Kent State University is deeply grateful to the many foundations that have generously supported the work of our faculty, staff and students. With these foundations’ support, we are able to continue to help our students understand and develop their sense of purpose, which supports their transition from students of life to persons of impact on campus, across the nation and around the globe.

We are proud to highlight the following foundations that have recently funded projects to accelerate vital research, programming and student success initiatives at Kent State. Through their generosity, they are helping advance the university’s mission to transform lives and communities through the power of discovery, learning and creative expression in an inclusive environment.

Ascendium Education Group
Amount Pledged: $1,092,414
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Mary Parker, Tara Hudson and Tim Pagliari
This grant is for the “Development of a Statewide Comprehensive Transfer Blueprint.” Over the next three years, Kent State University will partner with Lorain County Community College, Eastern Gateway Community College and Columbus State Community College to develop transfer pathways that streamline student progress to a degree. With the goal of developing an effective model that can be shared and replicated, the partners will implement innovative approaches and assess the framework for both student-level impact and institutional return on investment.

Lebron James Family Foundation
Amount Pledged: $96,215
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Justin Hilton
This grant supported the Flash P'ACT program. This 4-week on-campus overnight collegiate immersion experience for Akron Public School IPROMISE students provides daily academic education for ACT test prep, math and reading, and college readiness programming.

Council on Library and Information Resources
Amount Pledged: $30,561
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Ginnie Dressler and Haley Antell
This grant will be used to preserve and provide access to hundreds of audio and audiovisual recordings from responses to the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970.

Kulas Foundation
Amount Pledged: $15,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Ricardo Sepulveda
This grant will be used for the Kulas Visiting Artist at 2019 Kent Blossom Music Festival.

Akron Community Foundation Women's Endowment Fund
Amount Pledged: $15,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Angela Neal-Barnett
This grant will support the expansion of Dr. Neal-Barnett’s Cleveland-based “SOS Sister
Circles” intervention to women in Summit County. With an overarching goal to address racial
disparities in infant mortality in Akron, SOS Sister Circles are a doula-led intervention for
expectant and post-partum black and biracial mothers to help them better manage race-based
stress and anxiety, which play a key role in infant prematurity and mortality.

Charles E. Schell Foundation
Amount Pledged: $100,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Student Financial Aid
The Charles E. Schell Foundation (Fifth Third Bank, Trustee) grant will be used as an interest-free revolving loan fund for qualified students from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia or adjoining states. The Charles E. Schell Foundation support helps to bridge the gap in low-interest loan funding for our students created by the elimination of the Federal Perkins Loan program in 2017.

The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation
Amount Pledged: $50,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Kent State Geauga Nursing Program
A grant from the Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation to support the purchase of new equipment for the nursing simulation lab at the Kent State Geauga campus.

Cleveland Foundation
Amount Pledged: $15,000
In support of the Rising Scholars program, the Cleveland Foundation has awarded Kent State University Geauga a $15,000 grant through its Lake-Geauga Fund. This grant will enable promising, low-income and first-generation Geauga County students in grades 7-12 to participate in year-round, evidence-based interventions shown to increase high school graduation rates, enhance college and career readiness, improve academic attendance and performance, and prepare a technically skilled, professionally-trained workforce. Rising Scholars and their families will benefit from the comprehensive support of their school district, a Kent State Geauga mentor, university faculty and staff, and the local community all working together to ensure that participants discover their passion and move on with purpose, fulfilling their potential and reaching their academic and career goals.
Amount Pledged: $75,500 
The Cleveland Foundation has provided a $75,500 grant for Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s Creative Fusion 2019: Detroit Superior Bridge & International Student Exchange project. The grant supports an urban design project in downtown Cleveland with U.K.-based Squid Soup; this is a collaborative project that creates digital and interactive media experiences. Through this project, the designers will immerse residents and visitors in an interactive experience on the streetcar level of the Detroit Superior Bridge, by transforming this underutilized resource into a signature public space and bicycle/pedestrian connection. The grant also supports an International Design Exchange (INDEX) between Cleveland-based graduate students in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture from Kent State's College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), and the Lebanese American University in Beirut. These groups will explore commonalities between the Beirut and Cuyahoga Rivers and participate in a cross-cultural exchange of ideas between Lebanese and U.S. designers and design students.

Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. Foundation
Amount Pledged: $110,872 
A new scholarship fund has been created in honor of Rev. Dr. Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. This fund will provide scholarships to full-time, undergraduate student(s) from Summit County pursuing a degree in a liberal arts discipline, particularly education or political science. Rev. Dr. Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. was a member of the Kent State University Board of Trustees from 1982 – 1991. He received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Howard University. He was an ordained minister who served as associate minister at his lifelong church – Wesley Temple AME Zion Church in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Garrett enjoyed a historic career in public service that included a multitude of both elected and appointed positions, including positions under four United States presidents. He founded Garrett & Co., a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm specializing in international trade. Dr. Garrett passed away in 1999 after a short but prolific life filled with inspiring accomplishments. The impact of his work and interests now lives on in this new endowment scholarship at Kent State University.

