Kent State Approves 26 Named Spaces in New Crawford Hall in Recognition of $10.7 Million in Philanthropic Gifts

During its regular quarterly meeting held Wednesday, Dec. 15, the Kent State University Board of Trustees approved naming resolutions for 17 spaces to be located in the future Crawford Hall based on philanthropic gifts of $100,000 or more. An additional nine named spaces were approved by Kent State President Todd Diacon that were below the required Board approval threshold. On Oct. 22 in a special meeting, the Board approved construction of a new state-of-the-art building named Crawford Hall for the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship, both named for Ambassador Edward F. Crawford, who committed the largest single gift in Kent State history to complete the capital campaign for the building.  
 
The new Crawford Hall will support innovative instruction, leading research and student support services for thousands of business majors, minors and others taking business courses across the Kent State system.  
 
The following actions received Board approval: 
 

  • Naming of the Robert M. and Janet L. Archer Kent Water Sports Trading Lab and the Robert M. and Janet L. Archer Kent Water Sports Business Analytics Lab  
    • Robert Archer received his Master of Business Administration from Kent State in 1961 with a focus in management science. This $2 million gift from Robert and Janet Archer names both labs. The Trading Lab will be the centerpiece of financial learning and will contain Bloomberg terminals, stock tickers, financial analysis displays and software to enhance experiential financial education. The Business Analytics Lab will be a 48-seat computerized data science research facility that will provide hands-on experience to students analyzing and visualizing big data to inform business decisions. 
       
  • Naming of the John S. Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation and the John S. Brinzo Entrepreneurship Laboratory 
    • This $1.53 million gift was made by John S. Brinzo, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Kent State in 1964. The John S. Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation is a dynamic, highly successful academic center that hosts annual pitch competitions, entrepreneurship speaker series and cocurricular activities and acts as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation within the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The John S. Brinzo Entrepreneurship Laboratory will be located within the John S. Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation and will provide teaming spaces for student collaboration, idea development, pitch preparation and mentoring.
       
  • Naming of the James R. Unger Global Forum 
    • James R. Unger is a 1967 Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Science alumnus. Evelyn F. Unger is a 1972 elementary education alumna. Their $1.5 million gift will name the Global Forum, a 400-seat theater in the round that will serve as a premiere lecture hall and event space for the college’s speaker series and conferences.
       
  • Naming of the Matthew E. and Nancy S. Likens Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Suite 
    • Matthew and Nancy Likens, who have donated $1 million to the project, are both graduates of Kent State. Matt Likens graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and Nancy Likens graduated the same year with a Bachelor of Arts in deaf education. The Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Suite will house the faculty offices for these academic disciplines in the new building. 
       
  • Naming of the Medical Mutual Community Welcome Court 
    • Medical Mutual is a health insurance provider with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. The company, which made a $1 million naming gift, has maintained a strong partnership with Kent State for many years, serving as the primary health benefits provider for university employees. The Community Welcome Court, located on the side of the building facing East Main Street, will serve as the connective outdoor space for building visitors entering from the north side of the building. 
       
  • Naming of the Walter G. and Judy A. Van Benthuysen Collaboration Staircase 
    • Walter Van Benthuysen graduated from Kent State in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. The gift of $1 million, provided by Walt Van Benthuysen and his wife, Judy, will name the Collaboration Staircase, which is a central innovation feature of the new building’s atrium. It will provide an open gathering space for social and collaborative experiences for students. 
       
  • Naming of the Arthur and Susan Karas Behavioral Research Hub 
    • Arthur Karas is a 1978 accounting alumnus. The Behavioral Research Hub, named for Arthur Karas and his wife, Susan, in honor of their $750,000 gift, will provide a space for cutting-edge research and studies in business disciplines with a focus on behavioral science. 
       
  • Naming of the Timothy D. Eippert Boardroom 
    • Timothy D. Eippert is a 1992 marketing alumnus and has served on the Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors for more than 15 years. The boardroom, which was named with a $600,000 gift, will serve as a prominent gathering space for meetings, working sessions and events with VIPs, advisory board members and internal constituents. 
       
  • Naming of the SEI Investments Team Area 
    • Since 1968, SEI Investments has been a leader in the investment services industry, recognized for its history of innovation. The company, which made a $250,000 gift, manages the invested assets of Kent State. This Team Area will provide space for students and faculty to collaborate and study. 
       
