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.


Past Starner Distinguished Speakers:

  • April 24, 2016: Donald C. Brown, '77
  • September 9, 2014: J. Rich Alexander, '77
  • 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 330-672-2078.

Sport: Men's Golf
Major: Actuarial Mathematics

Anticipated Graduation: 2015
Hometown: Summerville, South Carolina

"During my time at Kent State I've learned that I can be as successful as I want to be. With hard work, I believe anything is possible. I also feel like I've also become more patient and well-rounded because of the influence of the people around me. And I know I wouldn't be where I am today in the classroom without the tremendous support we receive academically."