Fun Facts about Kent State

The Kent Stater Staff

First gluten-free dining hall on a college campus

In August 2016, Kent State opened Prentice Cafe as the first gluten-free dining hall in the nation to address growing demands for gluten-free foods and accommodations on campus.

“The demand has increased, and it’s not just students with celiac (disease) and intolerances,”said Tracy Holzman, executive chef of University Dining Services. “There are some that do make it a dietary choice.”

Prentice Cafe is located on the lower level of Prentice Hall.

Black squirrels

The black squirrels visitors see around Kent weren’t actually from that area. In 1961, former groundskeeper Larry Wooddell and former Davey Tree employee “Biff” Staples came across a black squirrel for the first time in Chardon, Ohio, according to Kent State’s website.

They learned the black squirrel population was rapidly decreasing because of predators and eventually, the squirrels disappeared from the Chardon area.

Staples and Wooddell came across the black squirrel again in Canada. They worked with the U.S. government and Canada’s government to capture a 10 black squirrels and brought them to Kent.

Green roofs

Since 2015, Taylor Hall and the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology installed “green roofs” on top of their buildings.

The roofs, which look like a giant patch of grass, last longer and help reduce energy costs, said Melanie Knowles, manager of sustainability in the facilities planning and operations department at Kent State’s main campus. 

Knowles said the green roofs are apart of the university’s push to conserve energy under Ohio House Bill 7, which requires colleges and universities in Ohio to reduce energy consumption up to 20 percent.

Tallest building

The Kent State library stands 12 floors high, serving as the tallest building in Portage County. 

Student organizations

Every student on campus can find their niche because lucky for them, there is over 400 student organizations at Kent State. Whether a student wants to be involved more with their major or wants to have fun, like the hide-and-seek club, there’s something for everyone.