Alumnus donation distributed across multiple programs, totaling $5 million

Cindy Deng

The Elliot family pledged $2 million to create the Elliot Studios for Design and $1 million each for The Elliot Program for Healthcare Design, The Elliot Scholars and The Elliot Professorship in Healthcare Design.

The University has built a strong relationship with the Elliot family for about six years.

Alumnus John Elliot was asked by the University in 2012 to join the Kent State University Foundation Board. He was elected into the board October 2012 and attended his first board meeting in California around Spring 2013. There, he and his family privately met with Dean Douglas Steidl and Director of Advancement Marti Ring and discussed about the $5 million donation.

“We were thrilled,” Steidl said. “They gave us the news and the excitement level really went up.”

Ring said her efforts in reconnecting with alumni is what made the college and the Elliot family relationship stronger throughout the years.

“To feel the impact on the students and programs is exciting,” Ring said. “I’m honored to be a part of that.”

After some discussion, the Elliot family pledged to fund $1 million each in endowments for The Elliot Program for Healthcare Design, The Elliot Scholars and The Elliot Professorship in Healthcare Design. The other $2 million will create the Elliot Studios for Design for the new College of Architecture and Environmental Design building, which is to name the entire area of the new architectural studio.

The Elliot Scholars will fund 10 $5,000 scholarships for fulltime architecture students in any CAED graduate degree program each year. Awards will be designated for both KSU domestic scholarships and global study opportunities.

The Elliot Program for Healthcare Design will support a new program in Healthcare Design. CAED currently holds a Certificate in Healthcare Facilities and will soon offer a Masters in Healthcare Design. The Master’s program is currently under review for approval at the State Board of Regents.

“We’re hoping to start with a cohort of students in the fall of 2014,” Steidl said if the program is approved.

In addition to the new program, the Elliot Professorship in Healthcare Design will be used to provide competitive compensation and research support for promising faculty members holding the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or professor in the CAED.

Steidl said the college has talked about implementing healthcare design for some time considering the ranked nature of Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania with the Cleveland Clinic, Summa Health System, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and more. He said the Elliot family has close ties in the healthcare industry. John once owned a firm called John Elliot Associates, Architects and Planners, which began building nursing homes. His wife, a retired nurse, received a degree in health services at the West Virginia Institute of Technology, as did John. They now own and operate AMFM LLC., an 11-facility nursing home business in West Virginia.

“Their commitment to healthcare in their personal lives and their work-business lives was a natural to link with us to say ‘here’s our alma mater, they’re doing healthcare, we’re into healthcare,’” said Steidl. “It was a melding of their commitment and our commitment.’”

Prior to this donation, the Elliot family started the Elliot Family Foundation Architectural Scholarship about three years ago for architecture students. Steidl said the Elliot family has been “certainly a generous family.”

“I think that it’s a nice combination between the building and something that’s going to last in perpetuity that will assist the college on an income basis for years and years,” Steidl said. “It impacts students from the space they work in, with scholarships and their finances, the quality of the faculty…it’s really impactful to the future of graduates at Kent State.”

Contact Cindy Deng at [email protected].