Kent State Athletics Hosts Starner Distinguished Speaker
Kent State University’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics presents the 12th annual Starner Distinguished Speaker Series at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Cartwright Hall. This year's keynote address “The Fight,” will be given by Kent State alumna Bonnie Beachy, '82, who currently serves as an assistant principal at Smith Middle School in Cypress, Texas. The event is free and open to the public.
With seven varsity letters to her credit, Beachy is the premier female student-athlete in the illustrious history of Kent State athletics. Beachy, who earned four letters in basketball and three in tennis, is the all-time leading scorer in Kent State basketball history, regardless of gender, with 2,071 points. A three-time team MVP and two-time first team All-Mid-American Conference selection, Beachy stands fourth in women's basketball history in both career rebounds (829) and steals (303).
"We are very excited to have Bonnie back on campus," says Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen. "She was an exemplary student-athlete, and I think our athletes will learn a lot from her."
A 1988 Kent State Varsity "K" Hall of Fame inductee, Beachy is the only woman in Kent State history to have her uniform number retired (No. 13). Beachy was a rare two-sport Division I student-athlete who also starred on the tennis court where she was team MVP for the Golden Flashes.
In 1982, Beachy earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Kent State and moved to Houston for job prospects. After serving as co-owner of a security company for five years, Beachy entered the education field to follow her passion of teaching and coaching. For the next 15 years, Beachy would teach and coach in the Clear Lake and Cy-Fair school districts before earning a master of education from Prairie View A&M University.
A 1978 graduate of Struthers High School, just outside of Youngstown, Ohio, Beachy was a three-sport standout and is the school's all-time leading scorer in girls basketball. She currently resides in Cypress, Texas.
The Starner Distinguished Speaker series is made possible by Kent State alumni Buzz and Marilyn Starner. The Starners endowed the speaker series to expose current student-athletes to alumni who have successfully transferred their lessons from athletic competition and student involvement to meaningful careers outside of athletics. Buzz, '67, and Marilyn, '71, have been actively involved in supporting athletic programs at Kent State for many years. The Jackson Township couple is pleased with the strong emphasis that Kent State places on the academic skills of athletes and believes that the skills students develop in athletic competition also lead to success in life after college.