Want to have lunch with the president?

President Lester Lefton speaks at the Bowman Breakfast in the Student Center Ballroom, Oct. 2, 2013.

President Lester Lefton speaks at the Bowman Breakfast in the Student Center Ballroom, Oct. 2, 2013.

Jimmy Miller

Freshman architecture major Christine Billie was used to addressing her high school principal “on a first-name basis.”

But, once she arrived at a campus much larger than her high school, Billie found a much different environment.

“I feel like here on campus, I don’t really know [President] Lester Lefton,” Billie said.

In order to get to know Lefton better, Billie and other Kent State students have applied and been accepted to have an open conversation with Kent State’s outgoing chief Feb. 27 as part of Lefton’s monthly “Lunch with Lefton” event.

The lunch, set between noon and 1:30 p.m. Thursday, does not list a specific location; students are asked to check in at the front desk of the executive offices in the library.

Students could apply for the lunch on Kent State’s website at the beginning of the semester. The university granted eight to 10 students permission to sit down with Lefton in an open conversation.

Applicants were selected on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“Lunch with Lefton” has been an event since 2009, although Lefton has sat down with students to eat and address concerns since his arrival in 2006,” said Emily Vincent, director of university media relations.

Connor Kaldor, freshman architecture major, signed up for the lunch online with Billie.  He said one of the questions asked what he would ask Lefton at the lunch.

“I wanted to ask about the experience as being president of such a large university,” Kaldor said. “I want to know what his big goal was when he first got here.”

Kaldor said he was told the event would not go past an hour and a half, although there is no set time allotted for questions.

Vincent said the lunches are served by Banquet Services, and the location will be set to accommodate the participants in the event.

Lefton said in a statement he “enjoys the free flow of ideas with students during these lunches as a way to learn more about ways to make the university stronger.”

Lefton also said he looks forward to getting to know students on a more personal level.

“I want to get to know him and learn his backstory,” Billie said. “I want to know what he would like to see in the future from [president-elect] Beverly Warren.”

Additional “Lunches with Lefton” are set for March 18 and April 10. Students can apply to eat lunch with Kent State’s president on the “Lunch with Lefton” webpage.

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected].