Extremes of Kent State University

A car sits with parking tickets in the Bowman Hall parking lot. Over three thousand tickets have been issued in the parking lot since the fall semester. Photo by Brian Smith.

Emily Inverso

Taking a sweep of the campus, there’s the library (the tallest building in Portage County), seemingly hundreds of black squirrels (thanks to Larry Woodell bringing 10 to the area in 1961) and all the other things that now blend into the landscape of Kent State University.

But there are still a few other mosts, leasts, bests and worsts that aren’t quite as obvious as you walk around campus. Here are six “extremes” you probably didn’t know.

1. Most-ticketed parking lot: Since Aug. 29, 2011, Bowman Hall parking lot has faced the most parking tickets. Out of the campus-wide total of 34,493 tickets since that day, Larry Emling, parking services manager, said 3,074 of them have been from the Bowman lot.

F ollowing it for the most tickets since Aug. 29, in descending order, is the Music and Speech C-lot with 2,207 parking tickets, White Hall’s R-16 lot with 2,069 parking tickets and the Business R-2 lot with 1, 990 parking tickets.

2. Oldest item in the library: Within the University Library and all the way on the 12th floor is the building’s Special Collections and Archives. The collection houses rare materials for anyone to see, and among them is the oldest item in the entire library: a Babylonian clay tablet written in cuneiform characters — one of the earliest known forms of a written language.

The tablet is thought to be dated somewhere around 2,500 B.C.E., said James Bracken, dean of University Libraries.

3. Youngest student seeking a degree: More than 20,000 students attend Kent State University — the youngest of whom is a 16-year-old freshman exploratory major named Tofunmi Babade, said Bob Burford, marketing coordinator for University Communications and Marketing.

4. Biggest donation made to Kent: In the University’s centennial year, alumna Roe Green donated $6.5 million to Kent State. Among the more than 83,000 donations the university has received since William Kent originally gave the gift of land, Green’s donation is the largest, said Valoree Vargo, director of donor services.

5. Oldest building on campus: Built in 1912, Merrill Hall is the oldest campus building and houses the Kent State’s sociology department.

6. Oldest actively teaching professor: In his first academic year teaching full time at Kent State University this year, Frederick Tavill, associate professor in the College of Public Health, is 87 years old — the oldest actively teaching professor, Burford said. Tavill was a part-time professor last academic year, and he had more than 40 years of experience beforehand in international health.

Contact Emily Inverso at [email protected].