Warren hosts town-gown breakfast to celebrate her first year

Austin Bennett

President Beverly Warren told an audience of more than 60 that the success of her first year is due to the willingness of the Kent community to embrace change.

Warren spoke at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center on Wednesday morning. At the same time and place one year ago, Warren hosted a town-gown breakfast, and Kent State held a similar event to commemorate her first year and look ahead to her sophomore year.

Warren highlighted the growth and vitality of her first year and looked ahead into year two with members of the Kent State administration and the leaders of the Kent community.

“Kent State is on the rise,” Warren said. “We are all in to make this a better place.”

Warren reunites with Flashguides on day one of year two

President Beverly Warren reunited with Kent State Flashguides for lunch at Quaker Steak & Lube in the Kent State Student Center on Wednesday. One year ago, Warren met a group of Flashguides under the arch on the Esplanade for her first campus tour.

“You’re the secret sauce of Kent State University,” Warren said to the students. “This is something I wanted to repeat because you do so much for the university.”

During lunch, Warren asked the students to answer what they’re most proud of at the university, what the university can do better and what dreams they have for Kent State.

During Warren’s first year, the university continues to grow in several areas, which include the largest freshmen class in the history of the university and the opening of the Aeronautics and Technology Building, the Wick Poetry Center and the Center for Undergraduate Excellence. Warren was also a part of the groundbreaking for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, and the construction of the College for Institutional Advancement and the Center for Visual Arts.

“This has been a year about partnerships,” Warren said.

The Greater Ohio Policy Center designated Kent State and the city of Kent as the inaugural winner of the Catalytic Partnership Award for their collaborative efforts.

Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala said Warren has been engaged from day one.

“Our relationship with the university has been better than it’s ever has been,” Fiala said. “You can see what’s happening on campus or downtown. It’s been a cooperative effort between the university and the city.”

Warren plans to maintain the university’s student-first mentality to rebrand the image of Kent State in year two.

“When every individual thrives, we all thrive,” Warren said.

One of the president’s plans to facilitate student success next year is growing the university’s endowment.

Warren said she would like to increase the endowment from $118 million to $500 million over the coming years, to keep cost down and bring more scholarships for students.

“Growing our endowment is core to our philanthropic mission at Kent State,” said Jeff McLain, vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the KSU Foundation.

McLain said an endowment works similarly to a savings account. The account earns income annually but the university can only spend the earned income, which protects the base for the future.

“Great schools have strong endowments,” McLain said. “The gift keeps giving for years.”

Contact Austin Bennett at [email protected]