News & Announcements

Cleveland State University and Kent State University to Honor Late Dr. Michael Schwartz on February 8

President Schwartz and studentsCleveland State University and Kent State University will co-host a celebration of life for Dr. Michael Schwartz on Thursday, February 8, at 3 p.m. in the Glasscock Family Foundation Ballroom (third floor of CSU’s Student Center). The public is invited to attend, and doors will open at 2:30 p.m.

Dr. Schwartz attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, earning his Ph.D. in Sociology. He accepted his first faculty position at Wayne State University and held faculty positions at Indiana University (where he was associate dean of Undergraduate Development) and Florida Atlantic University (where he was chair of the Sociology and Social Psychology Department and then dean of the College of Social Science, as well as honored as the Distinguished Teacher of 1971). Dr. Schwartz moved to Kent State in 1976 as vice president of Graduate Studies and Research. After a brief period as interim president at Kent State, he was appointed vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, then provost and ultimately Kent State’s ninth president in 1982. He returned to teaching full-time at Kent State in 1992 as Trustees Professor and President Emeritus.

During his leadership tenure at Kent State, Dr. Schwartz presided over the opening of the Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute, the Shannon Rodgers/Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, the Kent State Museum of Fashion and the Athletic Field House. He is remembered as a leader who guided Kent State through the beginnings of resolution, healing and learning from the May 4, 1970, shooting tragedy and oversaw the creation of the May 4th Memorial.

“Michael Schwartz was a pivotal leader and a treasured friend of Kent State over the past five decades, and his impact will be felt for generations to come,” Kent State President Todd Diacon said. “I will miss his wise guidance and, especially, his friendship and wit.”

After leaving teaching at Kent State to serve as CSU’s interim president for a year, in 2001, Dr. Schwartz was officially appointed CSU’s fifth president. His impact on both the physical structure of CSU’s campus and the University’s academic learning culture has had a lasting impact and will not be forgotten. By the time he retired in 2009 to again return to teaching, CSU had established new admission standards, created its Honors Program and transformed the look of the campus. New buildings and renovated facilities faced out toward Euclid and Chester Avenues and extended to the sidewalks, welcoming new students and the entire Northeast Ohio community.  The campus gained a new Student Center, Recreation Center and residence halls, all of which created a richer atmosphere for those who studied, worked and lived at CSU.

“I will forever cherish Dr. Schwartz’s kind and generous spirit, his dry sense of humor, his steadfast belief in the power of free speech and his wise approach to mentorship,” said current CSU President Dr. Laura Bloomberg. “He has been a true teacher to me.”

Dr. Schwartz also served on the board of the Cleveland Institute of Art (including as its chair), and as a trustee of the Ohio Aerospace Institute, Central State University and the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (now known as the Northeast Ohio Medical University or NEOMED). 

“Later in life, my father was fond of saying, ‘The search for truth is my religion; and the university is my church.’ Our family is deeply honored that the celebration of his life as a husband, brother, father, grandfather, professor, university leader and mentor will be held on a university campus and co-hosted by two great universities,” said his son Kenneth Schwartz.

For anyone interested in making a gift in memory of Dr. Schwartz, the family encourages donations to either Cleveland State or Kent State’s Endowment Funds.

About Cleveland State University
Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution located in the heart of Northeast Ohio with 14,000-plus students, ten colleges and schools, and more than 175 academic programs. Find more information at or contact

About Kent State University
Kent State University is the highest-ranked public university in northern Ohio on the Top Public Schools and Best National Universities lists by U.S. News & World Report. The university also holds the esteemed distinction of being one of only five institutions in Ohio to be recognized as an R1 top-tier research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Kent State is one of Ohio’s leading public universities and a major educational, economic and cultural resource far beyond the Northeast Ohio region it has served since 1910. The university has a global footprint with eight campuses throughout Northeast Ohio, a College of Podiatric Medicine, a Twinsburg Academic Center and academic sites around the world, including New York City; Florence, Italy; and Curitiba, Brazil. Kent State offers award-winning student support services that help students succeed. Its diverse student body comprises more than 33,500 students, including more than 2,000 international students from 101 countries, and the worldwide alumni family exceeds 273,500. Kent State provides transformational educational experiences and leads with its values, which include kindness, respect and freedom of expression. For more information visit

Media Contacts:
Reena Arora-Sánchez, Cleveland State University,, 216-302-9127
Emily Vincent, Kent State University,, 330-672-8595