Five things you missed this summer

Kent State President Lester A. Lefton speaks with the media about his retirement announcement outside Schoonover Stadium on Wednesday, April 17. Lefton officially announced his retirement earlier in the day and it will be effective July 1, 2014. Photo by SHANE FLANIGAN.

Kelsey Husnick

Kent probably wasn’t on your mind as you spent the summer catching up with friends in your hometown, exploring a new city while taking on an internship or lounging on the beach. It was still here and thriving, though. To get you back into the news loop, here’s what you missed:

1. Picking the President

President Lester Lefton’s replacement search committee was formed in the beginning of August in preparation for his retirement effective July 1, 2014. The 16-member team is comprised of campus and community members, including one undergraduate and one graduate student. They will work with an executive search firm, hold open forums and take nominations for the new president.

2. Bomb Threat

A cab driver alerted the police about a bomb threat on campus in June. Louis Koleszar, a 58-year-old from Colorado, told the driver he was on his way to bomb the campus when he got in a cab from the Akron-Canton Airport. The driver notified police, and the man was arrested in Ravenna before making it to campus. The event had an anticlimactic ending — no explosives were found on Koleszar according to the Portage County sheriff, and he was charged with making false alarms involving a weapon of mass destruction, a third-degree felony.

3. Campaigning for Heisman

In an effort to get Dri Archer, senior running back and wide receiver, into the running for the 2013 Heisman trophy, an entire campaign has been started.“Dri4Heisman” has its own website, Facebook and Twitter page. The campaign brought us a comic strip, “The Archer,” on Twitter on Aug. 14 created by 1971 Kent State graduate Chuck Ayers. You can follow the story @Dri4Heisman .

4. Producing Royalty

Heather Wells, who completed her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at Kent State and currently is getting her master’s degree in nutrition, was crowned Miss Ohio 2013 at the pageant in Mansfield in June. The 23-year-old minored in dance and used the studios on campus to practice before the pageant. She is also a former member of Kent State’s on-campus student television channel, TV2, which she says helped her during interviews. Wells will be competing for the title of Miss America in September, running on the platform “Divorce Recovery for Youth.”

5. Nationally Recognized

The Chronicle of Higher Education named Kent State a “Great College to Work For.” It’s the sixth time Kent State has made the list, excelling this year in the category for compensation and benefits and because Kent State allows employees to take classes for free. The list included 97 colleges from across the country, and Kent State was the only Ohio public university to be recognized.

Campus Makeover

What’s new:

After some delays, the Esplanade opened for the public Aug. 1. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the walkway that connects campus and downtown is scheduled for Homecoming weekend, said Eric Mansfield, executive director of University Media Relations. The event will include a ribbon cutting and other festivities on the Esplanade.

The water tower on Terrace Drive got a $400,000 paint job, now boasting a screaming Kent State eagle on both sides of the tower.

A new community garden is blooming where the old Allerton Apartments stood. Gardeners started using the 40 plots of land in June as a result of an initiative by Kent State’s Sustainability Task Force.

What’s left to do:

Construction is ongoing on the Science Mall on a new addition between the Mathematics and Computer Sciences Building and the Liquid Crystal Materials Science Building.

The two-story building will be completed by Fall 2014 and will house classrooms, labs and facilities for the Air Traffic Control Center as a part of the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology.

Four new buildings also are planned for campus and downtown. The Secret Cellar, a speakeasy-themed wine bar, will open in early September underneath Buffalo Wild Wings on the corner of Depeyster Street and Main Street. Dunkin’ Donuts will open across from front campus sometime this semester.

New apartments and the restaurant Bricco will open next April on the corner of East Erie Street and South Depeyster Street, and the Portage County Courthouse on East Main Street will open sometime in the spring.

Contact Kelsey Husnick at [email protected].