The Day The Rock Moved

The campus landmark is no 'rolling stone,' but it has had a few notable sprints

The famous Rock on Front Campus of Kent State University's Kent Campus has moved three times. 

First, the seven-ton, granite boulder, formed deep within the Earth, was pushed to the surface and then deposited in what would eventually become North America and the City of Kent by a glacier about 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. Then, in 1922, The Rock was moved to a spot between the sidewalk and East Main Street by direct request of Kent State President John E. McGilvrey. The location in Kent that it was moved from is uncertain. Conflicting stories say that it either came from a construction site in downtown Kent or was unearthed on campus, near Moulton Hall. 

Former location of The Rock, 1976.

Photo from The Daily Kent Stater, showing the spot The Rock had occupied for nearly 50 years.

A number of different stories also try to guess when The Rock was first painted by students. The earliest photo showing Greek letters painted on The Rock is from 1927, but it was likely being painted before then. 

Finally, nearly 50 years ago, on Sept. 23, 1976, The Rock was once again moved to accommodate the widening of East Main Street. University grounds crews moved The Rock about 100 feet, from its place near the roadway to the location where it rests today.  

The Rock in 1976

This photo from The Daily Kent Stater was taken just after The Rock had been moved to the spot where it currently stands. 

POSTED: Thursday, September 21, 2023 10:50 AM
Updated: Thursday, September 21, 2023 04:46 PM
Phil B. Soencksen