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Kent State raises nearly $200 million: Star-studded fund-raiser set in NY

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By Matt Fredmonsky

Record-Courier staff writer

Fund-raising efforts at Kent State University to bolster funds for endowment, capital projects and current operations are closing in on the $200 million mark.

More than $32 million in donations this fiscal year alone boosted the university’s Centennial Campaign balance to $192.5 million. The ultimate goal is $250 million, and university officials believe they are likely to surpass that amount by the time the campaign ends in 2012.

“We have two years left, so I’m confident that we will certainly be able to meet our goal,” said Gene Finn, vice president for institutional advancement at KSU. “But in this economy, you can never be too certain.”

A little help from Hollywood and Broadway probably won’t hurt either.

Jeff Richmond, who composed the music for NBC’s hit comedy “30 Rock,” and whose wife, Tina Fey, stars in the show, will co-host a fundraiser for the School of Theatre and Dance with Alice Ripley in New York City next month. Ripley received a 2009 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her lead role in “Next to Normal,” and Richmond took home an Emmy Award last year for his work on “30 Rock.” Both are KSU alumni.

Richmond also is a graduate of James A. Garfield High School in Garrettsville and his parents still live in Portage County.

The fund-raiser in New York is part of the effort to name the school’s new black box theater after two professors, William H. Zucchero and Louis O. Erdmann, who played a profound role in the school’s expansion.

The recent donations include a pledge for $1.2 million from Judy Devine, a senior associate athletics director emerita, and the William Risman family, which donated $500,000 toward the Founders Medallion Scholarships.

And more than 350 students have contributed to the campaign for change scholarship, which itself has a balance in excess of $40,000. So far, more than 72,000 donors have contributed.

“At this stage, because we’ve had such a terrific response to the campaign, we are certainly at a point where we’re engaging a lot of our alumni in the fundraising process,” Finn said. “I certainly expect that we would meet and exceed (the goal) by the time it closes in 2012.” 



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 2 Total Comments
    Posted by AndrewP March 11, 2010
Why should there be an eyesore such as a parking garage on campus?

    Posted by misstia March 11, 2010
yet they still won't build a parking deck on campus....

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