May 19, 1910 - State Rep. John Lowry's bill establishes funding for two teaching schools in northern Ohio.
Kent woos state delegates
Sept. 27, 1910 - Kent aggressively pursues one of the normal schools. Although there are many missteps, the city seals the deal with the now infamous Bluegill Dinner.
City leaders score victory
Nov. 25, 1910 - The City of Kent beats out 20 other Northeast Ohio communities and lands one of the state schools. Kent Normal School is named after William Kent, who donates his farm land to build the new training school.
McGilvrey becomes first president
July 17, 1911 - The Board of Trustees appoints John E. McGilvrey, a professor at Western Illinois State Normal School, as the university's first president.
Groundwork laid for Regional Campuses
1912 - Ironically, Kent State's first classes are not in Kent. Extension classes are offered in more than 20 centers throughout Northeast Ohio. Some become the basis of Kent State's Regional Campus system.
A full academic year
September 1913 - The first full academic year commences with 144 students enrolled at the Kent Campus.
Spring 1914 - Extension course enrollment surpasses 1,600 and Kent Campus reaches 1,378.
First graduating class
July 29, 1914 - Gov. James M. Cox delivers the address at the first commencement where 34 students graduate.
McGilvrey's 'Master Plan'
1917 - President McGilvrey drafts his "Fifty-year Master Plan," transforming Kent Normal School into a university with colleges beyond education.
1913 - Workers construct Lowry Hall, the university's first woman's residence. Residents nickname it "Walden Hall" in honor of President McGilvrey, an admirer of Henry David Thoreau.
1920 - Kent State airport opens to the public under the name Stow Aviation Field.
Football kicks off
1922 - Professor Paul G. Chandler coaches the first football team.
Begun, this 'credit war' has
1923 - Ohio State launches a "credit war," refusing to honor transfer credits from Kent State. The Ohio State president is upset over President McGilvrey's battle to get Kent State equal funding with southern schools (i.e. Ohio State and Ohio University) and his campaign to transform the normal college into a university.
DeWeese champions health
1924 - Dr. Arvile C. DeWeese arrives and organizes the Health Services and Health and Physical Education departments.
Founding father forced out
1926 - McGilvrey is ousted, largely in response to the "credit war" and other politics.
1926 - What is now Franklin Hall was once the William A. Cluff Teacher Training School. Cluff, a Board of Trustees member, left the university under controversy. The building's pediment still bears his name.
Transitioning from normal school
1929 - The Ohio General Assembly approves the addition of colleges of liberal arts and the awarding of degrees in arts and sciences at Kent State. Kent State Normal College becomes Kent State College.
This is a democracy
1924 - President McGilvrey forms the Kent State Council, a forerunner of Faculty Senate and student government.
1930s - "Bachelor Hall" houses up to 10 needy students during the Depression. The farmhouse is a remnant of the old Kent Farm and is eventually demolished for Terrace Hall, which, in turn, is torn down for a parking lot. One alumna waited tables at the Robin Hood for 15 cents an hour.
Legislature's 'crazy' idea
May 4, 1934 - With falling state revenues, the Ohio House makes an expedition to Kent State to decide if it should turn the college into a hospital for the mentally ill. Massive protest from school and local officials scraps the idea.
Kent State becomes a university
1935 - Gov. Martin L. Davey, who helped bring a normal school to Kent, signs a bill that adds a school of business administration and graduate programs to Kent State. With this, Kent State College becomes Kent State University. Former President John E. McGilvrey is present at the signing.
McGilvrey gets a hall
1939 - McGilvrey Hall becomes the first new classroom building in 12 years. The Work Progress Administration project comes late due to President James O. Engleman's scorn for President Roosevelt's New Deal.
December 1939 - Students dine at Lowry Hall.
Kent State enters WWII
1940-1943 - Enrollment drops from 2,707 in 1940 to 777 in 1943 as students head to war. The faculty population goes from 131 in 1941 to 92 in 1943.
War affects campus life
1942 - Varsity football is suspended after the 1942 season. A howitzer that stands on North campus as a memorial to the World War I dead is donated in a scrap metal drive.
University plans for war's end
1944 - A university committee plans for the postwar boom. Indeed, this boom would come from rapid growth in student population and buildings, shifting the center of campus eastward over the course of 30 years.
1945 - The GI Bill of Rights sends more than 10,000 World War II veterans to Kent State.
Ritchie makes history
1947 - Upon joining the Department of Sociology, alumnus Dr. Oscar Ritchie becomes the first African-American appointed to a faculty position at any state university in Ohio.
Student Union opens
1949 - The Student Union opens its doors to students, offering pool tables, a bowling alley, cafeterias, lounges, a book store and a faculty dining room. The building is later renamed in Dr. Ritchie's honor.
Professor David Olson teaches to a half-full classroom during World War II. By war's end, some 5,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni would serve.
