Dr. Dolores Noll, an untenured assistant professor of English, comes out publicly and at Kent State University.

Kent Gay Liberation Front holds first meeting in the home Dr. Dolores Noll, who becomes the group’s adviser. This first meeting of the KGLF attracts 70 people. Students Bill Hoover and Gail Pertz are the first co-chairs of the KGLF. (The name of the KGLF is later changed to Pride! Kent.)

Dr. Dolores Noll signed up to speak on gay liberation in class in the Experimental College (an addition to the Honors College formed as one response to the May 4th shootings of 1970). 


Dolores Noll teaches an Experimental College course called Gay Womanhood. 


At the Modern Language Association conference, Women’s Caucus, Prof. Noll presented a paper titled “A Gay Feminist in Academia,” describing her experiences as faculty advisor of the gay organization at Kent State (published in 1974 in College English).  As a result, she joined with others present at the conference to organize the Gay Caucus for the Modern Languages.


Dolores Noll teaches Politics of Gay Liberation.

Graduate student William Hoover teaches a course called the Sociology of Deviance, which included course content on sexual orientation.


Dolores Noll teaches a course called Sexual Minorities until her retirement.



Dr. Dolores Noll and Louis Crompton of the University of Nebraska, were honored by the Gay Caucus with the establishment of an annual award, the Crompton-Noll Award, for the best article or book on gays/lesbians in literature.



The course “The Sociology of Gays and Lesbians,” is developed by Dr. Robert Johnson of Sociology. The KSU College Republicans campaign within the university and statewide to have the course banned. The situation attracts national attention and is cited in many books and articles about the 1990s university-based culture wars. The university is recognized for maintaining academic freedom in the face of internal and external pressures.


The KSU Human Resources division establishes the first of two committees to explore the costs and ramifications of extending domestic partner benefits to university employees. Both committees recommend the extension of benefits.


Dr. Robert Johnson and Dr. Molly Merryman form the first of several ad hoc committees of faculty and staff committed to the effort of having KSU extend domestic partner benefits to faculty and staff.


The informal domestic partner committees become a formal initiative of KSUs branch of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Domestic partner benefits become a bargaining request during every contract negotiation. Dr. Molly Merryman leads the initiative and becomes the first leader of AAUP's LGBT Faculty Concerns Committee.


The Alpha Psi Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi National Social Fraternity forms. This is the nation’s largest fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men.


KSU’s LGBT Studies program is the first in the state of Ohio.


Fusion Magazine, which addresses issues of sexual minorities, begins. The magazine (in both print and electronic versions) has won several national awards for student journalism.

Curry and Myers Scholarship for LGBT Studies minors is established.


Akron businessman Harry Jackson pledges a $2 million gift for LGBTQ students.


Domestic Partner Benefits are extended to all KSU full-time faculty and staff.



The LGBTQ Student Center opens with volunteer coordination from the LGBT Studies program.

Dr. Dolores Noll receives the first-ever Diversity Trailblazer Award at Kent State University.


Introduction to LGBT Studies offered online.

Akron P-FLAG Scholarship for LGBTQ Students minoring in LGBT Studies is established.

LGBTQ Student Emergency Fund is established to assist LGBTQ students who have been cut off from familial support.


The LGBTQ Student Center establishes a full-time coordinator’s position.

Three LGBT Studies affiliates (Drs. Molly Merryman and David Purcell of Sociology and Cara Gilgenbach, head of Special Collections) receive a $24,000 Collaborative Research Incentive Award for their project “Examining LGBTQ Neighborhoods.” As a result of this grant, the program hires Lauren Vachon as its first graduate assistant.


Highland Lives, the documentary developed from Akron pilot study of the Ohio LGBTQ Neighborhoods project is displayed at two events at the International Gay Games.

The LGBTQ Student Center establishes a full-time director’s position. Ken Ditlevson is hired as the Center’s first full-time director.


Established the Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality Student Scholarship. First recipient’s award is used to support student trip to Greece.


Lauren Vachon, MFA, is hired as the first full-time faculty member and coordinator for LGBTQ Studies.

Dr. Molly Merryman receives the Diversity Trailblazer Award at Kent State University for her efforts to support LGBTQ Studies and other diversity initiatives.

The Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality is approved by the Kent State University Board of Trustees.

The LGBTQIA Living Learning Community (a collaborative of LGBTQ Studies, the LGBTQ Student Center and Residence Services) opens in Korb Hall for the 2016-2017 AY.