Kennesaw State residence hall complex named for longtime University supporters

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Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp honored longtime University supporters Chet and Hazel Austin on Friday, April 11, by renaming University Place the “Chet and Hazel Austin Student Residence Complex.”

The Complex is comprised of two residence halls — University Place I and II.  University Place I, which opened in August 2002 and helped transform Kennesaw State University into a destination campus, houses eleven buildings with a common space called Town Hall.  University Place II opened in August 2012 and commemorated the University’s ten-year anniversary as a residential campus. The second phase also expanded the community and added a large outdoor amphitheater and other outdoor recreation space.

Papp thanked the couple, who are well known around campus, for their generosity and commitment to Kennesaw State over the years and said that their presence is felt from one end of the campus to the other.

“This University would not be what it is today without Chet and Hazel Austin,” said Papp. “You can see their fingerprints all over it and we thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for KSU.”

Chet Austin, co-founder and former CEO of Tip Top Poultry, has served as a Kennesaw State University Foundation Trustee for the past eight years. He has also served as a member of the Foundation’s Executive Committee and Development Committee, and is a long-serving member of the Advisory Board of Kennesaw State’s College of Continuing and Professional Education. Austin played a major role in developing programs and funding for the University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which provides educational opportunities for adults over the age of 50.

“This campus and these residence halls are just beautiful,” said Chet Austin. “Dr. Papp, I don’t know how you keep on top of all of it. This is not what it was like when I went to college; why, we had bunk beds in our rooms!”

Hazel Austin, his wife of 62 years, said having her family with her at the naming celebration in the large amphitheater overlooked by the residence halls was a special treat.

“I’m a little bit overwhelmed to tell you the truth,” she said. “These individual residences are so nice and large; if I were a college student, I know I would enjoy living here, too.”

– Robert S. Godlewski