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 KSU Bookstore ribbon-cutting

KSU Bookstore unveils expanded, redesigned retail space   Behind the fancy gold and black…

Georgia (Aug 16, 2011)

KSU Bookstore unveils expanded, redesigned retail space  

Behind the fancy gold and black ribbon President Daniel S. Papp cut for the grand re-opening of the renovated KSU Bookstore Aug. 15 sat a modern retail space reminiscent of the first floor of an upscale department store.

Bright lights, artsy fixtures and displays, a variety of colorful merchandise and wide aisles set off newly designed counters.  Distinct retail sections offer an expanded range of KSU paraphernalia and textbooks, Clinique cosmetics, a customer service kiosk, a new-age technology store and central checkout stations with almost twice the number of registers.

The bookstore renovation, which developed in stages over seven years and accompanied an overhaul of the second floor and food court areas in the Carmichael Student Center, increased the bookstore space from just over 13,000 square feet to about 20,000 square feet.

 “We are pleased to finally have a first-rate bookstore for this first-rate university,” Papp said.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was staged to also highlight the renovation of the updated and streamlined Student Center food court, which this fall adds Delancey, a New York-style deli — complete with pastrami and corned-beef sandwiches and the city’s famous cheesecake.

Joining President Papp for the ceremony were Faye Silverman, executive director of Auxiliary Services and Programs; Jamie Burns, bookstore director; Pat Balser, the bookstore’s first manager; and Ronald Wilson, new Student Government Association president.

“Many people were involved in this renovation and engaged in the cost-effective problem solving that it took to get it done,” Burns said as she thanked administrators and bookstore staff who have worked toward the goal for seven years.   

A crown jewel of the renovated bookstore is the “OwlTEC” technology center that merchandises Apple and Windows-based products and accessories, including Dell and HP computers.  The center has the ambiance of an Apple computer store with a sleek, ultra-modern appearance,  large screens and monitors and rows of uncluttered counters displaying the latest technology devices.

Burns gave a special thanks to Sergey Isarov, a May 2011 KSU graduate who came up with the idea and helped develop the OwlTEC center. “Sergey was a student employee in the bookstore for four years and he really brought this idea along.”

Isarov, a biochemistry major who hopes to attend medical school, said he has been working in technology in one way or another since his first job at age 16.  He used his exposure to the tech and retail sides of the business to help develop the tech niche for the KSU Bookstore. “It’s just like any other retail except it’s a real good deal for the university because the sales commissions go back to the school.”

SGA President Ron Williams urged students to take advantage of all the bookstore has to offer, from the KSU and Greek-letter merchandise to textbooks. “Supporting this store will help make the university as good as we think it can be.”

For first-year student Mary Beth Stinson and her mother, Denise Stinson, of Kennesaw, the expanded bookstore is a welcome and impressive addition to KSU.

“I’m very impressed, blown away, really,” said Denise Stinson, who is bringing her third daughter to KSU.  “I have seen this store come a long way since I came here with my first daughter, Laura, who graduated in 2004.” Stinson’s second daughter, Bonnie Jean, is a third-year KSU student.

The newly renovated bookstore is all Mary Beth Stinson has known, however.

“I will keep coming back,” she said.  “[Seeing all the KSU merchandise] creates an excitement to be a part of the school. I feel like I’m on a big campus like UGA.”

-- Sabbaye McGriff 


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