'Atomic Era' classes
1950s - The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II ushers in the Atomic Age. "Great Atomic Issues" courses grapple with the ability of humanity to control physical forces for great destruction.
WKSU signs on
1950 - The Federal Communications Commission grants Kent State a construction permit for WKSU-FM, which signs on the air for five hours a day at 10 watts and a frequency of 88.7.
Bell rings in
1950 - Erie Railroad donates the Victory Bell, placing it on the Commons near Blanket Hill. An architecture student designs the surrounding brick structure.
1955 - The postwar boom continues with student population growing to 6,000.
First bowl game
1954 - Kent State plays the University of Delaware at the Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Ind.
Arch marks campus growth
The class of 1956 donates the Terrace Arch at Terrace Drive, once the center of campus. As Kent State grows, activity shifts eastward toward the Kent Student Center and Library.
Black squirrels come to campus
February 1961 - The superintendent of grounds and a former Davey Tree Expert Co. executive import 10 black squirrels from Canada.
1963 - Robert McGruder, the first black editor at the Daily Kent Stater, graduates. During his career, he works at newspapers in Dayton, Detroit, Akron and Cleveland, where he becomes the first black reporter. He earns the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1984 and passes away from cancer in 2002.
Chimney swift flies onto new Kent State seal
1964 - The bird is chosen to symbolize the university's future as a research institution.
Liquid Crystal Institute founded
1965 - Chemistry professor Glenn H. Brown establishes the Liquid Crystal Institute. Two years later, an institute scientist invents the nematic liquid crystal twist cell, which paves the way for liquid crystal display technologies.
Freshmen fill in for Browns
1965 - The Kent State freshman football team fills in for the Cleveland Browns during the filming of The Fortune Cookie, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.
Honors College comes to campus
1965 - In 2002 it moves to new digs in the renovated Stopher and Johnson residence halls.
Students voice opposition
1968 - Students protest the Vietnam War in front of Kent Hall. Activism on campus increases through the turbulent 1960s.
Enrollment reaches new heights
1970 - Enrollment across all programs hits 21,000.
Tallest building in Portage County
1970 - The new 12-story Library building opens.
May 4, 1970 - Four Kent State students are killed and nine wounded during a demonstration protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. The Center for Peaceful Change, now the Center for Applied Conflict Management, is established a year later as a living memorial to the students.
The Rock moves to Hilltop Drive
Department of Pan-African Studies founded
1976 - The Department of Pan-African Studies, an academic program structured to provide in-depth study of African cultures, as well as exposure to important issues facing African-Americans, is founded.
Phi Beta Kappa membership
1977 - Nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society establishes a chapter on campus.
University joins fight against poverty
1978 - Kent State and several community groups combine forces to build the King Kennedy Community Center in a blighted Ravenna neighborhood.
Porthouse opens for performance
1971 - Porthouse Theatre opens during the summer of 1971. Initially the theatre at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls features student productions but becomes a professional repertory company during the mid-1980s.
Flash sprints to victory
1984 - Former Kent State track star Thomas Jefferson takes a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
University School closes
1982 - The University School, a teachers' training school for many years, closes. Several years later, the building reopens as the Schwartz Center.
Moving on out
1988 - President Michael Schwartz moves into a new off-campus home. The historical Curtiss House, the official residence of presidents since the 1940s, begins its transformation into Williamson Alumni Center.
1983 - Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman examine a piece from the Chinese collection modeled by Debbie Kister. Silverman and Rogers are the founding fathers of the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising and the Kent State University Museum.
1991 - Carol A. Cartwright becomes the first woman to serve as president of a state university in Ohio.
High honor achieved
1994 - Kent State joins the ranks of the nation's top institutions of higher learning when it receives a Research University II designation from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
1998 - Moulton Hall reopens after an extensive renovation as the Learning Technologies Center.
1999 - The Student Recreation and Wellness Center opens.
Inquire, Learn, Reflect
May 4, 1990 - The university dedicates a memorial to the four students who died on May 4, 1970.
New halls for a new generation
2002 - Centennial Court residence halls open, offering private bathrooms and other amenities modern students expect.
Curtis wins Open
2003 - Kent State alumnus Ben Curtis wins the British Open.
Board names Lefton leader
May 9, 2006 - Lester A. Lefton becomes the 11th president of Kent State.
Franklin's converged journalism
2008 - Franklin Hall renovations are completed, putting TV, radio and print journalism into the same building for the first time.
2002 - The men's basketball reaches the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.
Feel the spirit
Students cheer for the football team.
Kent State 2010: Through the decades
What's in a name?
A look at where various campus buildings got their names.
Rules to live by
Student handbooks provide insight into changing societal mores at the Kent Campus through the decades.
Part of the Kent community
Many points on this timeline would not have been possible without the invaluable A Book of Memories: Kent State University 1910-1992, edited by William H. Hildebrand, Dean H. Keller and Anita D. Herington.