KSU President accepts student’s ice bucket challenge

Madeleine Winer

KSU President accepts ALS ice bucket challenge from KentWired.com on Vimeo.

When Rebecca Windover tweeted @PresBWarren to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, she never expected the mass support from the greater Kent State community.

“It’s impressive. It shows what type of person she is and that she cares about students whether they’re undergrad students or alumni,” Windover said about Kent State President Beverly Warren accepting her invitation to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge via Twitter on Aug. 13.

The Kent State community showed their support for Windover’s family and those with Lou Gehrig’s disease today as members of the football team doused Warren, Athletic Director Joel Nielsen and Head Football Coach Paul Haynes with buckets of ice water at Dix Stadium Tuesday afternoon. The event raised awareness for the disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, that affects 5,600 Americans per year.

“It so resonated with me because my brother’s best friend and fraternity brother in college succumbed to ALS after a five year battle,” Warren said. “What I’m so pleased about is…that Kent State University steps up when they’re asked to be challenged. Knowing how much this means to families like Becca’s family and mine and members of Kent State families who have battled this disease, it became natural to say ‘yes we’ll take this on.’”

Warren called out Ohio University President Roderick McDavis and the university’s football team to accept the challenge because Kent State faces the OU Bobcats in its home opener Aug. 30 at Dix Stadium.

Windover said her father-in-law, Mark Urban, was diagnosed about a year and a half ago with the disease. He started receiving hospice care this week. Windover said he has one week to live.

“He can’t talk, bathe or speak,” said Windover, an assistant resident hall director and graduate student at Kent State. “With ALS not having a cure, hopefully with the challenge, all the money that is raised will help so that other families don’t have to go through what we are going through.”

According to the ALS Association, 325 donations have been made from those with kent.edu email addresses and about 3,000 donations have been made from people who live in Kent.

Nielsen said when Warren approached him to participate in the challenge, the decision was a “no brainer.”

He said another member of the Kent State community, Susan Murphy, whose husband is the namesake for Kent State’s Murphy-Mellis Field, succumbed to the disease three weeks ago after being diagnosed with it one year ago.

“It’s such a debilitating disease,” Nielsen said. “If this is what it takes, it’s pretty easy to do. I hope this spawns more charitable giving for other worthwhile causes to start the ball rolling.” 

Contact Madeleine Winer at [email protected]