John and Fonda Elliot Become Largest Donors in Kent State University’s History
University names Center for Architecture and Environmental Design
John and Fonda Elliot have become the largest donors in Kent State University’s history, providing the largest total outright gift of $10 million as well as a $2 million planned gift, benefiting the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. In honor of Mr. and Mrs. Elliot’s generous legacy of giving, the Kent State University Board of Trustees voted on Sept. 12 to name the building The John Elliot Center for Architecture and Environmental Design.
“We are deeply grateful to John and Fonda for their enduring support of Kent State, and I couldn’t be more pleased that these generous and humble advocates of our university will be represented in such a notable and visible way on our campus,” Kent State President Beverly J. Warren said. “The Elliots have created and grown a tremendous healthcare company and are respected philanthropists, so the belief they have in the strength of our architecture program and Design Innovation Initiative is a point of pride for our university.”
Mr. Elliot is a 1970 graduate of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State. He is a member of the Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors and Campaign Executive Committee. Mr. and Mrs. Elliot are co-founders of American Medical Facilities Management LCC, which provides high-quality healthcare in West Virginia. Mr. Elliot received the Distinguished Alumni Award during Homecoming weekend on Oct. 5 at the university’s 2018 Alumni Awards.
Mr. and Mrs. Elliot are the largest contributors to the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State. Their past contributions include the Elliot Health Care Design Program, the Elliot Professorship in Health Care Design, the Elliot Scholars and the Elliot Family Foundation Architectural Scholarship.
The couple previously provided gifts totaling $5,575,000 to the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, which were recognized in the naming of the design studios in May 2014. As a result of their latest commitment of $6,425,000, the building has been named The John Elliot Center for Architecture and Environmental Design and the studios have been renamed the John and Fonda Elliot Design Studios. Their gift will benefit the university’s Design Innovation Initiative, as well as provide scholarships and programming in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
“My Kent State University experiences taught me that whatever my goals might be, I could get there if I was willing to put in the work, maintain high standards and stay true to a personal moral compass based on the concept of providing the greatest good for the greatest number of people,” Mr. Elliot said. “I feel we are all responsible for giving back to Kent State. We are all responsible for doing what we can to make this a great place to educate our children and future generations.”
Since its grand opening in October 2016, Kent State’s Center for Architecture and Environmental Design has garnered both international acclaim and enthusiastic support from students, faculty, staff, alumni and the professional community. The LEED Platinum-rated facility, designed by renowned New York-based firm WEISS/MANFREDI, is a 110,191-square-foot contemporary glass and brick building that stretches along the Lester A. Lefton Esplanade from Lincoln Street toward downtown Kent.
Recently, the college’s dean, Mark Mistur, was recognized in the “Top 25 Most Admired Educators in Architecture, Interiors and Landscape Architecture” list by DesignIntelligence.
“Philanthropy like this elevates both the college and the university by enabling strategic initiatives such as the Design Innovation Initiative, visiting professorships, the Health Care Design program and student travel opportunities that broaden exposures and make education more engaging and relevant,” Dean Mistur said. “The Elliots are having a very real and significant impact that will distinguish us from our peers while also making our programs accessible to many who would otherwise not have the opportunity.”
For more information about Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, visit www.kent.edu/caed.
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John and Fonda Elliot have become the largest donors to Kent State University.