Famous alumni

Arsenio Hall, age 56, majored in communications (’77)

– Started out as a comedian in Chicago, opening for stars such as Aretha Franklin

– Started in acting in the 1980’s

– Best known for hosting the first black late-night talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show, which ran from 1989-1994, providing a showcase for rap and hip-hop artists

– Most recently appeared on (and won) the celebrity edition of The Apprentice

– Awards: He received two NAACP Image awards and a Key of Life Award

– Was interested in magic as a kid and performed at weddings and birthday parties

– He hosted the early pilot episodes of the US daytime version of the hit game show Deal or No Deal

Wayne Dawson (‘79) BA in journalism

– Co-anchor for Fox 8 News in the Morning (watch him weekdays from 5-10 a.m.)

– Anchored and reported for WNIR Radio in Kent

– Awards: 8 Emmy’s, named “Most Favorite Male,” and “Best Dressed Male Television Personality,” by Cleveland Life Magazine, Jaycees “Outstanding Young Men of America,” and the Professional Women’s Business Association’s “Outstanding TV News Reporter”

Josh Cribbs (‘04) majored in communications

– No. 16 wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns

– NFL’s all-time career kick-return touchdown leader (8)

-Named to three NFL Pro Bowls (2007, 2009, 2012)

– Two-time NFL All-Pro (2007, 2009)

– Member of NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team

– Ranked fourth in the NFL in kick return average in 2012

– Ranked sixth in the NFL in punt return average in 2012

– Founded “Josh’s Cribb,” which provides season tickets, apparel and food to the Center for Families and Children; he also donates a lot of his time volunteering for organizations in Cleveland.

Fun Facts:

– Started his football career at Kent State as a quarterback and later became a wide receiver

– His #9 jersey was retired from Kent State in 2010, becoming the fourth player here to achieve that honor

– He was runner-up for MAC Freshman of the Year honors to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

Alaina Reed Hall (1946-2009, graduation date unknown)

– Played Olivia, Gordon’s kid sister, on Sesame Street

– She appeared in many Broadway musicals, including “Chicago” and “Hair”

– Had roles in Cruel Intentions, Death Becomes Her, and made guest appearances on shows such as ER and Friends

– After moving to New York, she supported herself by working at Bloomingdale’s and looking for acting/singing work at night

– She co-wrote and co-produced a Fox children’s video “Learning Can be Fun”

Antonio Gates (’02) majored in general studies

– No. 85 tight end for the San Diego Chargers

– Became seventh tight end in NFL history to record 500 career receptions on Oct. 3, 2010

– Named to eight NFL Pro Bowls (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)

– 5-time NFL All-Pro tight end (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010)

– Member of NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team

– Had his Kent State basketball jersey number, 44, retired on Feb. 27, 2010, making him just the fourth Flash to receive the honor.

James Harrison (’02)

-No. 92 linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers

-Named to five Pro Bowls (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)

-Four All-Pro selections (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)

-His 100-yard interception return touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII is the longest play in Super Bowl history.

-Made a $100,000 donation to the Kent State athletic department on Sep. 12, 2012

Emmanuel Burriss (’06)

-Infielder for the Cincinnati Reds

-First round pick (33rd overall) of San Francisco in 2006.

-Won 2010 World Series with the Giants.

-Kent State’s all-time stolen base leader (92).

Gerald Tinker (’72)

-Won gold medal in 4 x 100 men’s relay in 1972 Olympics

-Selected 44th overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 1974 NFL Draft

-Also played for Green Bay Packers in the NFL

Steve Harvey

-Comedian and talk show host.

-Originally from Welch, W.V. but moved to Cleveland as a kid.

-Attended Kent State for two years before transferring to West Virginia University

-First performed his act at Hilarities Comedy Club in Cleveland

-Host of ‘Showtime at the Apollo’

-Stared in his own sit-com ‘The Steve Harvey Show’

Mabel Ormes, Class of 1916

-Believed to be the first African-American woman graduate

-Graduated from Kent State Normal College

-From Salem, Ohio

-Graduated from Salem High School in 1913

-Wrote her senior thesis on the Cause and Prevention of Tuberculosis

Oscar Ritchie, majored in Sociology, Class of 1946

-Earned his Master’s in Sociology

-Served as the Trustee for the Alumni Association from 1957-1959

-Was the first black professor in the state of Ohio and at Kent State

-Served as the adviser to the black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi in 1955

-The Oscar Ritchie scholarship and Oscar Ritchie Hall are both named after him

-Awards: Julius Rosenwald scholarship and Guggenheim Award

Contact Megan Corder at [email protected], Kelsey Husnick at [email protected], Nick Shook at [email protected], Brian Smith at [email protected], Richie Mulhall at [email protected], Christian Petrila at [email protected].