Women’s Center reveals timeline of women of Kent State at ‘Coming Home’ celebration

Sierra Campbell

Faculty, staff, alumni and students shared their stories and memorabilia at the Williamson House’s Coming Home celebration Friday night.

The celebration reconnected alumni with the Women’s Center for the 100th Homecoming weekend on Kent State’s campus.

The timeline project helped those involved with the Women’s Center reminisce on how important the past is when going into the future.

“It’s us reaching down to our roots as we move forward,” said Suzanne Holt, a professor for women’s studies who often works with the Women’s Center. “This is a center point. We’re preserving women’s history on campus.”

The song, “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce played while supporters of the center added their words of encouragement and achievements to the timeline with sticky notes.

One note read, “‘Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them” – Unknown.” written by Bella Adornetto, a senior criminal justice major.

The timeline highlighted moments in women’s history at Kent State, including the creation of the university’s first Latina sorority, Lambda Theta Nu, was announced, to the time Kent Police Department’s announced its first female lieutenant, now Chief of Police Michelle Lee.

The celebration displayed other forms of history for the center to look back on as well. Memorabilia included rubber bracelets, pins and a Days for Girls kit. The kit, packaged by volunteers of the Women’s Center, include underwear and reusable menstrual pads.

After receiving news that told of the demolition of the Williamson House, where the Women’s Center is located, Cassandra Pegg-Kirby, the Women’s Center director, and Kylie Boyer, a senior communications major, worked together on the project.

The university prepared to remove the building for its development of “the Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State,” a 10-year plan to update the campus. After backlash from the community, Kent State decided to leave the Williamson House in place.

Boyer researched the Digital Chestnut Burr and the digital Daily Kent Stater archives. She was able to find stories dating from 1910 to today, all highlighting women’s achievements in Kent.

“We want to keep adding to it, every year,” Boyer said. “I am hoping to work with someone from the library. There are boxes filled with material that hasn’t been scanned for the archives yet.”

The Women’s Center will keep the timeline updated and allow others to add their own contributions to it.

“This house, we got to keep, and we want to celebrate that,” said Sierra Clark, a graduate assistant for the Women’s Center.

Sierra Campbell is the Women’s and Gender Issues reporter. Contact her at [email protected]