Letter to the editor from Michael Wilkins

Michael Wilkins

President Lester A. Lefton will leave a great legacy behind him when he retires this June. When I first came to Kent in the fall of 2011, I can remember all of the construction going on around Kent. Throughout my short three years in Kent, I have seen multiple transformations to the city.

The Student Green was built, along with the Esplanade, providing a safe and efficient way to down town from campus, a new hotel and conference center and a parking garage.  

There are also unfinished projects, such as the new architecture building, the field house locker room and, most importantly to me, the new Aeronautics and Technology building, which will house the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology. Lefton helped play a part in many ways to make all of these transformations possible on the Kent campus.  

While attending “Science Springs Forward,” an event on April 23 that celebrated the addition of the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability, and Technology to the science mall, I was able to interact with Lefton personally.  

An aviation student organization, AAAE, [American Association of Airport Executives] was hosting a fundraiser, where students were asked to pay a dollar and then create a paper airplane. Then, whoever built the paper airplane that went the farthest won a Chipotlegift card. A student walked up to Lefton and asked if he would be willing to participate. He eagerly accepted and participated in the friendly competition. Although his plane did not win, he still seemed very interested in our majors and future plans.

This to me proves that the involvement from Lefton is not only sincere but also genuine to the student body. His presence and participation made it clear to not just me but all of those attending the event that he is not just our president but also our friend.  

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Lefton for his interest in my success and future and for his kind words of encouragement. I will forever remember him as Kent State great president. 

Michael Wilkins is a senior Aeronautics major.