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SACS approves Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State consolidation

Campus Green Generic Image of Kennesaw Hall

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ nod clears way for Regents to vote on new consolidated university

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Dec. 9, 2014) — Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University are one step closer to consolidation following approval today by the regional higher education accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), at its annual meeting in Nashville.

This is the last step in the consolidation process before the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is slated to address the consolidation at its Jan. 6, 2015, meeting.

“The approval by SACSCOC is a milestone for Kennesaw State University, Southern Polytechnic State University and the new world-class institution that these two universities will become,” said Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp. “Consolidation is an immense task involving many talented individuals who have worked diligently over the past year to ensure the best use of both institutions’ strengths and resources; and while we still have some work to do, we are energized and encouraged by today’s vote of confidence.”

Once combined, the new Kennesaw State University will be one of the 50 largest public universities in the country, with an economic impact of more than $1.2 billion, according to Papp, who will serve as president of the newly consolidated institution. Kennesaw State is currently the third-largest university in the USG with a fall 2014 enrollment of nearly 26,000 students. Consolidation is expected to boost the combined university’s student enrollment to more than 32,000, once the full operational consolidation takes place in the fall of 2015.

The consolidated University will maintain campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, the current sites of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic, and will house 13 colleges, including architecture and construction management; arts; business; computing and software engineering; continuing and professional education; education; engineering and engineering technology; graduate studies; health and human services; honors college; humanities and social sciences; science and mathematics; and a university college.

SACSCOC’s final approval was based upon its review of a comprehensive consolidation prospectus and a 2015-2016 Consolidated Strategic Plan submitted Oct. 1 and developed by a joint seven-member KSU-SPSU Accreditation Team and reviewed and approved by a joint KSU-SPSU Consolidation Implementation Committee (CIC). The committee, which consisted of 47 Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic administrators and faculty members, was co-chaired by Papp and Ron Koger, Southern Polytechnic’s interim president.

The prospectus, which is required for accredited universities planning significant operational changes or expansions, describes the consolidated university’s major features, including learning and physical resources, financial support, organizational structure, faculty qualifications and academic programs.

The consolidation process for the two universities began in November 2013, when the USG’s Board of Regents voted to consolidate Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic, continuing a commitment it made two years ago to increase efficiencies and effectiveness to better serve students and the state.  

The consolidation between Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State represents the USG’s fifth and largest consolidation. In January 2012, the Board of Regents approved four consolidations among eight other USG institutions:

  • Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University;
  • Middle Georgia College and Macon State College;
  • Waycross College and South Georgia College; and
  • Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby reiterated the Board of Regents’ objectives for the consolidation process, and expressed his appreciation for today’s action by the SACSCOC.

“Our consolidation of institutions has been about serving our students better by expanding access, broadening programs and reinvesting resources for the benefit of our students,” he stated.  “As with past consolidations, our goal with the new Kennesaw State University is to continue to broaden opportunities for more students and to do so more efficiently.  I thank the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges for its thoughtful assessment and approval of our new university.”

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000, soon to be over 32,000 once consolidation with Southern Polytechnic State University is finalized, from 130 countries.


Kennesaw State’s December graduates face 2015 with hope

Left to right: Kelly Hyder Stockdale and Chris Watson

Commencement ceremony caps off uphill climb for many

KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec. 10, 2014) — More than 1,800 Kennesaw State University graduates will receive their diplomas on Dec. 16 and 17 at the KSU Convocation Center. All the graduates have unique stories to tell, and here are a few of them.

Kelly Hyder Stockdale, a psychology major and a member of KSU’s Adult Learner community, is a deaf woman who came to KSU after a 20-year career in government. She is actively looking for a job and plans to attend graduate school. “This is the first educational institution where I experienced actual communication equity; access that was so positive and empowering that it has provided the basis for educational achievement and laid the foundation for my belief in self advocacy.”

