From Deli to Degrees

Gus Markanton Knew the Value of Both

If you were a student at Kent State University's East Liverpool campus in the last 40 years, then you may have known Gus Markanton pretty well. Markanton owned Gus's Party Center, and his famous deli sandwiches were legendary to several generations of students. Tom Snow, '70, says, "I practically lived on Gus's ham and swiss during high school and my days at Kent State East Liverpool." Snow now serves as the Executive Director of the Columbiana County Metropolitan Housing Authority. He fondly recalls that Gus always provided encouragement and advice to students when they visited his store.

Gus passed away recently, but his spirit for giving back to the community lives on through his decision to make Kent State East Liverpool one of his estate beneficiaries -- with a gift of nearly $250,000 -- a large portion of which will fund a scholarship endowment for local students. Mr. Markanton is one of many East Liverpool community leaders who have demonstrated commitment to the area through their generous support of student scholarships and campus programming.

According Markanton's nephew, Jeff Shinton, "My uncle believed that it was essential for individuals to continue their education. He felt Kent State East Liverpool created higher education access for many local students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to earn a college degree." Shinton says that his uncle recognized that a degree helped prepare individuals for success in business, and that truly successful people understood that they were responsible for their community's wellbeing. "My uncle believed in giving quietly," says Shinton. "Kent State East Liverpool is one of many local community organizations that benefitted from his generosity now and during his lifetime."

Mr. Markanton's gift will have both an immediate and long-term impact on Kent State East Liverpool's students. Beginning this fall, the Gus Markanton Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to at least five students who are graduates of East Liverpool City, Beaver Local and Wellsville Schools in Ohio or Hancock County Schools in West Virginia, and majoring in a business related discipline. Additional funds have been dedicated to future campus facility improvements that will ensure students have access to new and innovative learning environments.

Markanton's desire to help Kent State East Liverpool students was realized with the establishment of a charitable reminder unitrust. "This is one of several types of charitable giving options that allows individuals to earn income while also establishing legacy that will benefit students," says Matthew Butts, Director of Advancement for the East Liverpool and Salem Campus. "It's inspiring to be part of a community that values higher education so greatly," adds Kent State East Liverpool Assistant Dean, Dr. Sue Rossi. "We're proud to know our graduates will continue this tradition. Mr. Markanton's gift will inspire our students and alumni for years to come." For more information about how you can create a legacy to benefit Kent State University East Liverpool students, please contact Matthew Butts at or 330-382-7559.

POSTED: Sunday, April 1, 2012 11:05 AM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 11:07 AM
Institutional Advancement