Rollie, ’64, and Frances Layfield Help Students Build Skills for Success

Hard work and discipline are a driving force for Rollie Layfield, ’64, and they have served him well throughout his life and his career in business. He credits both his degree program in business administration and his time in the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program at Kent State University for helping him develop the leadership, entrepreneurship and organizational skills to thrive after graduation.

“This time was very meaningful to me,” he said. “The discipline I learned in ROTC has helped me throughout my life, and I want to give back.”

Rollie and Frances Layfield are supporting the future of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Army ROTC program through a combination of planned gifts and outright gifts. This includes a gift to the Ambassador Crawford College Capital Fund and the establishment of the Rollie and Frances Layfield Army ROTC Scholarship and Rollie and Frances Layfield Army ROTC Enhancement Fund. Their estate gift will be split between the college and the Army ROTC program.

The couple met as teenagers and have been married for almost 60 years, building decades of memories from attending military balls and football games to traveling the world side by side. They want to leave a legacy by creating opportunities and providing access to education for others.

Rollie’s brother attended Kent State, which inspired Rollie to do the same. His family didn’t have a lot of money, so he paid his way through college by working in construction during the summers. After graduation, he worked for local companies as an industrial engineer before he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. Upon arriving home, Rollie returned to construction work, eventually buying Canton Floors and renaming it CFI Interiors. He owned the business for more than 30 years.

“I modeled my business after the disciplines I learned in ROTC,” Rollie said. “I relate a lot of my successes to Kent State. Education is the key to success no matter what you do.”

For Rollie, discipline is one of the most important things in life. Army ROTC helped him develop these vital skills, and he wants to help this program impact future generations of Kent State students.

His business degree also served him well as he built his business, dealt with challenges and created relationships with both his employees and clients.

“I have been very fortunate to be associated with Kent State and have a successful business,” Rollie explained. “I want to give back to the people who gave to me.”

Photo caption: Rollie, ’64, and Frances Layfield visit Kent State’s Army ROTC

POSTED: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 01:17 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 01:18 PM