Kent State’s Hometown Named One of the Best by Ohio Magazine

Members of the Kent State University community can take great pride in their university’s hometown. 

Logo for 2022-2023 Best Hometown

The city of Kent has been selected by Ohio Magazine as a 2022-2023 Best Hometown. The Best Hometown honor recognizes Kent as a great place to live, work and visit. The magazine’s editors chose Kent for its vibrant downtown, strong campus-community connection and focus on supporting residents and students alike.

“We know that when students are considering where to go for college, they look at the campus environment and its location,” said Todd Diacon, president of Kent State and a resident of Kent. “We are very fortunate that Kent State is in a beautiful, thriving city, which helps attract students and employees. During their time at Kent State, students have great experiences in the classroom, on campus and off campus in the city of Kent. On behalf of the university, I congratulate Kent on this recognition that affirms that Kent is a great city to live, study and work.”

Kent is a college town and more – a thriving community of families, students, locally owned businesses and industries. Home to Kent State and situated along the banks of the scenic Cuyahoga River, Kent boasts a revitalized, vibrant downtown offering a unique mix of restaurants, specialty shops, live entertainment, downtown living, festivals, art galleries and more.

Kent State University students take a snack and water break as they discover downtown Kent, Ohio.

“The city shares this honor with Kent State, the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Kent and our other partners who make Kent the special place that it is,” said Dave Ruller, Kent city manager. “We all work together through a shared purpose to bring new opportunities for educational and business growth and a true sense of community.” 

Kent State student Jillian Mt.Castle, a junior special education major, grew up in Kent and lived there until she was 10. She then moved to Canfield, Ohio, for the next 10 years of her life. She said she wasn’t surprised that Kent is one of Ohio’s best hometowns.

“Even after being gone 10 years, coming back [to Kent] felt just like home,” Mt.Castle said. “There’s always something to do, and someone to give you a smile!”

For Sage Mason, a Kent State sophomore majoring in public relations from McDonald, Ohio, she enjoys how close-knit the Kent community is.

“I have enjoyed all of my experiences within the Kent community, from the downtown celebrations such as the Harry Potter weekend and Dog Days of Summer to the small connections made by just talking with members of the community,” Mason said. “Kent has the hometown feel with the progressive values of a large city, which is just one of the reasons I love it so much!”

Visitors to Kent, Ohio, explore the downtown area, including Acorn Alley.

To determine this year’s honorees of Best Hometowns, Ohio Magazine solicited nominations in the spring and conducted visits across the state over the summer. The editors evaluated finalists in six categories — Community Spirit, Education, Entertainment, Health and Safety, Business Environment, and Culture and Heritage — to help make their selections. 

“We enjoyed our visit to Kent and are excited to share your story with our readers and online visitors,” said Jim Vickers, editor of Ohio Magazine, upon notifying the city of its selection as a Best Hometown. “Communities like yours are what make our state a special place to live.”

According to the 2020 Census, the resident population of Kent is more than 28,000, with the Kent State student body adding another 25,000. The community is home to an internationally diverse population, an aspect that is strongly valued by residents. The population has remained steady during the past decade, and Kent has an unusually high level of education per capita, nearly twice the national average.

“We have always known that Kent is a remarkable place to call home, but it’s great when a panel of experts reach the same conclusion and name Kent one of the best hometowns in the entire state,” shared Jerry Fiala, mayor of Kent. “After learning more about Kent, we hope readers of Ohio Magazine will be inspired to come visit and experience Kent for themselves.”  

Kent will be featured in the magazine’s annual Best Hometowns issue, which will be published Nov. 1. The city will also be featured in the magazine’s July/August 2023 issue and online at

Kent is one of five cities to be selected as a Best Hometown for 2022-2023. The cities that join Kent with this honor are Athens, Bellefontaine, Perrysburg and Versailles.

For more information about the city of Kent, visit

For more information about Ohio Magazine’s Best Hometowns, visit

POSTED: Wednesday, September 21, 2022 08:10 AM
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 24, 2024 08:38 PM
Emily Vincent