Former Kent State University President Gives $1 Million to Scholarships
Kent State University President Emerita Carol Cartwright, Ph.D., and her husband, G. Phillip Cartwright, Ph.D., have made a $1 million estate gift that will create scholarships at Kent State to support students who wish to engage in the arts. The Cartwright Family Fund for Opportunities in the Arts is an unrestricted endowment that will enable underrepresented populations to participate in arts education who might not otherwise be able to do so. In addition to their planned gift, the Cartwrights have pledged $10,000 per year to begin making an impact on students immediately through scholarship support in the College of the Arts.
“The Cartwrights have a deep commitment to create transformative opportunities for talented and capable students,” Kent State President Beverly Warren said. “Their support directly contributes to preparing and empowering students from diverse backgrounds to become informed, passionate and well-rounded citizens through an engaging education in the arts.”
From 1991-2006, President Emerita Cartwright led Kent State, earning her the distinction of the first female president of a state university in Ohio. Under her leadership, access and scholarship support for students became Kent State’s top priority, the status of teaching and public service was elevated, academic programs were implemented in a wide range of high-demand and emerging fields, and Kent State successfully completed its first major fundraising campaign.
“Carol laid the groundwork for many of the distinctive Kent State traits that we celebrate today,” President Warren said. “Supporting students and providing scholarships has been a part of her legacy since 1991, and I’m thankful that Carol, Phil and their children have made this generous gift to provide greater access for students wishing to study the arts.”
In addition to serving as Kent State president, President Emerita Cartwright was president of Bowling Green State University from 2008-11. She previously was the vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of California, Davis and dean for undergraduate programs and vice provost at the Pennsylvania State University.
“This gift was a family decision,” President Emerita Cartwright said. “Our three children were actively engaged in the discussion, and they all believe deeply in the value of creative fields and how the arts contribute to civic life and personal and career development. Our family has been enriched by the arts, and we want more people to have that opportunity. We care deeply for Kent State and are pleased to provide scholarships in a flexible way that best suits the needs of the College of the Arts and its talented students.”
The scholarships are intended to be used at the discretion of the college leadership to support underrepresented populations in any creative field.
“The Cartwright family’s support will have a profound and long-lasting effect, and help us recruit the top talent in the arts,” said John Crawford-Spinelli, Ed.D., dean of Kent State’s College of the Arts. “Most art is about interpreting the world around us. By diversifying our student population, we welcome new styles and ideas that expand our students’ worlds and enrich the educational experience for all of our remarkable young people.”
Dean Crawford-Spinelli said that might mean women or minorities in some degrees, but in other cases, it could support men who are underrepresented in areas such as theatre and dance.
Since her retirement, President Emerita Cartwright and her husband have stayed connected to Kent State in a variety of ways, including philanthropic gifts to the university for Founders Scholars, Porthouse Theatre, the Fashion School and WKSU.
“Our hearts are here in Kent,” President Emerita Cartwright said. “We value both the Kent State family and the larger community. We were driven by the opportunity to make a true and lasting difference in students’ lives and are pleased that we can see the value of our investment right away when we interact with students and Kent State faculty.”
“The Cartwrights have served the university in countless ways for many years, and now their legacy will create scholarships to ensure many more students realize the dream of a college degree,” said Stephen G. Sokany, vice president for institutional advancement at Kent State. “The Cartwrights helped launch philanthropy at Kent State in 1991, and they are leading by example today with this thoughtful family contribution.”
The College of the Arts in conjunction with the Kent State University Foundation are responsible for administering the fund, which will support scholarships to cover tuition, room and board, fees, books and supplies.