Chris Watson, a criminal justice major with a concentration in forensic behavioral science, has worked for Shaw Industries for eight years. He has his sights set on advancing his career internally within the Shaw Industries Corporation. “During my first two years at KSU, I would start work at 7 a.m. and return home from school at 10 o’clock at night. Throughout college, I have worked a full-time job averaging at least 50 hours a week, in addition I served as a Navy Reservist with two different, very busy, high-profile positions until September 2013.”

Brad Nivens began college in 2001 but left, eventually starting his first IT consulting company. Today the information security and assurance major is the senior systems administrator at Doehler USA. He recently joined the German-based flavorings research and development company after running his own security-consulting firm. "Information security is a vastly growing field that blends business and personal concerns with technology needs, it’s the direction I knew I would take." 

Sonya Vazquez works at Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange in risk, compliance and governance for the Information Security division. This single mother from Marietta is an information security graduate who landed her job last summer when a professor suggested that she created a LinkedIn page. Interestingly, ICE found her.  

Media please contact: Robert S. Godlewski,, 470-578-3448



Former WSB-TV anchor Monica Pearson to speak at Kennesaw State commencement

Monica Pearson

More than 1,800 students will participate during fall commencement Dec. 16 and 17

KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec. 9, 2014) — More than 1,800 students will participate in four fall commencement ceremonies, Dec. 16 and 17. Former WSB-TV anchor Monica Pearson will address graduate students in the Dec. 16 evening ceremony. Other speakers include Jerome Ratchford, vice president for student success at Kennesaw State; Robert “Bob” McNally, president and CEO of GeoVax, Inc.; and Harrison Long, interim associate dean and associate professor of theatre and performance studies at KSU’s College of the Arts.


College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Dec. 16, 2 p.m.

Speaker: Jerome Ratchford

Jerome Ratchford is vice president for Student Success at Kennesaw State University. He has served in this position for nearly seven years. Prior to this position, Ratchford was dean of Student Success and director of Student Development. He has also held academic and administrative positions at Talladega College, Emory University and Lincoln University (Missouri).

Ratchford has served on numerous academic and task-oriented committees and has received many honors and awards during his extensive career. In November 2014, he was designated “Citizen of the Year” by Alpha Delta Nu Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and in October 2014, he was honored as a “Star of Magnitude” by Talladega College. In 2012, he was inducted into the "Hall of Fame" Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

(click here for downloadable photo of Jerome Ratchford)

Graduate College (all graduate degree students) – Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

Speaker: Monica Pearson

Monica Pearson is a renowned Atlanta television personality, with more than 45 years of experience in radio, TV and newspaper. After 37 years as a news anchor and reporter with WSB-TV Atlanta, Pearson retired in 2012. She now hosts a weekly radio show on KISS 104.1 FM, writes a column, “Monica Matters” for Southern Seasons Magazine, continues her Closeups interviews on and teaches at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. She joined WSB-TV in 1975 as Atlanta's first woman and first minority to anchor the daily 6 p.m. news.

She has received numerous accolades and honors for her distinguished bodies of work, including 33 local and regional Emmys, including an Emmy for an exclusive interview with Georgia Congressman John Lewis in 2008. Pearson was awarded the Legacy Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2012; The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Team Trailblazer Award in 2013; and also that year the Interdenominational Theological Center presented her with the James H. Costen Award for Excellence in Civic and Community Affairs.

(click here for downloadable photo of Monica Pearson)

Coles College of Business and the College of Science and Mathematics – Dec. 17, 10 a.m.

Speaker: Robert “Bob” McNally

Robert “Bob” McNally is an electrical engineering graduate from Villanova University and has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. His career of mixed science and business has spanned 36 years. He currently is the president and CEO of GeoVax Inc., a Smyrna, Ga., clinical stage biotechnology company specializing in the development of vaccines to protect against HIV and Ebola. Prior to GeoVax, he co-founded and served as president of Cell Dynamics, a local company providing FDA-regulated human tissue and cell processing services for research, pharmaceuticals and cell therapy.