  • Naming of the Robert D. Hisrich Faculty and Staff Lounge 
    • Robert D. Hisrich, Ph.D., is a world-renowned expert and author on entrepreneurship. Hisrich currently serves as the Bridgestone Chair of International Marketing and the director of the Global Management Center in the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Kent State. His $150,000 gift will name the new faculty and staff lounge.
       
  • Naming of the Angelo and Joyce Kinicki Classroom 
    • Angelo Kinicki is a renowned expert and author on management who received his undergraduate degree in management science and his Master of Business Administration and doctorate in organizational science from Kent State. Joyce Kinicki is a 1980 management science alumna. Their gift of $150,000 will name a classroom in Crawford Hall.
       
  • Naming of the Katy Dix Brahler Conference Room 
    • Gary Brahler received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and Katy Dix Brahler received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate and Finance in 1989. Gary Brahler is past chair and current member of the Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors. He made a gift of $100,000 to name the conference room in honor of his wife.
       
  • Naming of the Barry E. and Jo Ann Fetterman Stock Ticker 
    • Barry Fetterman received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Kent State in 1974 and his Master of Business Administration in 1976. He currently serves on both the Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors and on the university’s Board of Trustees. A gift of $100,000 by him and his wife, Jo Ann, will name the stock ticker, a highly visible installation that will display current stock information and will also serve as a communication platform for the building.
       
  • Naming of the Greg and Kathy Long and Ralph R. and Grace B. Jones Foundation Welcome Center and Reception Area 
    • Greg Long graduated from Kent State in 1971 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Science. Greg Long currently serves on the Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors. This $100,000 gift for the new building’s welcome center and reception area, named for Greg Long, his wife, Kathy, and the Ralph R. and Grace B. Jones Foundation, will be located in the atrium and will provide information and a comfortable waiting area for visitors to the building.
       
  • Naming of the R. Louis Schneeberger Student Success Reception Area 
    • R. Louis Schneeberger received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Kent State in 1977. His gift of $100,000 will name the Student Success Reception Area at the entry to the Student Success Center, where students who need academic, education-abroad and career advice can meet with college advisors and other staff. 

 
“Kent State University and the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship are deeply grateful to these alumni and friends for their generous support of the soon-to-be-constructed Crawford Hall,” said Deborah Spake, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship. “This support is transformational to the future of our college, our students and the region.” 
 
In addition to these naming actions recommended for Board approval, Diacon approved the following naming actions under his delegated authority to approve naming actions for gifts less than $100,000: 
 

  • The Jean Wolford Study Lounge by Gregg and Marjorie Vignos 
  • William McKean and Mary Ann Williams Dean’s Office 
  • Stephen M. Hawley Team Area 
  • S. Bruce and Eleanor W. Heister Finance Chair Office 
  • The Polatajko Family Focus Group and Observation Rooms 
  • Salvatore and Carmela Volpe Collaboration Space 
  • Lt. Colonel Kevin W. Blanchard Office 
  • Ken and Kathy Haber Team Area 
  • Nicholas and Cathleen Square Team Area 


In total, these naming actions represent more than $10.7 million given in support of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship and Crawford Hall. Groundbreaking on the new building is expected to take place in spring 2022.  
Kent State’s Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship has been educating students for 85 years and has grown to be the largest business school in Northeast Ohio. With more than 3,600 business students across the Kent State system, the college is the largest provider of entry-level business graduates in the region. These students represent more than 40 countries, demonstrating the college’s global footprint. Not only has the college grown, but its rankings are on the rise. In 2021, the college was ranked No. 25 by U.S. News & World Report for its Online MBA specialty concentration in Business Analytics and No. 26 by The Princeton Review for the Online MBA. The college is also recognized by U.S. News & World Report among the 2021 Best Undergraduate Business Programs in the nation. More information on the college is available at www.kent.edu/crawford.  
  
The Crawford Hall building project is part of the university’s recently announced $350 million comprehensive campaign, Forever Brighter. The campaign is the largest in history for Kent State and features three main fundraising priorities: Prioritizing Student Success, Expanding University Initiatives and Building the Future. More information on the comprehensive campaign is available at www.kent.edu/foreverbrighter

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Media Contact: 
Leigh Greenfelder, lgreenfe@kent.edu, 330-672-7108

POSTED: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 1:18pm
UPDATED: Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 10:18am
WRITTEN BY:
Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement