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CSU Receives $1 Million KeyBank Gift to Establish Center for Transformative Leadership

Center named in honor of Beth E. Mooney, former KeyCorp chairman & CEO

CLEVELAND (November 19, 2021) – A new $1 million gift from KeyBank will help Cleveland State University further prepare students to be actively engaged citizens who have a positive, direct impact on their communities. Named for former KeyCorp chairman & CEO, the gift to establish the Beth E. Mooney Center for Transformative Leadership honors Mooney and her unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Beth Mooney is a leader who pays it forward,” said CSU president Harlan Sands. “There is no better tribute to her legacy than a learning center that prepares regional managers and CSU students from a wide range of disciplines to lead. KeyBank’s generosity will help us prepare the next generation of transformational leaders – leaders that will emulate Beth’s values and commitment to community.”

CSU’s Beth E. Mooney Center for Transformative Leadership will offer groundbreaking, interdisciplinary education and civic and professional leadership training for today’s students who will serve as leaders in Northeast Ohio and beyond for decades to come. Nearly 80 percent of CSU graduates remain in Northeast Ohio for their careers; the center will connect students to the people, places and projects moving the region forward.

CSU plans for the center to serve as an academic hub for leadership, preparing a new generation of cross-sector leaders with the practical skills to tackle complex global challenges and achieve social impact. The center will focus on engaged service-learning, integrating community service activities into academic curricula and expanding the learning of students from the classroom to the community.

In addition, the center will help students develop their identities as future professionals, learn presentation and interview skills and form their academic and career plans, emerging as professionals who are truly “practice ready” and “job ready.”

“I am grateful for and honored by KeyBank and Cleveland State University’s investment in diversity, equity and inclusion. Key and CSU have long championed and advanced these values in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio,” said Mooney. “The work that will be done at the Beth E. Mooney Center for Transformative Leadership at Cleveland State University will build a pipeline for inclusive leadership that will benefit our community for years to come.”

Mooney, a 2018 recipient of CSU’s Presidential Medal, the university’s highest non-academic honor, served as KeyCorp’s chairman and CEO from 2011 until her retirement in 2020 and was the first woman to serve as chairman and CEO of a top-20 U.S. bank. Her steady leadership guided KeyCorp through the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. In 2015, Mooney also led KeyCorp’s acquisition of First Niagara Financial Group based in Buffalo, NY, the largest industry merger since the financial crisis. She was named the Most Powerful Woman in Banking in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and ultimately Banker of the Year in 2017 by American Banker.