In March 1995, President Carol A. Cartwright appointed a Women's Center Committee, chaired by Pam Creedon, whose membership reflected the diversity of talented people committed to the notion of a women's center at Kent State. In August 1995 the committee developed a 21-page recommendations report, outlining the existing needs for a Women's Center; its mission, functions and services; the administrative placement for the center; suggestions for space and furnishings; and ideas about staffing and budgets, which they presented to President Cartwright.
In November 1995, the report was presented to the Kent State University Board of Trustees, who approved the development of a Women's Center.
Following the approval of the Board of Trustees, President Cartwright named the chair of a hiring committee to select the director of the Women's Center and the Division of Human Resources began making preparations for integrating the center into that division.
Work by a myriad of Kent State University architects, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters and grounds crews reconfigured what once was the presidential mansion's carriage house into a fully accessible and functional Women's Center.
In June 1996, the hiring committee named its choice for the first director, and fine tuning of the building preparation began. Director Molly Merryman began work on start-up issues and by the time she arrived at Kent State in August, the building renovation was complete,.
On Nov. 13, 1996, the Kent State University Women's Center held an open house and reception to celebrate its opening and let the university and local communities know that the center was open and ready to assist and advocate women.
In November 2011, the Women's Center at Kent State University celebrated its 15th anniversary!
In its first 15 years, the Women's Center
- Established in 2003, the Women's Center Endowed Scholarship Fund and awarded sixteen scholarships to date.
- Become a founding member and perennial host of the Take Back The Night, 10 Points of Light Campaign which works towards ending sexual violence.
- Developed Mothers, Mentors and Muses, a scholarship fundraising event which honors excellence in the women of Kent State University. To date, over 90 women, faculty and staff have been honored.
- Provides bi-annual mammograms for Kent State University women, serving approximately 150 each year.
- Supports female faculty, staff and students who find they are dealing with issues of transition or crisis through counseling, referral and resources
Over the years, the Women's Center has been fortunate to receive critical operating support from a handful of dedicated and generous individuals. In honor of these committed benefactors and in celebration of our 15th Anniversary, we are turning to the greater Kent State and northeastern Ohio community to ask you to join in supporting the Center and its important work.