Kent State University President Lester Lefton has named former Congressman Louis Stokes as the 2013-14 Kent State President's Ambassador. The President's Ambassadorship, a one-year, part-time appointment that begins in the fall, is designed to bring distinguished local minority leaders and professionals to share their knowledge and experience with the Kent State community.
"I am very excited for the opportunity to serve as the Kent State President's Ambassador and deem it quite an honor," Stokes said. "I am excited to work with the school and the students."
According to KSU, the president's ambassador is expected to help promote pluralistic understanding and mutual respect among diverse constituencies of students, staff, faculty and administrators; help address diversity challenges; implement diversity initiatives; engage students; and assist with other responsibilities that advance university-wide goals.
Stokes, who became Ohio's first African-American member of Congress, served 15 consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, retiring in 1999. Stokes practiced law for 14 years before serving in Congress. He earned his Doctor of Laws degree from Cleveland-Marshall Law School in 1953.
Stokes' brother, Carl, became the first African-American mayor of a major city when he was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1967.