Never underestimate the importance of our weekly programs or the speakers who give of their time to address us!

President  James Engleman, 1928 to 1938 was retiring and it was time to select his successor. Keep in mind that having been established in 1910, it was 1925 before Kent Normal won its first Football game.  And during 1932, our team not only failed to win a game, it never even scored a point all season.  Later our football head coach was Joe Begala, who became a legend later as our successful wrestling coach and coach of our golf team to its first Ohio Conference Championship in Golf that included two of our former members, Bill Gressard and Don Ulrich.  But I digressed, back to Engleman's replacement.

The trustees thought that because Kent State had finally attained University status, that rather than an educator, as all of our preceding presidents were aligned to our primary force as a teachers normal or college, it was time for a more liberal arts approach, and Dr. Karl Leebrick, dean of the College of Liberal Arts of Syracuse University, was their man.  Our own Major Roy Smith was a member of the trustees at this time.  Leebrick was virtually unknown to our community except for the favorable impression he had made speaking before the Kent Rotary Club.  So favorable was that impression, not to just our club, but to the KSU Trustees who were in attendance that his selection was without public contest. July 1st, 1938 he took office.  He was an oratorical spellbinder and sold himself and his ideas to service clubs, patriotic orders, fraternal groups and learned societies. 

As well as selling himself to Kent Rotary, in his first year as president he delivered no fewer than 75 public addresses throughout the nation.  Thus the importance of our weekly programs.

Jim Myers