Forever Brighter funds will be used for scholarships, research funding and building expansion

The $350 million Forever Brighter fundraising campaign will be used to prioritize student success, expand university initiatives and build the future.

Kent State University announced the $350 million fundraising campaign, the largest in university history, Oct. 2 during halftime of Kent State’s homecoming football game. They have raised $272 million of the fundraiser goal during the quiet phase of the campaign. 

In a press release, the university said Forever Brighter has raised more than $85 million for Prioritizing Student Success, a key goal of the campaign, and $100 million for scholarships and student success programs.

The campaign also intends to nationally and internationally enhance student experiences, support, athletics, research and innovation.

The College of Podiatric Medicine Funding

As part of the Forever Brighter campaign, The College of Podiatric Medicine received a $10 million gift from the Podiatry Foundation, the largest single gift in the history of the university according to the press release. Located in Independence, the College of Podiatric Medicine is the only one of its kind in Ohio. 

To honor the gift, the clinical space on the first floor of the college will be renamed The Podiatry Foundation Foot and Ankle Clinic. The gift will be used to fund scholarships, research and continuing medical education programs within the college. 

 “The longstanding relationship between the college and The Podiatry Foundation has been instrumental in Kent State’s recognition as a leading college in the important field of foot and ankle medicine,” said Kent State University president Todd Diacon. “We are very grateful for their visionary support.”

One of the scholarships created through this gift will be named the Thomas V. Melillo Scholarship. Melillo was the president of the college from 1984 to 2012. 

The funding for this gift will be held in an endowed fund, The Podiatry Foundation Endowment, within the Kent State University Foundation. 

The Office of Global Education and the School of Art Scholarships

The Forever Brighter campaign also included an anonymous $1.8 Million estate gift for the Office of Global Education and the School of Art. The gift will provide student scholarships for those participating in the education-abroad program in Geneva, Switzerland and students in the School of Art. 

The anonymous gift is from a married couple who met during a spring break education-abroad trip to Portugal and credits their 30-year marriage to that experience.  

The College of Aeronautics and Engineering Building

A $1.5 million gift from The Timken Foundation of Canton was given to expand the College of Aeronautics and Engineering building.

The philanthropic gift only accounts for part of the building’s 41,449 square foot expansion. The addition is budgeted for $19.6 million: $14.1 million from 2020 bond proceeds, $4 million from local funds and $1.5 million from The Timken Foundation of Canton.

The addition will add 80% more space to the college and will include classrooms, instructional laboratories, shop areas, cyber classrooms, faculty offices and more. The building’s new two-story atrium will be named in honor of The Timken Foundation of Canton, the press release stated. 

The College of Arts and Sciences

Earl Miller, Kent State alum and renowned cognitive neuroscientist, and his wife Marlene M. Wicherski have pledged $2 million to the College of Arts and Sciences to support scholarships and endowed faculty. 

The funds will be used for three scholarships and an endowed professorship at Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences concentrated on neuroscience. Kent State is hosting a grand opening of the Brain Health Research Institute Labs and Collaboratory in November.

Megan Becker is an assigning editor. Contact her at [email protected].