Former Kennesaw State professor endows veterans’ scholarship

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 6, 2014) - Dr. Leon Combs, professor and chairman emeritus of Kennesaw State…

Georgia (Nov 6, 2014) — KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 6, 2014) - Dr. Leon Combs, professor and chairman emeritus of Kennesaw State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is demonstrating his respect for our military beyond mere salutes. He’s providing them scholarships.

A longtime and generous supporter of the university, Dr. Combs has redirected his resources that formally endowed the Dr. Leon Combs Chemistry Scholarship. The scholarship is now designated to benefit students studying science or mathematics at Kennesaw State University and who have an affiliation with the United States military either through past or present service, or an immediate family member's service.

The first recipient of this scholarship is Amber Leigh Caldera.

The impetus for the change is Combs’ desire to honor the memory of his father, Lt. Col. Leon Lamar Combs, who served in World War II and earned, among his other medals and citations, the Bronze Star.

“I’m just hoping this will be something that will do some good,” Combs said. “I wanted to honor him and benefit KSU students. I was 3 years old when he went to serve in the Philippines during World War II and he served there for over three years. He never talked about it. Most of those who went over there never do. It was too horrible. But that’s what they did for us. I want to pay them back.”

A student applying for the scholarship must have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and have a minimum of one letter of support from a department chair, professor, or community leader who can attest to the student's scholarship and character.

Dr. Combs, who spent 14 years at Kennesaw State, earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Louisiana State University in 1968. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1961 with a B.S. in Chemistry. He then worked in industry for over three years. He also taught at MSU for 25 years and was its head of chemistry for eight years before he retired from the university in 1992 as a professor and head emeritus.

- Tim Turner


Dr. Leon Combs Scholarship


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