A Silver Salute to Betty L. Siegel
A short walk down the red carpet at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel led to an elegant affair for outgoing Kennesaw State University President Betty L. Siegel Saturday‚ Jan. 7. With several national and local celebrities‚ both fictional and real—Dorothy Gale‚ Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara‚ Secretary of State Cathy Cox‚ Sen. Johnny Isakson‚ just to name a few—on hand to honor the long−serving Siegel‚ the movie−themed evening unfolded like a grand opening night.
(Jan 10, 2006) — A short walk down the red carpet at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel led to an elegant
affair for outgoing Kennesaw State University President Betty L. Siegel Saturday‚
Jan. 7. With several national and local celebrities‚ both fictional and real—Dorothy
Gale‚ Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara‚ Secretary of State Cathy Cox‚ Sen. Johnny
Isakson‚ just to name a few—on hand to honor the long−serving Siegel‚ the movie−themed
evening unfolded like a grand opening night.
David and Michael Siegel‚ Dr. Siegel’s two sons‚ hosted the evening‚ which featured cocktails‚ dinner and dancing to the sounds of the KSU Jazz Ensemble. Pat Warner‚ the vice president of communications from Waffle House‚ was on hand to present Siegel with the Golden Waffle Award‚ which comes with free breakfast for a year and the naming of her booth at the Frey Road location in her honor.
Coca−Cola‚ a Lifetime Achievement−level sponsor of the evening‚ provided attendees with Betty L. Siegel Coke bottles‚ something they don’t do for just anybody‚ said Ingrid Saunders Jones‚ chair of the Coca−Cola Foundation and senior vice president of the Coca−Cola Co.‚ in her salute to Siegel.
The highlight of the special presentations was the announcement by Dennis Cooper‚ of the RTM Foundation‚ that the RTM board had voted unanimously to rename the RTM Institute for Leadership‚ Ethics and Character the Betty L. Siegel Institute for Leadership‚ Ethics and Character. After stepping down from the presidency‚ Siegel will hold the Betty L. Siegel Endowed Chair in Ethical Leadership in the newly renamed institute. The university will provide her with an office‚ an executive assistant and a speech writer in support of this position.
Country singer Patty Loveless and her husband‚ guitar−player Emory Gordy Jr.‚ performed two songs‚ “Georgia” and “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”—a song about Kentucky coal miners. Between songs‚ Loveless talked about all she and Siegel have in common‚ including their Kentucky coal−miner kin‚ and mentioned the respect she and so many others have for the Georgia “icon.”
Then it was time for the icon herself to speak. Obviously overwhelmed by the depth of feeling and amount of work represented by the tributes and the evening‚ Siegel talked about how she couldn’t have gotten where she is today without a supporting cast of characters from her parents to her sons and husband to the people at Kennesaw State and those in the community.
“I can only say‚ ‘thanks‚ thanks and ever thanks‚’” she said to the assembled crowd.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.