Donors construct pathway to graduation through scholarship endowment
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 22, 2020) — Brian and Kim Newsome estimate they have been intertwined with Kennesaw State University in some capacity for nearly a decade, whether it’s through attending Owl football games, watching their son earn his degree or through their company constructing facilities on campus.
In that time, their Sandy Springs-based construction company, Albion, has grown into one of the staunchest supporters of Kennesaw State’s Department of Construction Management. Now, motivated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and other societal issues impacting KSU students, the company has created a scholarship endowment which, along with its support for capital projects on the Marietta campus, raises Albion’s recent giving to $125,000. The Albion Achievement Scholarship, which is open to juniors and seniors regardless of major, will support students who excel academically and demonstrate financial need.
“We recognize that these are difficult times, and we wanted to make sure that KSU students could focus on their academics without having to worry about the financial stress of attending college,” said Newsome, co-founder and executive vice president of Albion, and a member of the industry advisory board for the construction management department. “This isn’t a simple one-time gift. We are looking to generate a long-lasting impact through this endowment.”
Albion has enjoyed a deep connection with KSU, beginning with its first construction project for the Department of Athletics nearly 10 years ago, Newsome said. On many occasions, Albion has provided experts to judge capstone projects in the College of Architecture and Construction Management, and Newsome has often served as a guest speaker on leadership and ethics. His company has also taken on many student interns over the years and frequently hires KSU construction management graduates full time.
The relationship extends beyond the classroom as well. After completing construction on KSU’s football facilities, Newsome and his family became season ticket holders and now spend most fall Saturdays at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
Shortly after he and his wife bought Albion in 2003, Newsome said the company navigated through some difficult times during an economic downturn. As he watched the current pandemic force businesses to shutter and cause universities to move to a remote-learning model, he began to empathize with students whose lives were directly impacted.
“We are very fortunate to have made it through some tough times,” he said. “When I look back on my own experience, I realize that I can identify with every one of these kids. That’s when we decided we should give them every opportunity we can in order for them to achieve their goals. We want to see these students succeed because we know what that feels like.”
– Travis Highfield
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. 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, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.