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Marc Camens Returns to His Alma Mater for a Special 50th Reunion

Chief architect Marc Camens recently returned to his alma mater, Kent State University in northern Ohio, for a momentous occasion. 

The university was commemorating 50 years of education abroad in Florence, Italy, during the first week of October 2023. 

This is so significant in Marc’s own life because he was among the first class of students to go to Florence.

In 1972, Kent State brought a dozen architecture students (including Marc!) to Italy for the spring quarter, laying the groundwork for what would become an incredibly successful program.

The interest in this special study abroad experience grew rapidly among students in the architecture program. Within a few short years, nearly 50 students were traveling to Florence.

Now, all Kent State academic colleges are now represented in Florence Center courses. In 2019, a record 900 students participated in a Florence education-abroad trip. 

“Our long-standing program in Florence is an excellent example of the transformative impact education abroad can have on students, and we are proud to be among the top 3% of American universities to send students abroad,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon.

A celebratory weekend

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the university planned a series of events during their alumni weekend. Marc joined seven of his fellow classmates from the Florence program for the reunion, where they even served as Grand Marshals of the Homecoming Parade.

“The study abroad program in Florence impacted my life so significantly and opened up a new side of appreciation for history and architecture,” says Marc. “It was a very big influence in my life — and I’m thrilled at how many students continue to be inspired by this special opportunity.”

A bright future

Kent State now offers the Global Education Endowment, which will enable even more Kent State students to study in Florence and other locations abroad with a scholarship in the next several years.

Supporters have given nearly $4 million to support scholarships for education abroad, with a goal to raise $20 million to enhance more students’ learning experiences. 

To learn more, click here.