Samuel S. Olens takes the helm at Kennesaw State University

President Olens
President Samuel S. Olens

Former Georgia attorney general becomes the university’s fourth president

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 1, 2016) — Samuel S. Olens will spend his first day as president of Georgia’s third-largest university meeting with various members of the campus community. Olens was named the fourth president of Kennesaw State on Oct. 12 by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

“It is truly an honor to serve as president of this remarkable institution,” Olens said. “Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with student leaders and faculty members. Based on those conversations, I believe that we share many of the same goals for Kennesaw State, and we will continue to build on those commonalities as we work together – faculty, staff and students – to further the mission and goals of the University.”  

In his first months as president, Olens said that he intends to focus on improving the graduation rate, need-based student scholarships, and faculty support. 

“At the end of the day, a university is about the students,” he said. “That means making sure students can afford to attend college, assisting them so that they graduate on time and providing faculty with the tools and support they need to help our students achieve their goals.”

Olens served as the attorney general for the State of Georgia since 2010. Prior to serving as attorney general, he was chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, serving from 2002 through 2010. He previously served as a Cobb County commissioner from 1999 through 2002. Olens also served as chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission from 2004 through 2009.

 He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for leadership and service. In 2016, Georgia Trend magazine named him the Georgian of the Year, and he has been listed among the publication’s “100 Most Influential Georgians” for 12 consecutive years. In 2011, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce honored Olens for his dedication to community and philanthropic service by naming its annual community service award the “Sam Olens Business Community Service Award.”

Olens received his juris doctorate from Emory University School of Law, and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from American University in international politics.

He and his wife Lisa have two children, Lauren and Jonathan.

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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