Flashes announces naming rights for several sports facilities
KENT, OHIO- The Golden Flashes Club (TGFC), the philanthropic arm of Kent State Athletics, is pleased to announce the naming rights to several athletic facilities around the Kent campus.
The naming rights are another big step forward for the athletic department’s “Play As One-#Flashes Forever” strategic plan.
“It’s an exciting time for our athletic department,” said the athletic director Randale L. Richmond mentioned. “Having supporters who see the value of athletics and the importance of ensuring that our department is student-athlete centered, coach led and administrator supported is immeasurable. The ability to improve our facilities is essential to our success.”
“The support we’ve received has been incredible,” said the Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Advancement. Maggie McKendry added. “Exciting announcements like this go a long way as we continue to develop a first-class athletic department and experience for our student-athletes.”
THE DIVINE DIAMOND
The soon-to-be-renovated Kent State Softball Complex will change its name as the Diamond at Dix will now be known as the Devine Diamond.
The name honors and recognizes the impact longtime administrator Judy Devine has had on women’s athletics not only in Kent State, but across the college landscape. A Devine Diamond ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for April 30, when the Golden Flashes host West Michigan as part of the Mid-American Conference.
When the men’s and women’s athletic departments merged in 1975, Devine was selected as assistant athletic director and was elevated to associate athletic director in 1978. She retired in 2000 as senior associate athletic director , after 31 years with Kent State Athletics. She is also the founder of the Kent State Athletics Academics Honors Dinner (serving as emcee from 1982 to 2000) and was honored as a Kent State Commencement speaker in August 2010.
THE SCOLIN MacLEAN LOUNGE
The new name Scolin McLean The lounge hosts pre-game festivities for select TGFC members before each home basketball game as well as on select dates throughout the year. Members enjoy snacks, coffee and a cash bar as well as pregame “chalk talk” sessions with Kent State coaches. MacLean was a student coach for the Kent State football team, as well as a player for the men’s club lacrosse team from 1986 until he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1990. He had a successful career in graphic design for Turner Broadcasting/Warner Media. family of television networks before retiring in 2019. He was honored as the Varsity “K” Club Person of the Year in 2015 for his continued support of Kent State Athletics. He volunteers as the Director of Creative Solutions at the Office of Sports Advancement, located inside the MacLean Lounge, which has been affectionately referred to as “The Scolly-Bear Lair” by TGFC staff.
LAING AND SAUNDRA KENNEDY BLUE AND GOLD TROPHY ROOM
Across the hall from MACC is the new blue and gold Laing and Saundra Kennedy trophy room. The hall features numerous Golden Flashes trophies and serves as a meeting space for Golden Flashes athletic administrative staff and as a lobby outside of the athletic director’s office. Randale L. Richmond.
It is quite appropriate because Laing Kennedy served as Kent State’s Director of Athletics from 1994 to 2010. Kennedy won the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Northeast Region Division IA Athletic Director of the Year Award at twice, in 2002 and 2006. He was a member of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament Selection Committee between 2006 and 2010.
Since his “retirement”, Kennedy has remained involved with the Kent State Athletics, holding the Athletic Director Emeritus title and serving on several committees. He was inducted into the Varsity “K” Hall of Fame in 2011 and was named to the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
Laing and Saundra have two daughters, Karyn and Kelly. Laing and Saundra are seen frequently at Kent State Basketball games and they helped establish the Legacy Endowed Scholarship Program.
THE LOBBY DAVE AND SHERRY JOY
The Kent State Field House lobby is named after Dave and Sherry Joy. The lobby serves as the check-in area for events held at the Field House and houses vending machines for Golden Flashes student-athletes as well as men’s and women’s locker rooms.
Joy graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent and later attended Kent State. He married Sharon, also known as Sherry, on August 28, 1971.
They are active members of the Kent community. The couple are members of the Porthouse Theater Action Committee and the College of the Arts Advisory Board. The Joys are among Kent State Athletics’ most loyal donors and established an endowment, the Dave and Sherry Joy Endowed Scholarship for Athletics, in 2014. They are also honorary inductees of “K” University in 2014 .
THE OFFICES OF GARY AND MINDY ALEMAN FIELD HOUSE
The Field House’s Dave and Sherry Joy Lobby leads directly to the offices of Gary and Mindy Aleman Field House. Under the direction of a fearless leader jimmy fezer, the office serves as mission control for the Field House. Aleman’s newly appointed offices handle all planning and logistics for the Field House. Aleman’s offices balance equal training time for Golden Flash student-athletes while hosting college and local events.
Gary and Mindy Aleman consider Kent State their “adoptive” alma mater. Mindy worked for over 22 years at the Center for Gift and Estate Planning. Gary has been instrumental in connecting iHeart Media to sports features and promotions. Their love for Kent State Athletics extends to all of the Golden Flashes’ programs and they can be found cheering on the Flashes at nearly every home event.
THE DOCTOR. JAMES KARGE OLSEN HOME
The lobby of the George Jenkins Athletic Academic Resource Center is named after Dr. James Karge Olsen, former director of the Kent State Honors program and mentor to Jenkins. Jenkins came to Kent State as a football student-athlete, served as co-captain, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science. Dr. Olsen has taught courses in constitutional law and jurisprudence and was the driving and encouraging force that led Jenkins to take the LSAT and ultimately enroll in law school at the University of Michigan.
A graduate of law school in 1966, Jenkins was a partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease in Columbus from 1966 to 1971 and again from 1975 to 2006. He focused on corporate and business law. He served as Ohio’s first deputy attorney general from 1971 to 1975. Jenkins founded DEC Investment Group in 2007 and currently serves as its managing member.
Over the years, Jenkins has been very active on the Kent campus and has supported Kent State Football, Kent State Libraries, the KSU Foundation and the Athletic Academic Resource Center, which bears his name.
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