He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers; chairs the advisory board for the Georgia Tech Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and is a member of the advisory board for Scheller College of Business entrepreneurial commercialization program. He also serves as a member of the Kennesaw State advisory board for the College of Science and Mathematics.

(click here for downloadable photo of Robert McNally)

College of the Arts, WellStar College of Health and Human Services, Bagwell College of Education and University College – Dec. 17, 3 p.m.

Speaker: Harrison Long

Harrison Long received a B.F.A. (Acting) from Florida State University and an M.F.A. (Acting) from Southern Methodist University. He is an alumnus of the Teacher Development Workshop at the Actor’s Center in New York City, as well as Richard Schechner’s ECA Performance Workshop at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.

Long began his professional acting career in 1986 and has performed styles ranging from contemporary drama to musical comedy with a special emphasis on Shakespeare. New York credits include the title role in Henry V (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Athol Fugard’s A Lesson From Aloes (78th Street Theatre Lab) and Bloomsday On Broadway (Symphony Space). Regional credits include People’s Light and Theatre Company, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, and many others. In Atlanta, Long has performed for the Alliance Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Theatre in the Square, ART Station, Theatrical Outfit, Theatre Emory, Horizon Theatre and Georgia Ensemble Theatre, where he was a founding company member.

Long directed the premiere productions of What Rough Beast Slouches and Trinity at the 14th Street Playhouse. He has staged operas ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan to Mozart. He has also guided the creation of original works such as FLOOD! For Kennesaw State, Long has directed productions of The Laramie Project, Comedy of Errors and The Glass Menagerie.

(click here for downloadable photo of Harrison Long)


Kennesaw State University Convocation Center, 590 Cobb Avenue NW, Kennesaw, Ga., 30144. For more information, please go to

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.

Kennesaw State study: Payday loan rollovers do not harm borrowers’ financial welfare

Jennifer Priestley jb 1629-91.JPG

Research finds no adverse relationship between repeated refinancing and credit scores

KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec. 9, 2014) – A new study conducted by a Kennesaw State University professor casts doubt on the claims of payday loan critics that extended refinancing of these loans is harmful to consumers’ financial welfare.

The study, which was commissioned by the Consumer Credit Research Foundation and based on the transactions of 37,000 borrowers over a four-year period, also found that borrowers who live in states with fewer refinancing restrictions fare better than those in more heavily regulated states.

“We have, for the first time, actual scientific data on the outcomes from different rollover patterns to inform an important policy issue,” said Jennifer L. Priestley, professor of applied statistics and data science in Kennesaw State University’s College of Science and Mathematics, and author of the study. “Our research fills a gap in the science of how consumers respond to protracted use of payday loans. All prior regulatory interventions had been based on the presumption of harm, not actual evidence; and we now have real evidence that contradicts those views.”

Key findings from the report include:

Borrowers who engaged in protracted refinancing (“rollover”) activity had better financial outcomes (measured by changes in credit scores) than consumers whose borrowing was limited to shorter periods.

Borrowers experienced a net positive financial welfare impact when they faced fewer regulatory restrictions on rollovers. State-law limitations on rollovers appeared to contribute to adverse changes in credit scores for borrowers.

“This study contributes to a growing body of literature which shows that payday loans may not only fail to harm borrowers, but may actually contribute to an improvement in borrower welfare,” said Priestley. “The absence of adverse outcomes from protracted borrowing must be considered by regulators and policymakers as they mull restrictions on use of short-term credit. Further study of actual consumer outcomes is needed before the imposition of new regulatory rollover restrictions.”

Priestley is also the director of Kennesaw State’s Center for Statistics and Analytical Services, which was established in 2011. The Center provides analytical support to the university, business and government communities of Atlanta and North Georgia. Earlier this year, Kennesaw State was recognized for innovation and real-world use of expanding technology by the editors of ComputerWorld in its annual Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards.

Priestley holds a B.S. in Economics from Georgia Institute of Technology, an MBA from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. from Georgia State University. She has also held positions at MasterCard, VISA and Accenture.

