Honors alumni, staff welcomed back for reunion

Leila Archer

An Honors alumni reunion welcomed former students and staff back to Kent State as a part of the Homecoming and Honors College 75th anniversary festivities Friday night.

While the event reconnected staff and alumni, the college also recognized individuals who have contributed to the program over the years. Friday’s celebration honored former alumni chapter presidents, faculty and deans.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to honor them tonight,” Don Williams, dean of the Honors College, said in a speech, adding that each honoree contributed in a heartfelt way.

The night began with mingling; current staff chatted with old students, former staff talked with alumni and even former dean Larry Andrews could be found mixing with the staff and alumni.

Andrews, who was dean from 1993 to 2007, was honored at the event.

“It’s great to see staff members again,” he said. “I feel as if I got a nice, warm welcoming.”

Andrews said that he has been talking to Williams, who keeps him up-to-date about the changes being made within the college.

There was a table set up dedicated to Small Group housing near the entrance with fact sheets about each dorm. There were also notebooks for each residence hall that alumni were encouraged to sign and write a memory or two in. Bricks from each residence hall were available for guests to have.

Wild Horses, a band from Cleveland that had a national hit back in the 1970s, was at the event to provide entertainment and played covers of old favorites such as “Light My Fire” by The Doors.

Kim Brown, coordinator of student life and alumni relations, said the event was “an opportunity to reconnect and thank the Honors College and Kent State University as a whole.”

“It’s meant to be a fun time,” she said. “The Honors College is a place to build relationships to last a lifetime.”

Brandon Tidd, a 2005 graduate of Kent State and former Honors student, said his favorite memory was decorating his residence hall for Halloween and having local kids come trick-or-treating.

Alumni, faculty and staff all agreed that current students should definitely keep in contact with the college and university following graduation.

“Anytime you transition from college life to the real world it’s going to be challenging,” Tidd said, adding that keeping in touch with the college “provides valuable resources for networking and taking those first steps off-campus.”

Contact Honors College reporter Leila Archer at [email protected].

The following people were recognized for their achievements at the event:

• Meg May received her bachelor’s degree in 1996 and her master’s in 2006. As an undergraduate, she lived in Heer Hall and said she met some of the greatest hall mates, who “still get together.”

May, who was a president of the alumni chapter, also enjoyed the smaller class sizes that the Honors College offered.

“It was much easier to foster relationships with faculty and staff,” she said, adding that the Honors College was beneficial to her career because it provided networking opportunities.

• Wilma Crawford worked at Kent State from 1971 to 2005. Crawford has held many positions in the Honors College, including assistant to the dean.

“I loved being in Honors,” she said.

• Helga Kaplan worked for the college as an adviser. She organized Honors Week, and said it was one of her biggest accomplishments.

“They said it couldn’t be done,” she said. Honors Week is now held every year in the spring.

Kaplan also organized two student trips to Israel; one group went in 1977 and another group went in 1984.

In addition to working for the Honors College, Kaplan also taught women’s studies at the main campus and the Kent State Stark Campus.