Starner Distinguished Speaker Series

Kent State University alumni, Buzz and Marilyn Starner, believe that the skills students develop in athletic competition also lead to success in life after college. Buzz, ’67, and Marilyn, ’71, have been actively involved in supporting athletic programs at Kent State for many years. As former education majors, they are pleased with the strong emphasis that Kent State places on the academic success of athletes. The Starners enjoy meeting student-athletes and following their accomplishments both in college and after graduation.

The Jackson Township, Ohio couple endowed this speaker series to showcase successful former athletes and to serve as a source of education and inspiration to current student-athletes. They believe the speakers can make a difference in the lives of future alumni by sharing the lessons they learned from athletic competition and academic excellence and transferring those experiences to meaningful careers outside of athletics.

To commemorate the Starner Distinguished Speaker Series, a tribute plaque is displayed in the M.A.C. Center. Special thanks to Dean & Marsha Eschliman of Olympic Awards for their generous gift.

                                  2014 Starner Distinguished Speaker
                               Former Swimmer J. Rich Alexander, '77
                 Keynote Address Titled: "Reflections on Your Journey"
                           September 9, 2014 at 7 p.m. in Cartwright Hall

           The event is free and open to the public. For inquires please contact Alicia Gaffney.


Past Starner Distinguished Speakers:

  • September 11, 2013: Bonnie Beachy, '82
  • September 5, 2012: Barbara A. Knapic, '79
  • September 27, 2011: Tom Cole, '72
  • September 8, 2010: David B. Edmonds, '80
  • September 9, 2009: Lou Holtz, '59
  • September 3, 2008: Herb Page, '74, M.A. '76
  • September 5, 2007: Don James
  • April 18, 2006: Deborah Moore, '74
  • April 12, 2005: William Asbury, '66, M.A. '73
  • April 14, 2004: Christine Plonsky, '79
  • October 21, 2002: Reverend Ronald J. Fowler, '59
  • November 5, 2001: George Jenkins, '63

For more information, please contact Alicia Gaffney or call (330)672-8399(330)672-8399 .

Sport: Track & Field
Major: Criminal Justice

Anticipated Graduation: 2015
Hometown: Trenton, New Jersey

"As a Kent State student-athlete, I've had numerous opportunities to network with a wide variety of people. I've also gained many of the necessary skills needed to succeed in a professional setting, including learning how to handle both praise and criticism."