Alumni Life

Winter 2018
Photo by David Labelle
Kent State Students take in the sights and culture of Italy during a field trip to Prato.

Trip of a Lifetime

Florence study abroad opportunity now available to Kent State alumni.

Imagine visiting Florence, Italy, not as a tourist, but as a member of a community—sharing a daily routine with local residents, taking classes with a small cohort of students and beginning to understand life through the lens of another culture.

This summer Kent State University alumni have the rare opportunity to join Kent State faculty and students for an in-depth, study-abroad experience through the Florence Alumni College program, sponsored by the Kent State Alumni Association and the Office of Global Education. During this weeklong adventure (June 10–15, 2018), alumni will learn alongside students at the 15th century Palazzo Vettori (the new home of the Kent State Florence Campus) as they study Italian fashion, art, food, wine, cinema and the Mafia.

Alumni College members will also enjoy unique, off-campus excursions led by faculty, including a walking tour of Florence, guided tours of the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria dell’Accademia (home of Michelangelo’s David), as well as a cooking class in authentic Italian food, a wine tasting and a field trip to Siena. 

Experience firsthand the eye-opening education offered for more than 40 years by the Kent State Florence program, which the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy has touted as one of the best programs among 160 American universities in Italy. 

To help prepare for the trip, Alumni College guests will meet fellow travelers and learn from Florence experts at a special pre-departure seminar on May 14 in Kent (and via live stream for those outside the area). 

The deadline to register is mid-February  2018. Visit for pricing, contact information, itinerary and registration details. For more information about the Kent State University Florence Campus, visit

—Stephanie Langguth, BS ’03

Photo courtesy Cuyahoga Falls High School

School Spirit

Cuyahoga Falls High School (CFHS) colors are black and gold, but at the beginning of every school year the Golden Flashes who work there come decked in blue and gold to show off their Kent State spirit and pride. 

Thirty-five percent of all administrators, counselors and teachers at the school are Kent State graduates, says associate principal Hillary Freitag-Geiger, Bs ’08, Akron, Ohio. “We’re the largest staff member alumni group!” 

For the past four years, the KSU alumni at CFHS have posted a group photo on social media and on a bulletin board in the main hallway. “We’re trying to show our kids how many opportunities there are if they pursue a college education,” says language arts teacher Melody Carlisle, BSE ’91, MEd ’98, Ravenna, Ohio. 

We’re betting some of those Black Tigers will become Golden Flashes one day! 

Adapted from an article that first appeared in eFlash by Abigail Winternitz, BS ’19.

Flashes Give Back

Join your fellow Flashes to make an Impact around the globe during the 10th Annual Alumni Day of Service.

Since the first Alumni Day of Service in 2009, alumni and friends have helped build homes, clean rivers and beaches, prepare meals for families, clean hospice centers and shelters, assist at animal rescues and so much more. 

During last year’s Alumni Day of Service, alumni organized and held service activities in Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and many other locations. And for the first time, it was a global event, as Kent State alumni in Jordan participated.

As you help others during the day of service, it also helps you—giving you a chance to share your Kent State pride and experience the collective power of volunteers who make a difference in communities around the globe. And it provides an opportunity to reconnect with fellow Golden Flashes and share the value of giving back with your family and friends.

“We pulled weeds to clear a fresh water stream for the zoo animals,” says Stephanie Smith Oehler, BBA ’99, Gilbert, Ariz., who was the site coordinator at the Phoenix Zoo. “We loved working with other alumni and reminiscing about our Kent days. We had twice as many alumni this year, so the momentum is building. Flashes Forever, indeed!”

Planning for the 10th Annual Kent State Alumni Day of Service, to be held April 21, 2018, is underway. Details including available service site locations and information on how to register and lead a site of your choice is available on the Alumni Association website, You can also follow the Alumni Association on social media @KSUAlumni and watch for the 2018 Alumni Day of Service hashtag, #FlashesGiveBack.

Overview of Alumni Day of Service since 2009
  • 5,209 Hours
  • 1,490 Volunteers
  • Kent Alumni have volunteered in 9 states and 31 cities

—Stephanie Langguth, BS ’03


Photo courtesy Special Collections & Archives
Zane Saunders crowns the 1957 Campus Day Queen, Joan Lindsay, in this photo from the Chestnut Burr.

Time Past

When John Saunders, a son of Zane Saunders, BA and MA ’59, Sarasota, Fla., sent in his father’s obituary, it included this sentence: “As president of the Kent Student Government, Zane crowned the Campus Day Queen, Joan Lindsay, who later became his wife on August 9, 1958.”

Intrigued, we searched some of the digitized Chestnut Burr yearbooks from the time period and found a photo of that momentous event on Campus Day in 1957. (See photo above.)

“Cloudy weather failed to extinguish the enthusiasm at Kent State as the 44th annual Campus Day arrived . . . As crowds of students, parents, alumni and townspeople gathered on the front campus, Queen Joan Lindsay was crowned by Zane Saunders, president of Student Council. She and her court watched as the traditional Maypole Dance was performed,” according to the Chestnut Burr account.

We learned from the obituary that the couple “became proud parents of five sons born in rapid succession” and moved to Connecticut “where Zane was the Director of Speech Pathology and Audiology for 25 years at the Newington Children’s Hospital (now known as the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center). He was also an adjunct professor of Speech Pathology at Central Connecticut State University and served as consultant on the faculty of the University of Connecticut.

“A strong advocate of higher education, he was perhaps most proud of the fact that he and Joan gave their five sons the opportunity to attend and graduate from some of the country’s most prestigious private institutions of higher education. His legacy of promoting higher education continues in the intellectual development of his grandchildren.”

Zane Saunders died on July 27, 2017 at his home in Sarasota, Fla. He is survived by his wife Joan (Lindsay) Saunders, BA ’58, five sons, five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

The student-produced Chestnut Burr was published from 1914–1985. See digital versions at

Send Us Your Class Note

We’d love to hear from you! 

To share your news, complete the form at (you may include an image in JPEG, GIF or PNG format) or write Kent State University Alumni Association, Center for Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242.

Limit your notes to 100 words or less and include your class year, city, state and degree(s). Notes may be edited for length or clarity and published as space allows.

Deadlines for submissions:
Fall: March 31
Winter: July 31
Spring: November 30

Back to Winter 2018

POSTED: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 11:32am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 1:54pm