Black History Month 2018

Black History Month 2018

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Black History Month 2018

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Honoring the Tradition of African-American Athletes at Kent State University

This exhibit is established by the Kent State University Libraries Diversity Committee to honor several of the many outstanding African-American athletes that have represented Kent State University on both the national and international level. Special thanks go to the Kent State University Department of Athletics, and to Cara Gilgenbach and Theresa Walton, authors of the book Kent State University Athletics  (Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2008) for the information used in this exhibit.

Penfield Tate (Football)-Class of 1953

  • Earned three varsity letters, 1950-1952
  • Was KSU’s first All-American in football, International News Service first team in 1952
  • Founding member of Kappa Alpha Psi at KSU
  • Served 14 years in the US Army as an artillery officer
  • Received a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School in 1968
  • First African-American elected to the Boulder City Council in 1971, and served as Mayor of Boulder from 1974-1976
  • Inducted into KSU Athletics Hall of Fame 1986


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Clarence McNair (Wrestling)-Class of 1959

  • Lettered three years under KSU legendary wrestling coach Joe Begala, 1957-1959
  • Compiled a dual meet record of 25-1-1 over three seasons
  • Placed first in MAC Tournament twice, 1958-1959, and placed second once, 1957
  • Placed 4th in the NCAA Tournament in 1959 and was named an NCAA All-American wrestler
  • Inducted into KSU Athletics Hall of Fame 1986
  • Inducted into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame 1991


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Trent Grooms (Basketball)-Class of 1980

  • Led KSU in rebounding in each of his 4 seasons, 1977-1980
  • Member of the 1000-1000 club with 1,268 points and 1,012 rebounds
  • MAC First Team All-Conference, 1980
  • Seventh in nation with 12.3 rebounds per game in 1980
  • Drafted in the 6th round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings, and is still the last player from KSU ever selected in the NBA draft
  • Inducted into KSU Athletics Hall of Fame 1989


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Thomas Jefferson (Track and Field)-Class of 1985

  • Eight-time letter winner for KSU Track
  • Three-time MAC champion in 200 meter dash, 1983-1985
  • Three-time MAC champion in 100 meter dash, 1982, 1984-1985
  • Named Outstanding Performer by the MAC twice, 1984, 1985
  • Won the bronze medal in the 200 meters at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
  • Won the bronze medal in the 4 X 100 relay at the 1985 Universiade in Kobe, Japan
  • Inducted into KSU Athletics Hall of Fame 1992


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Marvetta Froe (Basketball)-Class of 1990

  • Member of the women's team, 1987, 1989-1990.
  • Co-captain of the 1990 women's basketball team
  • MAC Second Team All-Conference 1990
  • Holds single-season record at KSU for rebounds with 331; is 9th overall in career for KSU
  • Recipient of the 1990 Outstanding Athlete award presented by Black United Students
  • Holds a BA in sociology/psychology from KSU, MA in public administration from Franklin University, works as a developmental specialist/youth program administrator in the Columbus Ohio area


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Roberta Collins (Track and Field)-Class of 1999

  • Three-time All-American at KSU in discus throwing
  • Eight-time MAC champion, winning indoor weight throw four years, shot put once and discus three times at outdoors
  • Competed four times at Nationals, best finish was 5th place in 1997
  • Ranks second all-time at KSU in both discus throw (185-8) and weight throw (60.2.5)
  • Elected to KSU Athletics Hall of Fame 2005


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