Lefton to discuss state of university in annual address

Daniel Moore

President Lester Lefton will directly speak to students, faculty and staff in his fifth annual State of the University Address today at 4 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva.

“In keeping with tradition,” according to a Kent State press release, “the president will review progress made toward the university’s excellence agenda and look to opportunities and challenges in the coming year.”

Director of University Relations Emily Vincent said the President’s Office has no further comment about today’s speech. Vincent said Lefton will reveal the speech’s theme as he delivers it.

The speech is the first after yet another record-breaking year of fundraising and enrollment. The university raised $42 million from donors and welcomed a freshman class of 4,284 students.

It also comes amid the recent planning stages of several capital projects designed to renovate, expand and improve campus.

During last year’s speech, Lefton praised faculty and staff as “architects of our destiny.”

“The question is,” Lefton said, “What do we want to design and build?”

Such recent projects include the construction of Centennial Green, which Lefton said will begin Spring 2012; the Esplanade expansion, for which $2.2 million in properties were recently purchased; and a $250 million mass renovation of campus, Lefton stressed the importance of the renovation last year and has continued to meet with state officials regarding the improvements.

After today’s speech, the action will move to Room 204 of the Kent Student Center, where the university will hold a welcome reception for two new administrators: College of Public Health Dean Sonia Alemagno and Vice President for Research Grant McGimpsey.

The university’s website will live broadcast the speech, while WKSU-FM will replay the audio at 7 p.m.

Contact Daniel Moore at [email protected].