Terrace bricks serve as commemorative mementos

Theresa Edwards

It’s just a brick.

The sandy brown concrete still has grout stuck on it.

And it’s dirty.

But for some Kent State alumni, that dirty brick has changed their lives – which is why the Kent State Alumni Association received 167 requests for free bricks when the university demolished Terrace Hall.

The bricks were free for those who picked them up, and those who had the bricks mailed to them paid for shipping. The Terrace Hall bricks were given to members of the association as a bonus for their membership, said Nancy Schuster, marketing secretary for the Alumni Association.

“It was a huge success,” she said. “We shipped quite a few.”

Don Humphrey, Class of 1968 and president of the Lake County Alumni Chapter, got a brick and didn’t even live in Terrace Hall. But he did eat his meals there.

“I just remember being with all kinds of friends and acquaintances,” he said.

Pam Silliman of Stow graduated in 1993, but she lived in Terrace when she was a student at Kent State during the 1965-1966 academic year, and she had to have a brick.

“I couldn’t let a part of my past go down without having a piece of it,” she said.

Silliman keeps the brick on her desk at work. She said this has prompted a lot of questions about where it’s from and why she wanted it.

“I tell them I used to live there,” she said.

Schuster said the notification that the bricks were available went out to Kent State alumni in June’s e-Flash, an online publication e-mailed to the members of the association.

“The alum were just tickled to be able to get a piece of that,” she said.

Sarah Simpson, one of the student assistants at the association, helped piece the project together. She said she packed the bricks to ship them to alumni who couldn’t pick them up.

“It’s a nice idea, but they were dirty,” she said. “A lot of people liked it. A lot of people came back.”

Schuster said the construction company delivered about 200 bricks to the association for the project.

Most alumni who received a brick were local, but the association had requests for bricks from all over the nation, she said. The association has about 10 bricks left to mail. Shipping the bricks cost $10 for alumni who can’t pick them up at the university.

Lori Randorf, executive director of the association, said they got contacts from alumni who wanted the commemorative pieces and they worked with the architect’s office to make the project happen.

“I think if we could send one brick to one person who wanted it, that would be a success,” she said.

Arica Kress of Columbus was a resident assistant in Terrace during the 2001-2002 academic year. She graduated in 2003.

“That was the first year that I was (a resident assistant) on campus,” she said. “It just meant a lot to me just being the first year I was involved in the residence halls.”

She said Terrace Hall was diverse because students with many diverse majors and interests lived there, and she made a lot of good friends with whom she’s kept in touch.

Kress placed the brick in her home when she got it.

“I feel like it ‘s a good memory of my times there,” she said.

Contact alumni affairs reporter Theresa Edwards at [email protected].