Former KSU president Carol Cartwright speaks at Women’s Center event


Former Kent State and Bowling Green president Carol Cartwright gives her keynote presentation on “Anniversary Reflections” at the Mothers, Mentors, and Muses Scholarship Fundraiser on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

Alexandra Seibt

Kent State’s first female president, Carol Cartwright, returned to Kent State to speak at Mothers, Mentors & Muses: the seventh-annual Women’s Center Scholarship Fundraiser, hosted by the Women’s Center, on Tuesday night.

Cartwright was this year’s keynote speaker. 

“Dr. Cartwright was the university’s first female president and it was during her tenure that she convened a special stakeholder committee to create what would eventually become the Women’s Center,” Heather Adams, executive director of the Women’s and Gender center, said. “One might say she was the mother of the Women’s center.”

President Beverly Warren introduced Cartwright.

“If we talk about mothers, mentors and muses we have picked the right person to share insights with us,” Warren said. “When she began her 15-year career as the first woman, it was truly a milestone not only in the state of Ohio, but generally, throughout the country this was a rare, rare opportunity to have a female leader at such a larger, prominent university.”

Cartwright served as Kent State’s president from 1991 until 2006, and not only was she Kent’s first female president, but she was the first female president at a State University in Ohio.

“I learned first-hand what it means to try and achieve some work-life balance,” Cartwright said. “And I experienced discrimination because working outside the home with young children was definitely frowned upon.”

This year’s event was also part of the Women’s Center twentieth anniversary celebration. Cartwright explained how throughout that time, the center has grown.

“During the past 20 years, the center has grown and changed to meet new challenges. It’s continued to press for change on long standing issues and it has expanded services to more communities and more groups,” Cartwright said. “(The center) developed programs on violence prevention, sexual assault, child care, leadership, mentoring, financial planning, scholarship support and so much more.”

Not only did the event honor Kent State faculty and staff, but it also recognized three students who received the Women’s Center 2015-2016 Endowed Scholarship.

“It was a really nice event, I like how they honored women,” said Tiffany Coleman, a freshman pre-fashion design merchandising student. “It goes to show you that times are changing and women are actually doing things in our community and around the world.”

According to the Women’s Center website, “Mothers, Mentors and Muses is the Women’s Center’s signature event that recognizes Kent State University female-identifying faculty or staff who have made a significant difference in the life of a student or colleague. More than 300 women across the university have received this honor.”

Also stated on the Women’s Center website, the Women’s Center Endowed Scholarship, which was established in 2003, provides “$500 scholarships to two qualified Kent State University female identified, undergraduate students.  Since its inception, the Women’s Center Scholarship program has awarded over $11,000 to student scholarship recipients”  

Contact Alexandra Seibt at [email protected].