Largest Fundraising Year in History at Kent State University

Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation and KeyBank Foundation among largest supporters

Kent State University recently concluded its largest fundraising year in school history after securing $38.9 million in private support during Fiscal Year 2017. Among its highest priorities, the university focuses on raising funds to support scholarships and student-based programming, in alignment with the university strategic roadmap, which has a primary emphasis on putting students first in all aspects.

“We have a keen focus on enhancing the student experience at Kent State,” says Kent State President Beverly Warren. “Across all of our campuses, we’re focused on providing opportunities and experiences that develop the whole student in order to create graduates who are poised to change the world.”

For Fiscal Year 2017, ending June 30, 2017, Kent State received support from nearly 20,000 alumni and friends for a variety of scholarships, programs and funds that support nearly every school, college, division and program across all eight of the university’s campuses. Student scholarships were supported with nearly $11.4 million in private support.

Additionally, the university secured gifts of more than $1 million each from nine donors, all benefiting different areas, such as:

  • $2.5 million grant in support from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation to the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, which will be split, with $1.5 million to endow a chair to support the director of the school and an additional matching grant of up to $1 million to support the study-away program for fashion school students within the College of the Arts.
  • $2.5 million as a planned gift from James B. Tinnin, Ph.D., to support the Dr. James B. Tinnin Center for Service Learning in Public Administration and Public Policy in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • $3.1 million gift from the estate of alumnus Joseph S. Stevens to fund the Stevens Family Scholarship for the College of Business Administration.
  • $1 million grant from the Gawlicki Family Foundation to fund the development of a state-of-the-art distance learning translation studies program at the Institute for Applied Linguistics, a research and education program affiliated with the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • $1 million grant from KeyBank Foundation to support Dynamic Education and Engagement for Diverse Students (DEEDS) programs to increase the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students consistent with the university’s continued mission to help all students reach their full potential in earning a degree. 

“I am tremendously thankful for the private support throughout the year from alumni, friends, corporations and foundations,” President Warren says. “We are able to offer so much more to our growing student population because of these gifts. Additionally, our record fundraising year tells me that we are gaining our supporters’ vote of confidence in our mission to put students first in all we do.”

With state support of the university providing less than 20 percent of its budget, the university relies on private support to ensure student success, enhance academic excellence and innovation, expand breakthrough research and provide contemporary, high-tech facilities for learning, study and research. More information is available at

For more information about Kent State’s Division of Institutional Advancement, visit

POSTED: Friday, October 13, 2017 10:08 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 11:32 PM
Leigh Greenfelder