Kennesaw State residence hall complex named for longtime University supporters

Chet and Hazel Austin.jpg

Chet and Hazel Austin’s contributions honored during 50th anniversary celebration KENNESAW,…

Georgia (Oct 14, 2013)Chet and Hazel Austin’s contributions honored during 50th anniversary celebration

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Oct. 14, 2013) — In recognition of the longtime support of Chet and Hazel Austin, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia recently approved the renaming of Kennesaw State’s University Place I and II residence halls as the “Chet and Hazel Austin Student Residence Complex.”

“Chet and Hazel Austin are two people who have done so much to support Kennesaw State throughout the years, it is only fitting that we recognize their contributions during the University’s Founders Week festivities celebrating our 50th anniversary,” said Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp.

Chet Austin has been a member of the Kennesaw State University Foundation Board of Trustees for eight years, serving with distinction as a member of Kennesaw State University Foundation’s Executive Committee and Development Committee. He also is a long-serving member of the Advisory Board of Kennesaw State’s College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE), and he played a major role in developing programs and funding for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Kennesaw State, which provides educational opportunities for adults over the age of 50.

A native of Smyrna, Ga., Austin was an executive at Tip Top Poultry until his retirement in 1999. His multi-dimensional career has spanned decades and includes widespread community involvement. His work with Kennesaw State began with an invitation from Dick Harp, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Center.

“Dick Harp said they were organizing an advisory board to enlighten folks on what they were doing,” Austin said. “I listened to what their plans were, and when I stood up to leave, I shook Dick’s hand and said, ‘I like what you’re doing here.’”

In 2006, the University awarded Austin with the Erwin Zaban Prize for entrepreneurial spirit, and in 2007, he received the Chairman’s Award for outstanding trustee. In honor of Austin’s years of service, the College of Continuing and Professional Education named its youth academy as the Chet Austin Leadership Academy. He established an endowment fund that provides support to CCPE and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, as well as endowed scholarships for members of the Leaders in Kennesaw (LINK) program, which allows students to expand their knowledge of ethical leadership through training and community service.

Austin also has supported scholarship programs that benefited Coles College of Business, the College of the Arts and Kennesaw State athletics. He continues to be closely involved with the University and actively contributes to a number of campus programs.

“We have such an asset here in Cobb County that’s almost unknown,” Austin said of his motivation to continue contributing to Kennesaw State. “You run into people and they don’t think about us having one of the classiest colleges in the country right here. But when I got involved, it made me want to participate in any way I could. I’ve watched them build things through the use of my money, and it’s really awesome. I love to see things grow.”

Throughout his involvement, Chet’s wife, Hazel, has remained by his side to support their endeavors.

“I think Chet was born to do these kinds of things,” she said. “We’ve been married 60 years, and you couldn’t ask for a better husband. He’s a really great person.”


# # #


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