POSTED: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 09:25 AM

Kent State’s College of Business Administration Receives $3.1 Million Gift to Support Scholarships

The Stevens Family Scholarship Becomes University’s Largest Gift of Fiscal Year 2017

Kent State University has received a $3.1 million gift for a College of Business Administration scholarship endowment from the estate of Kent State alumnus Joseph Stevens.

The Stevens Family Scholarship for the College of Business Administration was established by Joseph and Frances Stevens. Mr. Stevens earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Kent State in 1941.

“We are grateful that the Stevens family’s tremendous support will enable us to provide additional scholarship opportunities in order to put ‘Students First’ in all we do,” said Kent State President Beverly Warren. “This gift will play an important role in the future of the university by shaping the upward movement of our talented business students.”

The estate gift will be used as a scholarship endowment, providing more than $155,000 annually for distribution to juniors and seniors with a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher who are majoring in a program in the College of Business Administration and demonstrate financial need.

“Thanks to the generosity of Joe and Fran Stevens, the College of Business Administration will be able to assist many more undergraduate students who are in need of financial assistance to complete their degrees,” said Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s College of Business Administration. “We look forward to supporting many more high-achieving business students as a result of this gift.”

Entrepreneurship Major Trenaé Fox knows firsthand the difference a scholarship can make in an academic career. She received a similar scholarship from Kent State’s College of Business Administration this fall. She says it allowed her to continue pursuing her education.

"The scholarship gave me an extra push to reach my highest potential in my studies. I have big dreams after graduation, and with the additional financial help, I can continue reaching my goals and fulfilling those dreams,” Ms. Fox said.

Born in Ohio and brought up in New York City, Mr. Stevens went on to work for two of the nation’s largest accounting firms as an accountant and auditor. He later became treasurer and vice president of two educational publishing houses before retiring as vice president of Xerox Corp. A resident of Seminole, Florida, he served as an officer in several community service organizations, business and professional clubs during his career and was twice chosen as president of the National Association of Accountants.

“With this scholarship endowment, which was our largest gift of Fiscal Year 2017, Joseph Stevens was able to give back to the college that gave him the tools to be a successful professional,” said Stephen Sokany, Kent State’s vice president for institutional advancement. “But the impact goes much deeper than that. His gift is empowering students to receive that same high-quality education, while also illustrating the importance of philanthropy to those who benefit from his scholarship.”

About Kent State University’s College of Business Administration

Kent State University’s College of Business Administration is among the fewer than 1 percent of business schools worldwide to obtain dual Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in both business and accounting. The college enrolls more than 4,000 students and boasts 10 undergraduate majors, 13 minors and a Professional Sales Certificate program; master’s degrees in accounting, business administration (Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Business Administration), business analytics and economics; as well as a Ph.D. program with concentrations in accounting, finance, information systems, management and marketing. 

Kent State’s College of Business Administration ranked among the top 100 public business undergraduate programs in the U.S. in the recent 2018 U.S. News & World Report ranking and 45th among the top undergraduate business schools in the U.S. in 2016 by Bloomberg Businessweek based on an employer survey of how well schools prepared students for jobs. In addition, the college is ranked as one of the nation’s Best Business Schools by Princeton Review and Tier One for both Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Business Administration programs in North America by CEO Magazine. The college is committed to sustainability as a Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) advanced signatory and is recognized by the Sales Education Foundation as a top university for professional sales education.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Business Administration, visit

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Photo Caption:
Kent State University President Beverly Warren (right) stands with Joseph and Frances Stevens, who established the Stevens Family Scholarship for Kent State’s College of Business Administration.

Media Contacts:
Joni Bowen,, 330-672-1279
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595