KSU trustees to host event to honor retiring president

Staff report


A reception and celebration to honor Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

The event, which is hosted by the Kent State Board of Trustees, is open to all faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the community. Refreshments will be served.

Lefton, who will retire as Kent State’s 11th president July 1, has served as the university’s chief executive officer since July 1, 2006. The university achieved significant accomplishments during his time as Kent State president, including record student enrollment, retention and graduation numbers; the town-gown partnership that resulted in the revitalization of downtown Kent; the university’s Centennial Campaign, which raised a record-breaking $265 million; and the “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” campus improvement program that is transforming Kent State’s campuses to meet world-class standards.

“This year, and for the past seven years, President Lefton has delivered on his primary goal — ensuring in every way possible that we improve retention and develop the quality experiences and facilities that are appropriate for the aspirations of our students,” Kent State Board Chairwoman Jane Murphy Timken said at the most-recent Kent State board meeting. “We’ve grown our enrollment by more than 26 percent and raised our profile as a university of choice, and it has been instrumental to our academic and financial health. We believe his tenure will be remembered as a dynamic time for Kent State.”

The reception will feature a video presentation and remarks from Todd Diacon, Kent State’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost; Alfreda Brown, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion; and Evan Gildenblatt, the university’s special assistant for Federal Relations in Washington, D.C., and a former executive director for Kent State’s Undergraduate Student Government.

Lefton also will make remarks at the event.

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