KSU alumni celebrate their 50-year reunion

Aubrey Johnson

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Twenty-eight of 666 members from the Kent State University Class of 1961 will reunite Saturday to reminisce and take part in Homecoming festivities.

They will participate in an event sponsored by the Alumni Association called the Golden Order Induction, which recognizes alumni 50 years after graduation.

Alumni will come from several states, such as Virginia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Colorado to celebrate their 50th reunion.

Lisa Mascellino, assistant director of outreach for the alumni association and coordinator of the event, said this is a group of people who are happy to be alive.

“They are very proud of Kent State,” Mascellino said. “For them it is a huge milestone that they graduated 50 years ago.”

This year, six members from the class of 1961 joined the Golden Order Planning Committee to help organize the event. One of the members, Clarence Mixon of Cleveland, Ohio, was chosen to be this year’s class speaker.

Mascellino said Mixon is a dynamic individual and was the most outspoken of the planning committee.

Mixon will speak shortly about his experience at Kent and how it helped him jumpstart his career and life.

As a veteran of the U.S. Military, Mixon said he came to Kent as a freshman when his colleagues were seniors.

He said while he was a student he opened a barbershop in the black community of Kent, which is still on Elm Street. He said it was the only black shop for Kent students and residents of Kent and Ravenna.

The Kent City Council felt he “was not zoned for business” because it was a one-chair shop and tried to stop him. He said he had to appeal it at the council meeting and won the decision in his favor.

Mixon said he also helped to establish the chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Kent and was the president the first two years of its establishment.

During the time he attended Kent the town was segregated, and Mixon said blacks were only allowed on four or five streets past the post office and along the river.

“I had a full life at Kent,” Mixon said. “It didn’t make a difference whether we were segregated or not.”

Mixon said he is looking forward to the reunion because he will get to see some of his colleagues and reminisce.

“We can get together and lie and bullshit and talk about what we did,” Mixon said.

While sharing some of his stories, Mixon said he “hopes to put a smile on someone’s face, recognizing that life is still good, and we’re all still blessed.”

Contact Aubrey Johnson at [email protected].