Board of Trustees names Student Recreation and Wellness Center for Warren; FedEx donates $6.5 million for aeronautics building

Sydney Purtee

At its last meeting of the school year Thursday, the Kent State University Board of Trustees announced the renaming of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center in honor of retiring university President Beverly Warren. It also accepted a $6.5 million gift from FedEx Corp. to help fund an aeronautics academic building and approved an increase in room and board rates.

The Trustees passed a resolution that granted Warren, who will retire June 30, the title “President Emeritus” and renamed the Rec the Beverly J. Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center in appreciation of her five years of service.

The changes go into effect July 1, 2019, with the board citing Warren’s “extraordinary contributions” such as implementing a “students first” priority and for making Kent State one of the nation’s healthiest campuses.

The meeting featured a video that showcased Warren’s achievements and her impact on Kent State’s campuses and students. The video brought tears to Warren’s eyes.

“I thank the university for all the love you see,” she said. “I will always be a Golden Flash.”

Also honored at the meeting was board member Margot Copeland, who is completing her nine-year term as a trustee and was designated a “Trustee Emeritus.”

Emeriti status means the recipient will retain their title as an honor, even after they retire.

The Board also awarded the President’s Medal to Professor Emerita Laura L. Davis for “elevating the understanding of May 4, 1970, as a seminal event in the history of the university, community and nation, and for contributing immeasurably to the preservation, remembrance, education and furtherance of its legacy and lessons for future generations.”

The President’s Medal is the highest honor conferred by Kent State and recognizes faculty and administrative staff who “made outstanding contributions to the advancement of Kent State through extraordinary and unique service,” according to the university’s website. Past recipients include Distinguished Professor of Human Evolutionary Studies C. Owen Lovejoy, who was honored in 2017.

In appreciation to the FedEx Corp. for pledging $5 million, in addition to $1.5 million already given, the Board named the new aeronautics academic center the FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center. The building will be located at the Kent State University Airport—construction is already underway and expected to be completed for a fall 2019 opening.

The WKSU public radio newsroom will also be renamed thanks to a $250,000 gift from Akron-based attorney Paul G. Perantinides, a longtime member of WKSU’s Community Advisory Council. The newsroom will be named the Perantinides and Nolan Newsroom.

The trustees also voted on an increase to room and board rates, which will increase between $99 and $156 per semester depending on which residence halls students live in. The rates are increasing by a combined 3.03% from previous years.

Sydney Purtee covers Academic Affairs. Contact her at [email protected].