The 1981 graduate has positively impacted his community throughout the years

Lou Raffis, a 1981 graduate of Kent State University’s Honors College, was recently announced as the recipient
of the 2020 Distinguished Honors Alumni Award. He recalls his time at

Lou Raffis, recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Honors Alumni Award
Kent State, saying that he truly benefitted from the academic preparation the Honors College gave him to attend graduate business school at Harvard University. Raffis says that his Freshman Honors Colloquium course in particular, taught him “how to think, to debate, and to write, which prepared me for the challenging and intense academic environment that I confronted at Harvard.” In addition, the honors business and economics classes that Raffis enrolled in at Kent State provided him with a solid foundation in business fundamentals that gave him an advantage over some of his Harvard classmates. Most importantly, Raffis says, the undergraduate education he received through the Honors College instilled in him the discipline that it took for him to succeed at Harvard and in his career. Raffis retired from KeyCorp/Society Bank in 2018.

Raffis adds that he learned at Kent State that “when you graduate from college, your work does not end, it is really just beginning,” by which he means that a college education conveys “the responsibility to give back to the community” to its recipient. “I firmly believe that we are blessed with the ability to better see the unfairness, the inequality, and we are more likely in positions in our community where we can address them,” he says. Raffis believes that, while it may be difficult, it is possible to find a balance between their personal life and service to the community that allows a person to have a well-rounded and fulfilling life, as many individuals whom he knows throughout Northeast Ohio have done. Raffis says that his education through the Honors College fueled his sense of curiosity and has given him “both the willingness and the capability to explore worlds outside of [his] comfort zone.” He is involved in a number of community efforts, including his condominium association, the Garfield Heights Coin Club as president, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America as the Cleveland events coordinator.



Photo of Lou Raffis, 1981 Honors College graduate of Kent State and 2020 Distinguish Honors Alumni Award recipient.

Media Contact:
Stephanie Moskal, smoskal@kent.edu, (330) 672-2312

POSTED: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 12:05 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 11:21 AM
Nina Palattella, Honors College writing intern