KENNESAW — During Kennesaw State’s 2012 State of the University address, president Dr. Dan Papp said the 49-year-old college is finishing its first five decades on a high note.
“I’m extremely proud of this university and its faculty, staff and students,” he said Wednesday morning. “The state of this university is excellent and getting even better.”
Papp announced the formation of KSU’s 50th Anniversary Committee, which will celebrate the university’s first half century. The celebration will begin Sept. 9, 2013, 50 years to the day when the school was chartered, and run through June 9, 2017, 50 years to the day after it awarded its first degrees.
The committee will be led by one of the university’s first students, Stevan Crew.
Papp also highlighted the recognitions faculty members have earned in 2011, including winning the Chancellor’s Customer Service Recognition Gold Award as the Institution of the Year for the third time in five years.
“With this kind of faculty and this kind of staff, no wonder more and more students want to come to Kennesaw State,” he said. “No wonder that KSU is one of the fastest-growing universities in Georgia. You are among the best that I have seen in this university system, and I have been in this university system for 39 years.”
Papp said budgetary restraints have not stood in the way of the school’s accomplishments, including the groundbreaking for the Bagwell College of Education’s new facility, which serves the largest education program in the state; the Coles College of Business’s recognition as being among the top 70 in the U.S.; and the College of the Arts’ black box theater, which was dedicated last Sunday as The Onyx Theater.
Beyond academics, Papp touched on the university’s first five-year comprehensive capital campaign, which finished a year ahead of time and raised $75 million.
“The campaign generated the largest private contribution and the largest grant the university has ever received,” he said. “We also received 14 other gifts of at least $1 million each, as well as 28 endowed scholarships and 22 Clendenin fellowships for KSU faculty.”
In closing his speech, Papp previewed projects the school is working on, including new classroom buildings and road construction.
The address was given at the Bailey Performance Center and was attended mostly by KSU staff.
In the audience was 2011 KSU graduate Meredith Head, who works in the University Events department. Head said the new buildings will help cement KSU’s reputation as a quality school.
“Education is what KSU is known for, so the fact that we’re expanding on that is a great thing,” she said. “Anything with more classrooms and more space, obviously for students, is what we need to go for.”