Honors College coordinator dies after 37 years at KSU



Cheyenne Perry

Deborah Craig, coordinator for the Honors College, died at home surrounded by her family July 2. Craig, 61, worked in the college for 37 years.

Donald Palmer, interim dean of the Honors College, said he knew Craig “way back when she was a student.” She was incredibly dedicated, liked to have things done the right way and took her job seriously, he said.

“She had her days when she had to be out,” Palmer said. “When she was in, she was 100 percent on her job. I think that she had a tremendous personal strength. That is the kind of thing that inspires everyone.”

Craig graduated from Wittenberg University in 1973 with a B.A. in political science. She then went on to Kent State for her M.Ed. in educational administration in 1976, a M.A. in political science in 1980 and a Ph.D. in evaluation and measurement in 1987. Craig started working for the Honors College in 1976 as a graduate Honors counselor. She was the coordinator of recruitment, scholarships and the Guest of Honor University Artist/Lecture Series before she passed away.

Meredith Stefan and Morgan Craig, her daughters, said Craig was anything but typical. They described their mother’s love for travel — especially to the Outer Banks — her love for her dogs Chuy, Scruffy and Paco and her love for vampires.

“She taught us about diversity [and] equality,” Stefan said. “She taught us that intelligence was the key, and school was really important […] We knew that we would go to college and that we would go to Kent State.”

Stefan and her brother Armand Craig are Kent State alumni, and Morgan is currently enrolled.

“Whenever people say we look like her or act like her, I feel so grateful and honored to be compared to her,” Morgan said. “She’s impacted so many people throughout her life. It’s amazing.”

“All three of us kids feel like if we turn out to be anything like our mother, or our father who also worked for Kent, we really will have accomplished something,” Stefan said.

Palmer said he remembers how Craig was always direct in the way she advised her students.

“One of the things we have to remember about big places [is] we sometimes identify the whole university as an entity, but we really have to remember that it is made up of individuals,” he said.

Contact Cheyenne Perry at [email protected].