Kennesaw State reaches $75 million capital campaign target

For more information on Kennesaw State’s capital campaign, please go to…

Georgia (Aug 1, 2011)For more information on Kennesaw State’s capital campaign, please go to

Georgia’s third-largest university achieves five-year capital campaign goal 15 months ahead of schedule

KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 1, 2011) ––Kennesaw State University has raised $75.1 million during its first capital campaign, while reaching the target 15 months ahead of schedule.

Kennesaw State’s five-year comprehensive capital campaign –– the university’s first ever –– was launched in October 2007, shortly before the U.S. economy slumped into one of the nation’s worst recessions.  Several major campaign gifts received this summer –– including a $500,000 scholarship pledge and an anonymous gift of $250,000 to the College of the Arts’ theatre program –– all pushed the campaign beyond its $75 million goal ahead of the initial October 2012 target date.

“We are incredibly pleased that we have reached our $75 million goal,” said KSU President Daniel S. Papp. “This is a tremendous achievement for Kennesaw State and for everyone involved with the campaign. It shows that Kennesaw State has tremendous support in the community –– and that the community recognizes that KSU is a great university that deserves support.

“We owe our strong appreciation and deep gratitude to so many donors,” Papp added.  “Many people stepped up to the plate and supported KSU during the worst economic downturn in 75 years. The donors are too numerous to name individually, but they are true heroes and we are proud of their investment in Kennesaw State.”

Hitting the goal more than a year ahead of schedule underscores Kennesaw State’s tremendous growth not only in enrollment but in stature as well. As the university approaches its 50th anniversary in 2013, the campaign contributions are helping KSU move to the next level as an academic institution of national renown. Campaign funds have enabled Kennesaw State to add numerous student scholarships, construct much-needed buildings and facilities, and fund research to record levels.  Along the way, the university’s profile has risen significantly, both domestically and among its key global partners. During the campaign, KSU raised the largest grant the university has received and the largest single private contribution ($5 million from an anonymous donor). It also raised 14 gifts of at least $1 million each.

The capital campaign was led by the KSU Foundation. Its chairman, Norman Radow, said reaching the goal was a tremendous accomplishment, and he thanked those who helped the university with gifts of all sizes. “Some people dream dreams, other people invest in those dreams,” he said. “We are blessed at Kennesaw State with many friends and supporters who have invested in the dreams and aspirations of this great university.”

Highlights of the campaign include:

  • A gift from Bobbie M. Bailey resulted in the university’s new performance center―Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center―and 27 Steinway pianos, earning KSU the designation as an “All-Steinway School.”
  • The Clendenin family donated the largest single gift ever for scholarships to endow the Clendenin Graduate Fellows Program, which supports graduate students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • In 2009, the Harnisch Foundation donated a five-year, $1.5 million gift to establish the Center for Sustainable Journalism, housed in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • The Osher Foundation donated $3.3 million for re-entry scholarships for students who interrupted their college careers for five years or more. The foundation also provides funding for adults 50 and older to participate in lifelong learning through KSU’s continuing education programs.
  • KSU’s faculty and staff recognition awards program, the largest among University System of Georgia institutions, is made possible through an anonymous donation. In August 2010, more than $180,000 was awarded to faculty and staff who excel in service, teaching and scholarship.
  • In 2007, Don Russell Clayton donated his extensive collection of work by the Italian-born, Georgia artist Athos Menaboni. Combined with the support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, KSU completed phase I of its Art Museum, which now houses 87 pieces of Menaboni artwork, valued at $1.1 million.
  • A 56-acre historic farm in Bartow County was donated by Marietta resident Jodie Hill. Valued at more than $1 million, the property was deeded to the university in 2008 and has been transformed into the KSU Harmony Hill Organic Farm & Apiary.
  • KSU has raised more funds for need-based and other scholarships during its capital campaign than at any other time in the university’s history, establishing 41 endowed scholarships and 42 annual scholarships that have helped defray tuition for students.

Wes Wicker, KSU’s vice president for university advancement, credits the leadership of KSU Foundation trustees and campaign co-chairs Bob Prillaman and Chet Austin and trustee U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who served as honorary chair, for the campaign’s success. “We succeeded because people like Bobbie Bailey, Tommy Holder, Tommy Bagwell and the Clendenin family believed in us,” he stated.  “They’ve made investments in KSU that will benefit generations of our students.”

Wicker added that reaching the $75 million goal 15 months ahead of schedule, and during the economic slump, was not an easy task, especially because KSU had never attempted such an ambitious campaign before. “In many ways, we had the deck stacked against us,” he said.  “The financial crisis and the economy hurt us. I can count $7.5 million in three additional campaign gifts that we lost because of the economy.”

While this campaign has come to an end, Kennesaw State is already planning a second capital campaign tied to its 50th anniversary in 2013. As the state budget continues to decrease, there is more pressure on the university to raise funds to meet current needs, including more scholarship and faculty awards funding, capital projects and athletics programs, Wicker said.


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 23,400 students from 142 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. 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. For more information, visit