To review the complete paper, visit:

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries. 


Kennesaw State named among “Best Online Colleges” for 2015


Affordable Colleges Foundation ranked KSU’s Online Learning in top 20 among U.S. universities

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Dec. 5, 2014) — Kennesaw State University’s online learning has earned yet another accolade for its academic rigor, student support and affordability.

The Affordable Colleges Foundation ranked Kennesaw State as No. 17 in the nation for “Best Online Colleges.” The 2015 ranking was published on, a website for prospective college students and their parents.

“It is wonderful to see Kennesaw State rise in these rankings on a national level,” said Elke Leeds, assistant vice president for Technology Enhanced Learning and director of the Distance Learning Center at Kennesaw State. “We have had great success in expanding our high-quality programs to the online learning environment, and this ranking showcases how well we serve our students in a digital world.”

The number of schools offering fully online degree programs has nearly doubled over the last decade, and online enrollments continue to make up an increasing proportion — nearly 50 percent — of all enrollments in higher education, according to the Affordable Colleges Foundation.

Kennesaw State currently offers 42 online degree, endorsement, certificate and academic minor programs as part of its Distance Learning Center, in disciplines such as business, education and nursing.

More than 7,000 KSU students take online courses each semester, with many students earning their bachelor’s and master’s degrees without setting foot on campus. In 2014, the University launched its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in education technology, serving more than 10,000 students. A second MOOC in information security will launch in 2015.

To be eligible for the Affordable College Foundation ranking, colleges and universities must offer at least one bachelor’s degree completely online. The methodology explored colleges and universities that offer students affordable, high-quality programs combined with the flexibility of distance learning.

For more information about Kennesaw State’s online learning, visit

To see details on the rankings, visit


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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.

Kennesaw State earns “Best for Vets” ranking from Military Times

Military Times “Best for Vets”

Prestigious award by top veterans’ publication honors only 140 colleges nationwide

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 10, 2014)  Kennesaw State University has been recognized among the nation’s top schools for veterans, according to Military Times magazine in its fifth annual “Best for Vets: Colleges 2015” rankings released today. The University was one of only 140 schools nationwide to be honored by the publication.

The Military Times “Best for Vets” rankings factor in the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military students’ success rates. The distinction recognizes and rewards schools for their commitment to providing opportunities to America’s veterans.

“Kennesaw State is honored to be recognized by Military Times, and we take great pride in knowing we are striving to do our best for veterans,” said Jerome Ratchford, vice president for Student Success. “Veterans Day reminds all of us of the sacrifices made by America’s men and women in uniform. This designation recognizes the hard work and dedication of faculty, staff and countless volunteers dedicated to helping our nation’s veterans continue their education.”

Springfield, Va.-based Military Times, which comprises Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, evaluated myriad factors that make an organization a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. Institutions were asked to complete a 141-question analysis of their complete offerings for veterans.

“Best for Vets” provides servicemen and servicewomen a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them. The rankings factored in service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill, and availability of specific programs to help service members. The extensive evaluation process also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates and student-faculty ratio.

In November 2009, Kennesaw State opened its Veterans Resource Center, a one-stop shop for veterans who wish to start or continue their college education. Part of Student Success Services, the Center counsels veterans on applying for educational benefits and assists with enrollment.

“The Veterans Resource Center continues to have a tremendous impact on our veteran student population,” said Bob Mattox, assistant dean and director of Student Success Services.

“Director Frank Wills and his team have helped to encourage and retain hundreds of veterans through their hard work, and they remain dedicated to the core mission of the Center.”

From 2007 through 2013, Kennesaw State experienced more than a 75 percent increase in the number of veterans enrolled. Currently, the University enrolls more than 1,000 veterans.

“We factor in what is, to our knowledge, the most detailed school-by-school data on veteran students’ academic success anywhere, including graduation, retention, persistence and course completion rates,” said Amanda Miller, editor of “Best for Vets.” Two years ago, only 11 percent of the hundreds of schools surveyed could provide that level of detail. This year, that figure is up to 45 percent. “By recognizing only the schools that do the most, we believe we’re helping to raise the bar in veteran student services.”

