Timken Foundation Donates Lead Gift
The Timken Foundation of Canton has donated $1.5 million to the College of Aeronautics and Engineering Building expansion project. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Oct. 1 to officially begin this project that will add 80 percent more space to the college’s facilities.
Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering is unique in the country, as the only college that combines the disciplines of aeronautics, engineering and engineering technology in one cohesive college, enabling cross-disciplinary synergy in academic programs and research.
Due to the value associated with a degree in these fields, enrollment growth has exploded, with a 53.6 percent increase in enrolling freshmen since 2018 and an almost seven percent enrollment growth college-wide in 2020 - notable during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to support current and future enrollment growth, the university plans to build a 44,000 square-foot expansion to the Aeronautics and Engineering Building that will include collaborative spaces, state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, and office space to accommodate rapid enrollment growth.
“The successful completion of this project, as part of our master plan, will support Kent State’s ability to produce the highly qualified STEM graduates needed for the state’s and region’s manufacturing and engineering sectors,” said President Todd Diacon, Ph.D., Kent State University. “We’re very grateful that The Timken Foundation of Canton has partnered with us to enable the College of Aeronautics and Engineering to contribute even more to the sustainability of the region’s engineering and manufacturing workforce – a vision both organizations share.”
The university broke ground on the expansion on Oct. 1, 2021, as part of its Homecoming weekend activities. The new building will feature a two-story atrium that provides a unique environment for unmanned aircraft systems flight operations program and researchers to fly indoors year-round, while also creating a dynamic public space to encourage collaboration and community; and an almost 3,000-square-foot auditorium that will provide a high-tech space to support larger classes, student competitions, K-12 outreach events and community-oriented events.
“Kent State recognizes the importance of virtual education in this rapidly changing landscape of higher education. The new Engineering expansion will also incorporate the latest technology to enable synchronous delivery of virtual education,” said Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering. “The expansion’s two new classrooms, as well as teaching laboratories, will be equipped to enable virtual delivery in a streaming, synchronous mode, which will also support the college’s efforts to create pathway opportunities with our regional campuses and partner organizations.”
“The Timken Foundation is proud to honor Henry and Louise Timken, pioneers in flight, through this gift to the building expansion at KSU’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering,” said Ward J. “Jack” Timken, President, Timken Foundation of Canton.