KSU beats campaign target of $75 million
by Jon Gillooly
August 02, 2011 12:00 AM | 3416 views | 5 5 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
"We did it in 45 months," KSU president Dr. Dan Papp said. "It was a 60-month campaign." <br> MDJ file photo
"We did it in 45 months," KSU president Dr. Dan Papp said. "It was a 60-month campaign."
MDJ file photo
KENNESAW - Despite the recession, the 23,400-student Kennesaw State University are "incredibly pleased" with the success of their first capital campaign, which not only surpassed their $75 million goal, but did so more than a year ahead of schedule.

"We did it in 45 months," KSU president Dr. Dan Papp said. "It was a 60-month campaign."

Several major campaign gifts received this summer - including a $500,000 scholarship pledge, a Georgia Power Foundation grant to KSU's Georgia Youth Science Teaching Initiative and an anonymous gift of $250,000 to the College of the Arts' theatre program - all pushed the campaign beyond its goal ahead of the initial October 2012 target date.

As the university approaches its 50th anniversary in 2013, Papp, who is entering his sixth year as president, said the campaign contributions are helping KSU move to the next level as an academic institution of national renown.

The controversy earlier this year over a new KSU provost didn't hurt the campaign, Papp said.

"I'm not aware of any impact that had on fundraising," Papp said, adding that he hopes to begin the search for a permanent provost when fall semester begins next week and to have a provost named by the end of the calendar year.

Kent State University's Dr. Timothy Chandler had intended to become provost of KSU until a paper he co-authored, which featured a Marxist's perspective, spurred a community uproar, causing him to withdraw from the position.

Funds from the capital campaign will have nothing to do with a future football program at KSU, Papp said.

"It's important to separate the two, because you don't want to create the impression that athletics, and football in particular, is drawing money away from the academic side of things," he said.

Last year, a football exploratory committee chaired by Vince Dooley advised raising $8 million to $12 million before moving forward with a football program. The school will wait to hire a coach until much of that initial money has been raised, Papp said.

"Once we get a significant portion of that low-end $8 million, and we can see the finish line in sight, then we're going to go out and find a football coach at that time, but not until we get significantly far down the road," Papp said.

A timeline of when that football money would be raised is uncertain at this point, he said.

Papp said the $75.1 million capital campaign included funds for scholarships and other academics programs that are now part of the KSU Foundation's $32 million endowment.

KSU has an endowment of $31.7 million, of which $26.9 million, or 85 percent, is restricted.

By comparison, here are the endowment funds of some other universities:

* Southern Polytechnic State University: $7 million, of which 85 percent is restricted;

* University of Georgia: $649.5 million, of which about 73 percent is restricted;

* Georgia Tech: $1.4 billion;

* Harvard University: $27.6 billion, with more than half of that amount restricted.

KSU's endowment looks small compared to UGA's and Harvard's, but consider that it's not yet a 50-year institution, Papp said.

"Then you combine that with the fact that we started as a two-year school, and we didn't even begin offering bachelor degrees until '76 to '77 ... UGA is what? Two and a quarter centuries old?" he said.

Given this perspective, Papp said KSU is "way ahead of the curve. Now, when I say that a university of our age, with the history of starting a two-year school and gradually becoming a four-year school etc., etc., etc. we're ahead of the curve."

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August 03, 2011
So proud to see this university rapidly reaching its potential. Football will only ensure the region's best-kept secret doesn't stay a secret much longer!
August 02, 2011
As a recent KSU grad, this excites me incredibly for what my alma mater will do in the future. KSU is no longer a joke, or the "go there for 2 years, then transfer out" school that it once was. I'm proud of that piece of paper I have with Kennesaw State University written across the top. Dr. Papp, I commend your work to this point. Looking forward to staying active as an alumnus down the road.
August 02, 2011
I am a KSU Alum and i am VERY proud to be associated with this university and to see the growth since Dr. Papp started at the school. I definitely think the school is moving in the right direction to increase recognition on a national level. It is a great University and i believe more and more people are realizing that.
August 02, 2011
I too am very proud to call myself a KSU Grad.. 2002 Marketing... The school has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 10-12 years with the addition of dorms, athletics, dining facilities and campus life. It truely has become GA's 3rd University. I can't wait for football though.. All of my donations have gone to Athletics for the hope of one day being on the 50 cheering on the Owls.
August 02, 2011
GT grad here and I have to say how proud i am of KSU. it used to be a joke in this state. we would get KSU transfers at matech and they all would either fail out or leave because of the workload. but, in the past decade, KSU has significantly increased its academics. now, i would feel proud if my child went there. it really has turned out to be a great school.

congrats KSU!!!
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