In addition to the Military Times ranking, the University has once again gained designation as a “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs magazine. The honor recognizes the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students. This is the fourth year in a row KSU has been awarded the honor.

In compiling its ranking of the 2015 “Military Friendly Schools” list, G.I. Jobs surveyed student veterans to gauge their experiences in higher education. The magazine is published for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The survey, which relied on data regarding student veterans’ experiences at particular institutions, covered more than 10,000 schools nationwide. 

For the full “Best for Vets: Colleges 2015” rankings, go to The rankings are published in full in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times on newsstands the week of Nov. 10; in the November issue of Military Times EDGE magazine; and online at, as well as,, and

For more information about Kennesaw State’s Veterans Resource Center, please visit


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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.


Media please contact: Robert S. Godlewski,, 470-578-3448

Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business launches Education Economics Center

Ben Scafidi .jpg

Economist Ben Scafidi joins Kennesaw State to lead new center

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 6, 2014) – Ben Scafidi, a nationally recognized economist and expert on the economics of education, has joined the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. He will serve as professor of economics and launch the university’s new Education Economics Center.

The Education Economics Center will be housed in the Coles College of Business and will provide nonpartisan research and analysis for the evaluation and design of state and national education policy. Under the direction of Scafidi, the center will explore education taxes, expenditures and resulting outcomes.

“We are thrilled to have Ben and the Education Economics Center based out of the Coles College at KSU,” said Kathy Schwaig, dean of the Coles College of Business. “Part of our responsibility at Coles is to serve the economic development needs of the state of Georgia. Education at all levels is a major variable in economic development, and the research, insight and advice that Ben brings to the conversation is extraordinary.”

Scafidi will undertake research surrounding school choice, including public, private and charter institutions, access to Advanced Placement courses, teachers and voter attitudes. He hopes to promote the development of sound education policy by bringing data evidence to education decisions.

“Fiscal issues are education issues,” said Scafidi. “And education issues affect the economy at large. For example, if a business is vetting where to locate, a community with strong education options is more attractive than one without. Where that business goes has an economic impact.”

Prior to joining Kennesaw State University, Scafidi was a professor of economics at Georgia College. He has served as the first chair of the state of Georgia’s Charter Schools Commission, the education policy advisor to Gov. Sonny Perdue, on the staff of both of Gov. Roy Barnes’ Education Reform Study Commissions and as an expert witness for the state of Georgia in school funding litigation.

Scafidi holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. He is director of education policy for the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program and a senior fellow with both the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. 



Women’s roles in future of Oman and region is focus of Kennesaw State international conference


“Year of Arabian Peninsula” forum welcomes country’s leading women in government, education and health

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Oct. 29, 2014) — An international conference at Kennesaw State University Nov. 7 will examine the participation of women in the public life of Oman, a nation of some 3 million on the southeast Arabian Peninsula coast, where about one-third of civil servants are women and more women attend college than men.


The all-day conference, “Women of Oman: Changing Roles and Transnational Influence,”will feature the perspectives of some of the country’s ranking government officials -- Oman’s ambassador to the U.S. and minister of higher education among them. Kennesaw State is partnering with the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center of Washington, D.C., to present the conference as part of its “Year of the Arabian Peninsula,” a yearlong study of the region. The conference and evening cultural performances are free and open to the public, but registration is required.


Among the featured speakers:

·       Hunaina Al Mughairy, ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States and the first woman to represent an Arab

        country as an ambassador to the U.S.;

·       Rawya Saud Al Busaidi, minister of higher education and the first woman appointed to ministerial rank;

·       Mona bint Fahad Al Said, assistant vice chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University in Oman;

·       Dr. Khoula Al Said, senior consultant of pediatric gastroenterology, Royal Hospital, Ministry of Health;

·       Unni Wikan, professor of social anthropology, University of Oslo, and author of “Behind the Veil in Arabia: Women in Oman”

Featured performers:

·       The Oud (lute) Hobbyists Association

·       Al Najoom Dance Troupe

When & Where:

Conference – 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Prillaman Hall, Room 1000

Performance – 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., The Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center

To view the agenda and register for the conference click here.

