Athletic facilities named to honor important supporters of Kent State sports 


Participants of the Walk a Mile in Their Shoes event pass the M.A.C. Center Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

Isabella Schreck, Reporter

Six athletic facilities have been named to honor impactful supporters of Kent State’s sports programs.

The Golden Flashes Club, annual donors to Kent State athletics, announced the news in a press release from Kent State Athletics Wednesday.

“This is an exciting time for our athletic department,” director of athletics Randale Richmond said in the press release. “Having supporters who see the value of athletics and the importance of making our department student-athlete centered, coach led and administrator supported is beyond measure. The ability to enhance our facilities is pivotal to our success.”

The facilities newly named are:

  • The Devine Diamond: The softball complex, formerly known as “Diamond at Dix,” will be named after women’s athletics pioneer Judy Devine. A dedication ceremony will be held at the softball team’s game against Western Michigan at the newly named field on April 30. Devine organized and coached softball, women’s field hockey and women’s basketball, and she was also those teams’ athletic trainer. She served as assistant athletics director, associate athletics director and senior associate athletics director during her 31 years at Kent State.
  • The Scolin MacLean Lounge: The office area next to the ticket office in the M.A.C. Center, where the Golden Flashes Club hosts pre- and post-game activities for its members, now honors 1990 alumnus Scolin MacLean. During his time at Kent State, MacLean played on the lacrosse club and was student manager of the football team. He now volunteers as the director of creative solutions under the Office of Athletic Advancement.
  • Laing and Saundra Kennedy Blue and Gold Trophy Room: The trophy room in the M.A.C. Center is now named after Laing, director of athletics from 1994-2000, and Saundra Kennedy. They have given gifts totaling $100,000 to the department of intercollegiate athletics. Laing was inducted into the Mid-American Conference’s Hall of Fame Class of 2022. During his 16 seasons with Kent State athletics, Laing received the Northeast Region Division I-A Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2002 and 2006. He currently holds the title of emeritus athletics director.
  • The Dave and Sherry Joy Lobby: The field house lobby has been named to honor longtime donors and Kent community members Dave, a Kent State alumnus, and Sherry Joy. The couple has given gifts totaling $100,000 to Kent State athletics, and in 2014, they created the Dave and Sherry Joy Endowed Scholarship for athletics.
  • The Gary and Mindy Aleman Field House Offices: The Dave and Sherry Joy field house lobby now lead to offices named for Gary and Mindy Aleman. Mindy worked with the Center for Gift and Estate Planning for 22 years. Along with donating to other areas of the university, like the College of the Arts, the couple contributes to their own baseball endowment scholarship.
  • The Dr. James Karge Olsen Lobby: The lobby of the George Jenkins Athletic Academic Resource Center in the M.A.C. Annex will now honor Dr. James Karge Olsen. Jenkins, a 1963 Kent State graduate and co-captain of the football team, donated to the construction and expansion of the academic center for student athletes bearing his name. He gave gifts totaling $100,000. Olsen, who taught constitutional law and jurisprudence at Kent State, was Jenkins’ mentor in his pursuit to attend law school.

“The support we have received has been amazing,” Maggie McKendry, associate athletic director for athletic advancement, said in the press release. “Exciting announcements like this go a long way as we continue to develop a first-class athletic department and experience for our student-athletes.”

Isabella Schreck is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].