"The Journey Into Excellence" - that was the theme of Kent State University president Lester Lefton's fifth annual State of the University address.
Lefton looked at the past five years, and told those attending the address that he's even been surprised at how far the Kent State community has gone in search of excellence.
"In fact, the achievements of Kent State have exceeded even my greatest expectations," Lefton told the assembled crowd at the Kent Student Center Kiva. "More often than not, you have put excellence in action...when no one was watching."
Lefton said he's "especially optimistic" about Kent State's future, despite such challenges as significantly reduced public funding for higher education...and his worry about an increased focus on job skills training instead of learning across the country.
"Our concern about jobs must include the concern about where the next generation of writers, historians, policymakers, social activists and artists...where will they come from?", Lefton said.
He says higher education in Ohio is not in a "crisis mode", but that Kent State has had to develop new revenue streams as that state financial support has dropped.
And he's worried that other nations are leaving the United States "in the academic dust" due to American high school students not being ready for college.