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 Kent State University Archives


She Got Game!

Posted by [email protected] on January 11, 2015 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Girls in bloomer pants and high-collared sailor shirts led the way for Women’s Basketball at Kent State!

Intercollegiate athletics did not arrive at Kent until the 1930s; therefore students participated in intramural sports as a means of competition. However, female athletes were forced to play under modified conditions, such as half court play and only three dribbles of the ball at a time. The women athletes competed under a cloud of stereotypes (such as being frail and weak), which infiltrated how they were allowed to compete. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm of the sport continued to spread amongst many of the women at Kent, as teams bore names such as: Red Terror, Lucky Strikes, Blockheads, and the Whippets! 

This squad of eight women modestly dressed in high-necked blouses with sailor collars, and bloomer pants, were one of the earliest all-female basketball groups created in 1914!

Women’s Basketball at Kent State has generated a roster of phenomenal athletes over the years, including Mary Bukovac, who landed the title of MAC Player of the Year in 1989 and won first team all-conference honors twice!

If you are a sports enthusiast or want to learn more about Kent State Women's Basketball, review the following resources in the Department of Special Collections and Archives, on the 12th floor of the Kent State library, Go Flashes!

Gilgenbach, Cara and Theresa Walton. Kent State University Athletics. Images of Sports series. Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2008. 128pp

Basketball (Women). Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives

Flash in Time: Kent State Airport

Posted by [email protected] on November 5, 2014 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Did you know the Kent State University's Andrew W. Paton Field was the first airport in Summit County.

As open houses continue for public feedback on the future of the Kent State University airport, it seemed like a perfect time to do a brief "flash in time," on the history of aviation at Kent State University! 


The Kent State University's Andrew W. Paton Field opened in 1920 under the name of Stow Aviation Field. However, before Kent State University purchased the aiport in 1943, it saw quite a bit of turbulence! The field was created by The Ohio Flying School and Transport Company, and $100,000 worth of stock was paid out.  A portion of that money was used to lease thirty acres of farm land from Fred Smith and to construct a hangar to house the school's four Jenny airplanes. But in 1921, The Ohio Flying School and Transport Company went bankrupt, and it would face bankruptcy again after being purchased by Joseph Ash.

In 1925, A.T. Simmons and Hugh Robbins formed the Robbins Flying Service, which built a small hangar in 1930 after the original hangar burnt down in 1927. Though this field had its share of ups and downs, aviation legends such as Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacher, and Floyd Bennet were known to have used the field. However, financial woes hit again in the early 1930's, forcing the Robbins Flying Service to suspend operation.


Soon there was a new operator by the name of Frankie C. Renner, who formed Stow Flying Field, Inc. This made her one of the first, if not the first, female airport operators on record. In 1939, Rudy Van De Vere purchased the 78 acre farm from Smith and the airport became known as Stow Field. By 1940 three sod runways were in use. In 1945 Van De Vere built the terminal building and then in 1947 he erected the large army surplus hangar on the field. The University purchased the airport from Van De Vere in 1943 and renamed it the Kent State University Airport. In 1966, the name of the field was changed to Andrew W. Paton Field to honor the professor who taught the University's first aerospace course in 1947.


Currently, the university uses the airfied to support its Aeronautics Program, which is one of 32 accredited aviation education programs available worldwide.

For more on the history of the Kent State University aiport, visit the Department of Special Ciollections and Archives



Cartwright blazes trail in Ohio

Posted by [email protected] on March 5, 2014 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)


In 1991, Carol Cartwright became the first female president to serve at a state university in Ohio. As the tenth president of Kent State, Cartwright decided her presidency would include remodeling scholarship and committing the university to cultural diversity. Members of the search committee were quoted, as being blown away during the interview process--her "can do optimism," was exactly what the committee hoped to have in a candidate. The Board of Trustees was rumored as having a mandate to cultivate corporate donors, a task Cartwright met effortlessly. Cartwright quickly established the Founder Scholars Program, which grew to $1 million dollars a year after her inauguration.

Cartwright was born in 1941 in Sioux City, Iowa. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. Before arriving at Kent State University, she was the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of California at Davis. Cartwright also maintained leadership roles in a variety of other avenues, including the chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Higher Education and served on the boards of the American Council on Education, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, the American Association of Colleges and Universities and National Public Radio.

During her first year at KSU, Cartwright was diagnosed with breast cancer, and was faced with the challenge of requiring immediate surgery. However, within five-days she returned to her presidential duties and would become an advocate for breast cancer research! By 1992 Cartwright developed KSU’s Diversity Planning Committee, which overtime resulted in more staff posts held by members of historically underrepresented communities. Additionally, during Cartwright’s tenure, the campus saw a wide range of expansion projects, including the development of what is now called the Wellness Center, renovations to various departments, such as geography, anthropology, sociology and the creation of ultra-modern residence halls in the 90s.

Cartwright faced some challenges during her presidency, including a rancorous relationship with faculty during a 1999 “protracted collective bargaining” disagreement where there were issues surrounding salaries and faculty members intellectual property. In 1998, students protested the university’s plans to change the parking lots adjacent to Taylor and Prentice Hall, an area close to where the Kent State Shootings of May 4, 1970 occurred. Cartwright later decided to place commemorative markers honoring the four slain students.

After fourteen years of service, Cartwright announced her retirement in 2005, but by 2009 she became the President of Bowling Green State University. In 2002, KSU renovated the University’s Auditorium and renamed it in honor of Cartwright. 

Source: A Most Noble Enterprise: The Story of Kent State University, 1910-2010 by William H. Hildebrand

First black faculty member joins Kent State

Posted by [email protected] on March 3, 2014 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)


Dr. Oscar Rite was the first African American to become a faculty member in the Ohio university system in 1947. He served as a KSU faculty member for 21 years in the department of Sociology, where his area of interest was criminology and juvenile delinquency.

Ritchie was a published author and worked as a visiting professor at Ohio State University, the University of Vermont and South Carolina State College. He was also a member of the Ohio Advisory Committee to the U.S Commission on Civil Rights. The U.S Commission on Civil Rights was formed as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and was charged with the responsibility of investigating discrimination, the denial of fair protection under federal laws pertaining to issues of race, sex, religion, handicap, or national origins.

Ritchie came from a modest background as the son of a lunch stand operator in Hallandale, Fla. While attending law classes part-time in Cleveland and later transferring to Kent State University, Ritchie took positions as a band musician, house boy, chauffeur, theater porter, day laborer, and bricklayer to finance his way through college. During the 1940s he received a bachelor's degree from Kent State (with distinction) and shortly after received an M.A while teaching. Nearly, eleven-years later, Ritchie graduated with a doctorate from New York University in 1958.

Dr. Ritchie died at the age of 58 in 1967, in the Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, Ohio. After his death, many Kent State students demanded a building in his honor. Five years later, the Student Union building was renamed Oscar Ritchie Hall and is now home to the Department of Pan African Studies.