What’s in a Name?

Over the decades, many women have left their mark on Kent State University. These select few have had Kent Campus buildings dedicated in their honor.

By Jan Senn; Bethany Sava, BS ’12; Lindsey Vlasic, BA ’22; Greta Bell, BS ’22

As we move through this Women’s History Month, Kent State Today shares a series of pieces, some new and some from the recent past, that highlight many of the women who have helped to shape our university. The stories, collectively, will also remind us of the growth, over our history, in both the many ways Kent State has benefitted from the contributions of women and the growing diversity within our university community.

Women make up approximately 50% of the world’s population, yet researchers have estimated that women’s stories make up just 0.5% of recorded history. Of our nation’s more than 5,000 historical memorials, less than 8% of the subjects are women. 

In 2020, we commemorated the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which secured women’s right to vote (Aug. 26, 1920). And yet the Equal Rights Amendment, which Congress passed and sent to the states for ratification almost five decades ago (March 22, 1972) is still not ratified.

So although we recently celebrated the inauguration of Kamala Harris as the 49th vice president of the United States —and she made history as the first woman, first Black and first South Asian vice president (Jan. 20, 2021) — the legal equality of the sexes (with the exception of the right to vote) and the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex are still not protected by the Constitution. 

Given that background, it is significant that Kent State University has dedicated 15 buildings (plus a gate) on the Kent Campus to honor women who have influenced and inspired the university.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we highlight these notable women in Kent State’s history — and share their stories of distinction.

Click on the photos of the women below to learn more about them and the buildings that were named in their honor. (The stories are presented in order by the year the buildings were dedicated.) 

POSTED: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 11:21 AM
UPDATED: Monday, July 22, 2024 04:10 AM