Students can cash in at home games

Jenna Staul

Kent State students may have an extra reason to attend home football games thanks to a new scholarship program that will leave thousands of dollars up for grabs for any interested student.

Kent State Athletics will raffle off $2,000 scholarships at each of the first four home games and a $5,000 scholarship at the final home game. The scholarships are open to the entire Kent State student body, including all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

“There are no strings attached,” said Alicia Gaffney, assistant director for athletic advancement, about the stipulations that students must meet to receive the scholarship.

The money is the result of a donation from Mel Mellis, the chair of the Kent State University Foundation Board Officers.

Chris Pinch, from Kent State Athletics Marketing and Promotions, said the program is intended to drive the students to the games.

Last year’s average home turnout was just 7,536.

Students must present a valid Kent State ID at the Dix Stadium gate to receive a ticket. Winners will be announced between the third and fourth quarters of the game. Students must be present to win.

“We want our student body to be a part of our athletics,” Associate Athletic Director Pete Mahoney said.

The scholarship money will be directly put in the student’s bursars account toward next semester’s tuition, he said .

Other plans in the works to help generate more student interest in home football games includes: Xbox 360 giveaways, free T-shirts and a tent sponsored by Kent State Athletics in Tailgate Alley featuring live music and free food for students.

“Students have the best seats in the house on the 50 yard line,” Mahoney said. “We want to fill up the student section. We want to surpass last year’s average — and we had a great turnout last year.”

At the heart of the new scholarship program is the desire to support education, said Matthew Geis, director of athletic advancement.

“Part of the mission of Kent State Athletics is education,” Geis said.

Flashes at home

Sept. 15 — Delaware

Oct. 6 — Miami (Homecomming)

Oct. 20 — Bowling Green

Oct. 27 — Central Michigan

Nov. 24 — Buffalo

Contact news correspondent Jenna Staul at [email protected].