Dear Members of the Kent State University Community,
As we approach Thanksgiving week, it is a special time for each of us to acknowledge our gratitude for those whose contributions enrich our lives and the communities we serve. I am especially grateful for the privilege of working in such a caring community of students, faculty, staff and alumni where every day we strive to stretch our boundaries, to embrace new ways of learning, to advance new discoveries that make a difference in all our lives and to make meaningful contributions to the well-being of communities at home and abroad. Time and again, you have demonstrated that even the smallest expressions of humanity and gratitude can make a meaningful impact on others.
In this note of gratitude, I would like to share with you a few examples of those special people and contributions that are emblematic of the Kent State spirit.
I am pleased to announce the reappointment and title change of Dr. Todd Diacon to Executive Vice President and Provost through July 31, 2020. This title change, following his positive administrative review, recognizes Provost Diacon’s accomplishments in the Division of Academic Affairs since assuming this post on April 2, 2012. The title also reflects the significant role of the provost and makes clear that he serves as the university’s chief executive officer in the president’s absence. I am grateful for Todd’s partnership and look forward to his continuing leadership. Please join me in thanking him for his outstanding service and dedication to Kent State.
This fall, we celebrated many members of our faculty for their milestone achievements of promotion and tenure, and we recognized other members of our outstanding faculty for their contributions to the teaching and learning environment through their selection as recipients of outstanding teaching awards. We inducted nine new members into our Varsity “K” Hall of Fame and honored outstanding alumni for their service and contributions.
On Thursday, we will gather at 11 a.m. at the Kent Student Center Kiva on the Kent Campus and at other sites across our eight-campus system to commemorate Veterans Day and to honor those who serve in our armed forces, especially the 812 student veterans and service members and the 234 faculty and staff veterans on our eight campuses.
Observances like these provide us all the opportunity to thank our veterans for their sacrifices and service to our nation that protect our freedom and liberty and enable public institutions such as Kent State to thrive. I heartily encourage each of us to take a moment on Thursday and on Veterans Day to publicly express our gratitude for our veterans.
In the last academic year, the Kent State family demonstrated its gratitude through record-setting contributions to our fundraising effort. To the many individuals who contribute their time, knowledge and financial resources to Kent State, thank you for reminding us that generosity comes in many forms, and it is through our collective engagement that we create a welcoming environment where all are valued and lifted to our highest of aspirations.
We have an outstanding opportunity to continue these expressions of gratitude through our month-long Giving Tuesday effort that will culminate on Nov. 28. In this special month of gratitude, please consider giving back to this outstanding university. It is a special time to contribute to your favorite program and to support students through scholarships and dedicated funds that support learning and high-impact experiences. I invite you to visit the Giving Tuesday website to find how you can contribute and receive matching funds for the program or initiative of your choice.
The fall semester is passing quickly, and before long, our university community will be embarking on final exams and contemplating the holiday break. And in the blink of an eye, we will find ourselves celebrating the New Year and the return to our campuses for the 2018 Spring Semester.
When spring semester begins, I encourage all undergraduate students to visit the enhanced Career Exploration and Development Center in the Schwartz Center to take advantage of the expanded services. We know how important it is to connect learning and passion with career options that will frame a life of meaning. Some of the new services include:
As president of Kent State, I am grateful to all — our students, faculty, staff and alumni — who make this university such a marvelous place for academic study and the free exchange of thought.
In closing, let me offer my good wishes to all for a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving holiday.
With best regards,