Kent State Recognizes Alumni During Homecoming Weekend
Kent State University continues to rise in national rankings as a top university in areas of research, innovation, global education and more. Its graduates leave the university prepared with the knowledge and experiences to impact the world around them.
The university recognizes alumni who, through leadership, character and hard work, are making a difference. During Homecoming Weekend, 10 Golden Flashes were presented with Alumni Awards, and nine alumni received Lifetime Achievement recognitions from the university’s Black Alumni Chapter.
“It was inspiring to interact with our university’s finest graduates, and it was my great pleasure to recognize our Kent State graduates who excel as national and international leaders in higher education, law and the arts,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon.
The Alumni Awards, sponsored by the Kent State Alumni Association, are the university’s most prestigious alumni honors. Recipients are selected based on their exceptional professional and civic contributions and for their outstanding support of the university.
“The alumni association established this awards program in 1958, and with each new class of award recipients, we see firsthand the great work that is being done – and has always been done – by Kent State alumni and students,” said Andrea Gauding, a 1987 Kent State graduate who serves as president of Kent State’s Alumni Association National Board of Directors. “Our graduates are influential, industrious, imaginative and inspiring, and this year’s recipients are no exception.”
The 2023 Alumni Award recipients were honored at a reception held on Oct. 20 at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. The 2023 Alumni Awards were presented to Thomas Iivari, ’67, MS ’76 (Distinguished Alumni Award); Scott Haws, ’99, MBA (Distinguished Citizen Award); Danita Brown Young, ’97, Ph.D. (Professional Achievement Award); Sonia Karkare, ’93, MS ’96 (Professional Achievement Award); John Van Alstine, ’74, MFA (Professional Achievement Award); Garret Ferrara, ’90, MBA ’92 (Kent State Advocacy Award); Morgan Dawson, ’20 (Outstanding New Professional Award); Isobel Day, ’23 (Golden Flash Award); Haley Dees (Golden Flash Award); and Avery Hall, ’23 (Golden Flash Award).
For more information about the Alumni Awards, visit www.kent.edu/alumni/kent-state-alumni-awards.
Black Alumni Chapter Recognition Celebration
Held on Oct. 21 at the Kent Student Center Ballroom, the Kent State Black Alumni Chapter recognized Black alumni and individuals from the university and the Kent community. Lifetime Achievement honors were presented to Charles Fleming, ’86, JD; Willard Jenkins, ’73; Marvin Johnson, ’01; Rosemary Kilkenny, ’71, MA ’74, M.Ed. ’75, JD; Darlene McCoy, ’75; D’Andra Mull, ’02, Ph.D.; Donald Thigpen, ’68, JD; Renee Tramble Richard, ’76, MBA, JD; and Emilia Sykes, ’07. The chapter acknowledged notable Kent State faculty and Black alumni who died in 2020-2023. Recognitions were also presented to Shirley Crosby; Meli Temu, ’69, M.Ed. ’72, Ph.D. ’76; Eugene Shelton, ’72, MA ’03; Charles Greene; and Danita Brown Young, ’97, Ph.D.
The event was sponsored by the Office of the President, the Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, and Black Alumni Chapter President Silas Ashley, ’74.
“The recognition celebration was a collaborative effort to have those Black alumni who have distinguished themselves, over the past five decades, be officially recognized by Kent State University,” Ashley said. “We wish to extend our sincere gratitude and thanks to the Office of the President, the KSU Alumni Association, the Department of Africana Studies, the E. Timothy Moore Student Multicultural Center and others for their support in this endeavor.”
For more information about the Black Alumni Chapter at Kent State, visit www.kent.edu/alumni/black-alumni-chapter.
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Top Photo Caption – Alumni Awards:
The 2023 Kent State University Alumni Award winners smile after the Alumni Awards ceremony. Pictured (from left to right) are Sonia Karkare, Danita Brown Young, Ph.D., Scott Haws, Garret Ferrara, Morgan Dawson, Thomas Iivari, Isobel Day, Haley Dees, Avery Hall and John Van Alstine.