Founders Gala Celebrates Donor Support
The 2013 Founders Gala, held on Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Kent Student Center Ballroom, was a celebration of excellence at Kent State University and an opportunity to acknowledge the valuable partnerships between the university’s donors, students, faculty and staff. The university’s vision is focused on education, research and knowledge, all of which are made possible through the generous support of its benefactors.
More than 70 percent of Kent State students must borrow to pay for their college education, and the Founders Gala celebrates the alumni, friends, corporations and foundations that have helped make so many dreams a reality.
The event recognized vital contributions for new scholarships, from the sciences to the arts; saluted donors who are encouraging new frontiers in business and entrepreneurship; highlighted significant gifts that are transforming what’s possible in healthcare and education; and honored individuals whose giving is helping to support student athletes, communicators, designers and builders of the future.
This year, the university recognized more than $17 million in new gifts and pledges to the Kent State University Foundation, which is part of an overall $58 million contributed by alumni and friends over the past two years.
The event honored 38 Founders Scholar seniors and 45 juniors. Two of the students also spoke at the event: Kelli Fitzpatrick, a news major and Risman Honors Founders Scholar, and Andrew Rasner, a dual architectural studies and geography major, who also is a Risman Honors Founders Scholar.
Sixty-one benefactors, including individuals, foundations and corporations, were also honored for their contributions to scholarships, programs and Foundations of Excellence building projects. John and Fonda Elliot were the keynote speakers. The Elliots, of Charleston, W.Va., are supporting the new building for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design with a gift of $5 million.