Saint Luke’s Foundation
Amount Pledged: $78,819
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Terry Schwarz
This grant will support the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s award-winning Making Our Own Space initiative. Making Our Own Space engages middle and high school students in designing and implementing their own public space improvements and amenities for commercial corridors in the Buckeye-Shaker, Mt. Pleasant and Woodland Hills neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio.  

Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust
Amount Pledged: $8,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Student Financial Aid
This collaboration will support Last Opportunity Scholarships. These scholarships will be given to Kent State students who are residents of Akron, Ohio, and the immediate surrounding communities in Summit County, or are graduates of the Akron Public School system with demonstrated financial need and who have a minimum of 2.5 GPA.

Herbert W. Hoover Foundation
Amount Pledged: $100,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Gregory Smith and Robert Hamilton
This grant was awarded for the Flood Risk Reduction Benefits of Florida’s Mangroves during Hurricane Irma.

The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation

Amount Pledged: $20,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: David Jurca
This pledge will support an effort which builds on a successful pilot program piloted in 2017 in Cleveland’s La Villa Hispana neighborhood. The Making Our Own Space – La Villa Hispana Youth Workshop will promote six students from the pilot year to workshop assistants, and will engage six new youth to become community placemakers. Making Our Own Space is an after-school program, which trains middle school and high school students to design and build their own public space improvements.


Martha Holden Jennings Foundation

Amount Pledged: $26,290
Primary Kent State collaborators: Annette Kratcoski and Todd Hawley
This grant was awarded for May 4, 1970 & Now: Voices for Change, a project that will provide educational opportunities for local middle and high school teachers and students to develop a deeper understanding of this critical moment in American history and reflect on its relevance today. It will include an Educators Summit, educational resources website and a regional Voices for Change cohort of middle and high school teachers and students who will focus on participatory citizenship and also engage in an ongoing inquiry of the historical events and humanities themes.

Amount Pledged: $21,790
Primary Kent State collaborators: Cassie Storlie and Bridget Mulvey
The grant for the College of Education, Health and Human Services is in support of the Education and Latina Leadership Academy in the Sciences (ELLAS) project for middle and high school Latina students interested in science. Participants will be recruited from Painesville City Schools and Esperanza Inc. in Cleveland.

Peg’s Foundation
Amount Pledged: $2,500,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: J.R. Campbell
This generous pledge will fund the Margaret Clark Morgan Endowed Leadership Chair ($1,500,000), to be held by the Fashion School. Through this gift, Kent State will be able to recruit and retain the most distinguished professors and world-class leaders for this post. This pledge will also endow the Margaret Clark Morgan Study-Away Program Fund ($1,000,000), which will support direct student costs associated with participating in the Kent State Fashion School’s Study-Away Program.

Amount Pledged: $165,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Wendy Umberger and Lisa Onesko
This grant for the College of Nursing for Expanding the base of PMH APRNs in Northeast Ohio from 2019-2022. The grant will provide $105,000 over three years to continue the Peg’s Foundation traineeship program for graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in nursing as a Psychiatric Mental Health (PMH) advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and $60,000 over three years to support two Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholars.

Amount Pledged: $10,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Chris Coles
This matching grant from Peg’s Foundation is for the Akron Knight Arts Challenge project “Nine Lives.” Nine Lives is an original four-movement suite for jazz ensemble created by Coles, to the Akron community in summer 2019. Each movement of the concert-length multimedia production builds upon the story of the 2015 Charleston church shooting to examine broader societal problems through different art forms, including animation, spoken word, dance and music. During each performance, audiences will be engaged in open forums to spark dialogue about social issues and ways to bring our diverse community closer through empathy, understanding and self-reflection.

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
Amount Pledged: $50,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett
This grant was awarded for esCentral Interventions: Race, Stress and Infant Mortality in the Central Neighborhood. This grant is for research on anxiety disorders among African Americans. esCentral Interventions is a holistic sister-circle approach to address trauma and positive parenting for expectant and post-partum mothers in the Central Neighborhood of Cleveland.

Burton D. Morgan Foundation
Amount Pledged: $300,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Julie Messing
This pledge will support NEOLaunchNet programming and operations for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. LaunchNET promotes entrepreneurship and innovation, and helps clients (KSU students, faculty/staff and alumni) create new businesses or grow existing startups.

Amount Pledged: $48,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Jackie Ruller
This grant will support SkyHack 2.0 in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering. SkyHack is a weekend-long hackathon that provides the opportunity for students to interact in a unique way combining entrepreneurship, college innovation, creativity and collaboration – all around the theme of aeronautics. Please see the following website for more information or to get involved.

Werner-Henle Charitable Trust – Henle Fellowship
Amount Pledged: $25,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Dr. Gary Koski
This pledge helps to fund a Kent State fellowship supporting Dr. Gary Koski’s work in connection with immunology and oncology research.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Amount Pledged: $45,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Christopher Coles
This grant supports Nine Lives, Coles’ interdisciplinary piece that will immerse the audience into the lives and stories of nine African Americans killed during an evening prayer service in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

Amount Pledged: $74,000
Primary Kent State Collaborator: Terry Schwarz
This grant was awarded to the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative for urban and landscape design support for the city of Akron. This is the second phase of the project and will consist of conceptual design and planning for three parks in the Akron Parks Challenge and two commercial corridors that are part of the city's Great Streets initiative, along with additional community design assistance.