Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine to Receive Historic $10 Million Gift From The Podiatry Foundation

The Podiatry Foundation, located in Independence, Ohio, is laying the groundwork to help secure the financial and academic future of Ohio’s only podiatry college – Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. The Kent State Board of Trustees voted during its Sept. 15 meeting to accept naming recognition for its Foot and Ankle Clinic in acknowledgement of the $10 million gift. 

The Podiatry Foundation’s gift – the largest single gift commitment in the history of Kent State – will fund scholarships, research and continuing medical education programs within the College of Podiatric Medicine. In recognition of this gift, the current clinical space located on the first floor of the college in Independence will be named The Podiatry Foundation Foot and Ankle Clinic. Any auxiliary spaces associated with the clinic, currently including the clinical space in Cleveland’s MidTown neighborhood, will also bear this name. 

“A gift of this magnitude is transformational to the future education of our podiatry students, not only through our ability to award more scholarships, but also because of the increased credibility that will come from our enhanced research and continuing medical education,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon. “The longstanding relationship between the college and The Podiatry Foundation has been instrumental in Kent State’s recognition as a leading college in the important field of foot and ankle medicine. We are very grateful for their visionary support.”

Since its inception in 2012, The Podiatry Foundation has assisted many national, state and local podiatric medical organizations as well as students and residents in the Greater Cleveland area. A notable focus has been placed on supporting Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine in particular, having previously granted several million dollars of funding to the college. The announcement of this major gift formalizes and guarantees the foundation’s ongoing support of the college. Between the foundation’s 10-person board of trustees and its staff, more than 300 collective years of service have been provided to Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine throughout the years. 

“This gift is the first step in the foundation’s plan to be the predominant philanthropic source for all podiatric medical groups nationwide, including the nine current colleges of podiatric medicine, the several national podiatry organizations, the state podiatric medical associations, local academies in Ohio and many allied groups,” said David Nicolanti, Ph.D., executive director of The Podiatry Foundation. “The grant is the culmination of several years of dialogue between the foundation and the university, and it will help to secure the financial strength of this important local institution.”

At least one of the scholarships created through this gift will be named the Thomas V. Melillo Scholarship, on behalf of Thomas Melillo, D.P.M., the president of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (now Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine) from 1984 through 2012.

Additionally, funds are available for Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine to conduct and publish research, and to enhance its continuing medical education offerings within the field of podiatry. 

“As a podiatrist, an educator and an administrator in this field, I can unequivocally tell you how important philanthropic gifts like this are to the future of our field,” said Allan Boike, D.P.M., FACFAS, dean of Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine. “We must be able to support these high-achieving, future doctors through scholarships to ensure our field has enough qualified practitioners in the future. Additionally, the support for our research and continuing medical education allows us opportunities to continue to grow our national reputation as a best-in-class medical research and educational institution. This partnership means so much to our college and to this medical field.”

The funding for this historic gift will begin Sept. 30, 2021, and will be held in a newly established endowed fund, The Podiatry Foundation Endowment, within the Kent State University Foundation. 

For more information about The Podiatry Foundation, visit

For more information about Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine, visit

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About The Podiatry Foundation
On July 1, 2012, as part of the merger between Kent State University and the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, the OCPM Foundation was established for charitable and educational purposes. The foundation is operating as a 501(c)3 private foundation. Since 2019, the foundation has done business as The Podiatry Foundation, which promotes and fosters podiatric medical education and research by awarding grants supporting projects related exclusively to podiatric medicine. The Podiatry Foundation’s purpose is to serve and nurture podiatric medicine, education and research.

About Kent State University’s College of Podiatric Medicine
Kent State University’s College of Podiatric Medicine is one of nine accredited podiatry colleges in the United States and is a four-year, graduate-level medical college, granting the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. The mission of Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine is to educate students to be highly competent doctors of podiatric medicine who will excel in residency training.

Founded in 1916, the College of Podiatric Medicine has graduated more than 6,000 podiatrists who have made outstanding contributions to the field and study of podiatric medicine. Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine has regional and national affiliations with more than 50 worldwide hospitals and more than 300 private practitioners nationwide that provide externship training to the college’s students. Currently, Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine maintains an average four-year school enrollment of 425 students and typically graduates 85-100 podiatrists a year.

Media Contacts:
David Nicolanti, The Podiatry Foundation,, 216-513-8600
Leigh Greenfelder, Kent State Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement,, 330-672-7108

UPDATED: Sunday, April 21, 2024 06:15 AM
Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement