The “New Faces of Kennesaw State” drive was launched in October 2007 and had pulled in $73.7 million in contributions as of this month. It’s expected to surpass its goal by the end of July, according to school officials.
“We’re in the deepest recession I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and yet it looks like we’re going to be able to reach our goal 15 months early,” KSU VP of University Advancement Wes Wicker told Around Town.
The campaign brought in both the largest grant that KSU has ever received ($8.9 million from the U.S. Department of Education) as well as the largest single private contribution ($5 million from an anonymous donor), he said. It also netted 14 new gifts of at least $1 million each.
All told, KSU has received gifts from 5,062 contributors during the drive, totaling 17,201 gifts (as some people and companies have given every year), Wicker said.
The drive’s success is particularly striking when one considers how young its alumni base is. All but 19,000 of its 57,000 alumni have graduated since 2000. And it’s well known that those in the early years of their post-college careers earn less (and thus have less to give) than older alumni.
Major campaign contributions include:
* Annual gifts: $5.5 million
* Scholarships: $5.7 million
* Private foundations: $7.9 million
* Tangible property: $9.7 million
* Major gifts: $9.9 million
* Research grants: $30.1 million
* Other gifts: $4.9 million
“Kennesaw State University is a young, dynamic, growing institution with a developing entrepreneurial spirit that is evident in our faculty, students, staff and alumni,” KSU President Dr. Daniel S. Papp told Around Town. “The individuals and institutions that contribute to and support Kennesaw State recognize and appreciate how far we have come and the great accomplishments we are making, and we, in turn, make it clear how much we highly value our donors’ support.”
Another component of the drive is a $2 million challenge pledge by retired carpet industry leader and KSU supporter Bernard A. Zuckerman to name phase two of KSU’s proposed art museum after his late wife, renowned Georgia sculptor Ruth Zuckerman. KSU must raise an additional $1 million by June 29 under the terms of the pledge agreement and is close to meeting that deadline, according to Wicker.
“Mr. Zuckerman’s pledge has enabled us to leverage both individual and major donor support for the museum project,” said Wicker. “We are closing in on our goal and hope to help Mr. Zuckerman honor his late wife Ruth in a tasteful and fitting fashion.”
As for some of the other major highlights of the campaign thus far, they include:
* A gift of $3.3 million by The Oscher Foundation, supporting re-entry scholarships for students who interrupted their college careers for five years or more. It also provides funding for those 50 and older to participate in life-long learning through KSU’s continuing education programs.
* A $1 million donation by the Clendenin family, which constitutes the largest single gift ever for scholarships at KSU to endow fellowships for graduate students and doctoral candidates. The Clendenin Graduate Fellows Program supports graduate and doctoral students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees.
* The Harnisch Foundation gave $1.5 million to set up the Center for Sustainable Journalism in KSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
* Dr. Bobbie Bailey gave $2.4 million for the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center — a donation that included the gift of 27 Steinway pianos, which earned for KSU the designation as an “All-Steinway School.”
* Don Russell Clayton in 2007 donated his extensive collection of paintings by late Italian-born Georgia artist Athos Menaboni, who was considered the modern-day successor to John James Audubon. And with the support of the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, KSU completed phase one of its Art Museum, in which 87 Menaboni paintings valued at $1.1 million now hang. And the Zuckerman challenge grant will help contribute to the completion of phase two of the museum project.
* Marietta resident Jodie Hill deeded a historic 56-acre farm in Bartow County valued at more than $1 million to KSU in 2008. It has been transformed into the KSU Harmony Hill Organic Farm & Apiary, producing produce served in The Commons, the school’s student culinary center.
“The success that we achieved with this capital campaign is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Norman Radow, chairman of the Kennesaw State University Foundation. “The Foundation’s executive committee and board members are pleased to playa key role in helping KSU meet the goal of the’ university’s first-ever capital campaign. We are even more excited that the goal was achieved ahead of schedule.”
* An anonymous donation made possible KSU’s faculty and staff recognition awards program, the largest among the University System of Georgia’s school. Last year more than $180,000 was given to faculty and staff who excel in service, teaching and scholarship.
* KSU managed to raise more funds during the campaign for need-based and others scholarships than at any other time in its history. It has set up 41 endowed scholarships and 42 annual scholarships.
* And over the past four years, sponsored research at KSU has grown to $16.2 million from $6.2 million. Among recent awards were $8.9 million from the National Science Foundation for teacher recruitment and $2.38 million from the Department of Defense to study brain injuries.
KSU, though only 47 years old, has become the state’s third-largest school and despite having such young alumni consistently ranks in contributions right behind Emory University, the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia State. KSU has 23,000 students and is expected to top the 30,000 mark within five years.
The fund drive was perhaps best summed by its co-chair, KSU trustee and retired Caraustar Industries exec Bob Prillaman:
“The real winners,” he said, “are the students of Kennesaw State.”
SEVEN COBB VIPS will be trying to raise “bail” to get out of jail at Saturday’s Wild West Fest sponsored by the Cobb Library Foundation at Jim Miller Park. Tickets for the 10-2 p.m. event are $12 and available at all Cobb libraries. Trying to spring themselves from the hoosegow will be Sheriff Neil Warren, Commission Chairman Tim Lee, State Reps. Don Parsons and Stacey Evans, Life College provost Brian McAulay and Cobb Library System executive director Helen Poyer.
A RECEPTION honoring Cobb Superior Court judicial candidate Van Pearlberg will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the home of Nancy and Steve Steele at 315 Kennesaw Ave., Marietta. Pearlberg is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Judge Dorothy Robinson. Also seeking that seat on the bench are State Court Judge Roland Castellanos and Juvenile Court Judge Greg Poole.
POWDER SPRINGS author and wit Lauretta Hannon will hold the grand opening for “The Hive” from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. The Hive is her literary loft and will host her writing seminars, book club gatherings and special events. The Hive is upstairs from Powder Springs Florist and Gifts at 4499 Town Square, reports Hannon, author of best-selling “The Cracker Queen — a Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life.” For more, call (770) 943-6222. ...
A 1-3 p.m. reception is planned in the first floor community room today at the Marietta Museum of History for departing education coordinator Anna Monroe, whose husband, Jared, has been transferred to Homeland, Fla. Monroe has been with the museum for nearly four years.
KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK has gained a new distinction: It was the most-visited Civil War battlefield in the country last year for the first time ever, according to National Park Service figures. KMNBP had 1,512,191 visitors in 2010, well more than Gettysburg (1,031,554), Chickamauga/Chattanooga (991,901), Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania (899,936) and Manassas (612,490).
In truth, the Kennesaw figure probably represents only about half of actual visitation here, according to Superintendent Dr. Stanley Bond. Many recreational users enter the park away from its official entry points, he said. And unlike the other parks, Kennesaw Mountain is heavily visited by recreationists, as opposed to history buffs.
But Bond said he’s hopeful the latest figures might translate to a boost in the park’s staffing level, which stands at 15. Gettysburg, in contrast, boasts 84 rangers and other personnel, he said.