Kent State honors grandparents

Katy Brown

Freshman Angelina Fiorini, her parents Tony and Trish Fiorini and grandparents Henry and Antonette Fiorini enjoy a meal together at Eastway for Grandparents Day.

Hannah Potes | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

In 1978, Marian McQuade, a West Virginia housewife and grandmother, had the idea to set aside one day to celebrate grandparents.

Thirty-one years later, Kent State celebrates Grandparent’s Day by inviting grandparents of all students to come for a special dinner at Eastway Café in their honor.

“Some grandparents show up, some don’t,” said Autumn Piller, dining services marketing manager, “It’s just a chance for students to have their grandparents see . how (students) live.”

Bob and Janet Thomas, of Alliance, took advantage of the holiday to visit their granddaughter, Allie Decker, a freshman nursing major.

Bob Thomas, who said he is newly retired and enjoys the free time on his hands, decided the event would give him and his wife the chance to visit Kent State and their granddaughter, and to “get the lay of the land.”

“I would be here regardless if (he) were still on the golf course,” Janet Thomas joked.

For Decker, who said she is close to her grandparents, the visit was enjoyable. It also eased her grandparents’ minds.

“(My grandmother) is constantly texting me, ‘Did you make it to your dorm safe?'” she said.

The Thomases said college has changed over the years, giving them reason to worry about their granddaughter. Between the drugs and violence sometimes associated with college life, they said, “(College) has become worrisome.”

“Allie’s just so special,” Janet Thomas said.

Students were still able to honor grandparents who did not have the chance to visit. Dining Services provided “Thank You” cards, which could be out filled out and sent, free of charge.

Contact news correspondent Katy Brown at [email protected].