Reserve concert tickets at Kennesaw State University College of the Arts; click on KSU Special Events.



Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.



Kennesaw State University Foundation names new chair, honors individuals for outstanding service

Jo Ann Chitty - KSU Foundation.jpg

Jo Ann Chitty of Selig Enterprises, Inc. to lead KSU Foundation  

Click here to download a photo of Jo Ann Chitty 

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Oct. 24, 2014) — Jo Ann Chitty, senior vice president of Selig Enterprises, Inc., has been named chair of the Kennesaw State University Foundation.

Chitty succeeds Connie L. Engel, who served as chair of the Foundation since October 2012. The KSU Foundation, which has existed for the past 45 years of the University’s 51-year history, has been instrumental in Kennesaw State’s remarkable growth through real-estate acquisitions and construction, funding of student scholarships and other necessary financial support.

As senior vice president at Selig Enterprises, Chitty is responsible for the company’s acquisitions, development and project finance. Prior to joining Selig in 2005, she served as founding executive director and president of the UGA Real Estate Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created as a public/private entity to acquire, develop and finance real estate projects for the University of Georgia. She handled more than $200 million in real estate assets during her five-year tenure.

Prior to her appointment as KSU Foundation chair, Chitty served as vice chair as well as chair of the Foundation’s real estate committee.  Chitty has earned three Foundation awards during her six-year tenure as a trustee.

In one of her first duties as Foundation chair, Chitty joined Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp in presenting the Foundation’s Board of Trustee’s annual awards, which recognized five individuals who provided outstanding service and contributions to the University. The 2014 awards were presented during the Foundation’s Board of Trustees’ annual dinner in Atlanta in October:

The 2014 Clarice C. Bagwell Medal for Distinguished Service was presented to Thomas W. Hughes, consultant and part-owner of National Electronic Attachment, Inc. A Foundation trustee for three years, he also has served on the alumni board, the football exploratory board and the Michael J. Coles College of Business advisory board. He is a Kennesaw State MBA alumnus and recently established the Hughes Leadership and Career Program in the Coles College.

The 2014 Erwin Zaban Prize for Entrepreneurial Spirit was presented toTheodore L. Parrish, principal and director of investments for The Henssler Financial Group, for his work on the Investment Policy Task Force, which led the way for the KSU Foundation to reallocate investment strategies and select a new investment management firm to manage the Foundation’s portfolio. He is a KSU alumnus and chair of the Foundation’s gift acceptance committee.

The 2014 Chairman’s Award was presented to Hollister (Holly) A. Hill, partner for Troutman Sanders LLP, who has been a champion for both Kennesaw State University and the Board of Trustees. She has served on the executive committee, the conflict of interest committee, the nominating and governance committee, and currently is chair of the Foundation’s faculty recognition committee.

The 2014 Horace W. Sturgis Award was presented to Mitzi Moore,president of Sundial Plumbing,for her role in establishing a new initiative for the Foundation. Moore created and built the potential trustee nomination process and new trustee onboarding process. She also co-chairs the nominating and governance committee and serves on the Foundation’s executive committee. 

The 2014 Kalafut Award for Exceptional Services was presented to its inaugural winner, George W. Kalafut, the immediate past chair of the Foundation’s finance committee. Created this year, the award recognized Kalafut’s 22 years of exceptional service as an advocate for the University and for personally funding a scholarship in the Coles College of Business.

The Kennesaw State Foundation was founded by 23 businessmen from five Georgia counties in 1969, six years after Kennesaw Junior College was chartered.  The Foundation has been instrumental in Kennesaw State’s remarkable growth through scholarships, real estate acquisitions and construction, faculty recognition, and other necessary financial support.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.

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