Alumni abroad
Prioritizing Student Success

Transforming Global Education

Kent State has a longstanding tradition of excellence in global education. In celebration of 50 years of our study abroad program in Florence, Italy, the university has created the Kent State Global Education Endowment, with a goal to be the largest endowment in university history. This endowment will support study abroad experiences and open doors for more Kent State students than ever before.

Established with a lead gift from Valoree Vargo, vice president for Kent State’s Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement and CEO of the Kent State Foundation, the endowment aims to provide every incoming undergraduate student with financial support for a study abroad experience.

“The global education that Kent State offers our students is the best in the country, and I believe that access to that experience should be open to as many students as possible.” - Valoree Vargo

Reaching an initial goal of $20 million would provide a scholarship of approximately $1,000 per student for the number of current Kent State students who study abroad, which is around 25 percent of our students. That goal will be supported through our greatest advocates of global education. Those who make a major gift of $50,000 or more to the fund in the first part of 2023, will be welcomed into a special group of philanthropists, the Renaissance Scholars Society. Their generosity will ensure that students from every major in every college at any Kent State campus have access to this scholarship once during their undergraduate careers.

While the goal is ambitious, it is also one of the fastest ways to make more scholarships available to students. It’s also just the beginning. Once fully funded, the endowment will provide a study abroad scholarship to every incoming Kent State student, serving as a major differentiator for the university among public higher education institutions and leading to higher enrollment and retention rates. But beyond that, it will enrich the student experience and better position Kent State graduates to be competitive in the global market.

A global experience expands academic, professional and personal horizons. It also leads to greater employment opportunities. Kent State’s Global Education Endowment will provide unprecedented access to global education, allowing students to dream bigger and gain a new world view as part of their collegiate education. Studying abroad is the chance of a lifetime and, with this endowment, one that no Kent State student will have to miss.