-19 omicron cases. We'll continue to take care of each other so that all of us can succeed, together, as a community of scholars committed to educating students and expanding the frontiers of knowledge.

Stay strong, Kent State. In a flash, we will reach the end of the school year and will graduate the first Class of 2022. That such successes are possible during a pandemic is evidence of everyone's commitment to a better Kent State. Each day, I marvel at your resilience, and each day, I notice your efforts, big and small, that collectively make our campuses great places to live, work and learn. Thank you.

Please join me at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (wear your mask!) at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, to watch our Golden Flashes gymnastics team compete against the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University. The real masters of balance at Kent State will entertain and awe us and remind us all that we've got this.

Here's to a great semester!


Todd Diacon

POSTED: Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 9:50am
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 9:54am
President Todd Diacon