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IMAGE: Alumni

Alumni Relations

The Stark County Alumni Chapter serves over 11,000 alumni living in Stark County. The group meets at least four times a year and host events including an annual Distinguished Alumni Dinner, a spring auction fundraiser for scholarships and an event during the Balloon Classic Invitational as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame week in Canton. The chapter has also awarded over $15,000 in scholarship to many deserving students attending Kent State University at Stark.

For contact information and chapter details, visit:

Distinguished Alumni

In 1996, the Stark County Alumni Chapter proudly began recognizing distinguished alumni who attended Kent State Stark. Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are selected by our Board members and recognized for:
  • Excellence in a profession
  • Excellence in service to the community
  • Excellence in service to Kent State Stark

Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni

Thelma Barber-Powell (1935) Lifelong Educator, Canton Local Schools. Recognized as Kent Stark Stark Distinguished Remove TagAlumni in 1999.

Brannon Braga (1983-1985) Writer, Producer, Television and Film for Star Trek Features - Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: Voyager; Star Trek: Generations; Star Trek: First Contact, Mission Impossible 11; Star Trek: Enterprise. Hugo Award for Excellence in Science Fiction Writing. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2003.

Kenneth P. Cazan (1975-1977) Opera theatre stage director, acting teacher, author. Outstanding Director Award in 1982. Recognized at Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2007.

Frances H. Cicchinelli Jr. (1969-1973) Mayor, Massillon, Ohio, 1987-present. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2002.

Lynne S. Dragomier (1968-1969) VP Marketing, Mercy Medical Center; VP Administration, The Hoover Company; Board of Trustees, Kent State University; Stark Community Foundation. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2001.

Jack Fisher (1946-1947) Owner, Fisher Foods; National First Ladies' Museum Advisory Board. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1998.

Richard L. Hardgrove (1980-1982) CEO, First National Bank of Ohio; COO, FirstMerit, Deputy Superintendent Banks State of Ohio; President and CEO, Sky Bank. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2001.

Thomas Haren (1974-1975) Canton McKinley high school biology teacher; Ohio Outstanding Biology Teacher. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1996.

Ronnie Harris (1967-1968) Former Olympic boxer and gold medialist winner.  Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2006.

William J. Healy (1961) Twelve terms Ohio House of Representatives; Chair, House Judiciary Committee; Chair, House Government Committee. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1997. (deceased)

William J. Healy II (1981-1984) Mayor of the City of Canton; represented the 52nd District of the Ohio House of Representatives for two terms; son of the late William J. Healy, a former Democratic city councilman and long-time state lawmaker in the Ohio House of Representatives. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2008.

James R. Hillibish
(1968-1971) Military Instructor, Defense Information School; Golden Quill Award; meritorious service medal from Joint Chiefs of Staff; Media Editor, Canton Repository. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2004.

Michael Howard (1975) Judge, Stark County Court of Common Pleas; CPA, Deloitte & Touche senior tax manager. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2005.

Darrell Issa (1973-1976) U.S. Congressman, 49th District of California. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2006.

Jeffrey D. Jennings (1975-1977) Managing Director and Global Head of Futures, Lehman Brothers, New York City; Attorney, Division of Enforcement Securities and Exchange Commission, Philadelphia and New York Stock Exchange. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2004.

David A. Kidd (1972-1977) Founder, American Free Tree Program, resulting in planting 8.5 million trees, mobilizing one million volunteers. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1996.

Thomas Koontz (1968-1974) Architect, author, professor. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2007.

Lesa Rummell LaForce (1975-1977) Named Miss Ohio and represented the state in the 1977 Miss U.S.A. Pageant; now CEO of About Faces Models and Talent, located in Atlanta, Ga. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2008. 

Kay Walther Leath (1967-1975) North Canton City Schools teacher, People to People Ambassador to China, Phi Delta Kappa Educator of the Year. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2000.

Dick Maggiore (1970's) President and CEO of Innis Maggiore Group, author, visiting professor. Recognized at Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2009.

Johnnie Maier Jr. (1969-1976) Five term Ohio House of Representatives, Assistant Minority Leader of Ohio House. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2000.

Dr. Norma Marcere (1950's) Leader African-American Community, author two books and subject of play about her life. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1997. (deceased)

Laura Mottice (1962, 1965-1970) Teacher, Principal and Professor. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2005.

Joseph Niamtu III, MD (1969-1971) Founder, Niamtu Imaging System; computerized modeling to assist cosmetic surgery. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1999.

Stephen A. Perry (1963-1965) President and CEO, NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame; Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration;VP Human Resources and Logistics, Timken Company; Cabinet of Ohio, Gov. George Voinovich; Director, Ohio Department of Administrative Services; Ohio Board of Regents. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1996.

Charles B. Scheurer (1960-1963) Retired VP Human Resources, Diebold Incorporated. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1999.

Kirk Schuring (1970, 1973, 1976) Ohio State Representative, House District 55; Ohio State Senator District 29. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2005.

Lee Sinclair (1969-1971) Judge, Common Pleas Court, Stark County; Partner Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs. Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 2001.

Mary Volpe (1978-1982) Foster mother to 102 children; Canton "Citizen of the Year." Recognized as Kent State Stark Distinguished Alumni in 1998. (deceased)

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