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Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a public, coeducational, comprehensive university located in Kennesaw, Georgia, United States, approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of Atlanta. KSU also holds classes at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Dalton State College,Appalachian Technical College and Dallas. Current enrollment is over 24,600 students.
KSU is part of the University System of Georgia. The university has academic programs in business, education, nursing, criminal justice and sports management. The campus is in a suburban area on 384 acres (155 ha) of land.
The university has undergone a number of changes in name (and mission) over its relatively short existence.
The university was officially founded on October 9, 1963, when the Georgia Board of Regents approved the establishment of a junior college tentatively to be named Cobb County Junior College. In December 1964, Horace Sturgis was designated to serve as the future college’s first president. When the school opened in fall of 1966, it was named Kennesaw Junior College and had an initial enrollment of 1,014 students.
1976: Kennesaw College
Ten years later, in 1976, the former Kennesaw Junior College became a four-year college and was redesignated Kennesaw College.
1988: Kennesaw State College
By 1985, KSU had initiated its first graduate degree programs, in business and education and began a period of rapid growth, including residential housing. Finally, in 1988, the former Kennesaw College was renamed Kennesaw State College and Associate degrees were discontinued, except for a program in nursing.
1996: Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State’s baseball and softball teams won the NCAA Division II national championships in 1996. The winning Owls continued excelling in athletics including the Lady Owls 2003 win of the NCAA Women’s Division II Soccer Championship and the men’s basketball team win of the 2004 NCAA Men’s Division II Basketball Championship. In part due to their winning Division II in 2005, the Owls joined Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference.
In 2004, KSU was recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. At the time, this placed KSU among 67 other institutions recognized as CAE/IAEs with this recognition. KSU was re-recognized in 2007.
KSU also began its first doctoral programs in Education in Leadership for Learning, Education, and a doctorate of Business Administration.
On October 17, 2007, Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke donated several relics from the 1972 lunar mission to Kennesaw State, including a lunar map and a checklist from the flight. It was reported to be the only checklist from an Apollo flight to be in a university library anywhere in the world.
On November 1, 2013, the University System of Georgia announced that KSU would merge with nearby Southern Polytechnic State University in 2015. The merged University would be named Kennesaw State University with President Papp serving as president of the merged institutions.
Kennesaw State University is located on 240 acres (97 ha) of land adjacent to I-75 (similar to three other Georgia universities, Georgia Tech, Dalton State College and Georgia State University) where views of the campus can be seen from the highway, including Kennesaw State’s “University Village”.
Social Sciences Building
The Social Sciences building is located on the west section of campus on Campus Loop Road adjacent to the original campus historical district. The 163,000-square-foot (15,100 m2) building features a 302-seat auditorium, a 100+ seat cinema classroom, a digital media lab, and 40 classrooms with advanced technology. The lobby features a healthy food café and study area. The Social Sciences building also meets Silver Rating LEED Green Building requirements and is the first building in the University System of Georgia to meet these specifications.
Located adjacent to the Social Sciences Building is a 350,000-pound (160,000 kg) sculpture entitled “Spaceship Earth”, created by Finnish American artist Eino. The sculpture was commissioned by the Maxwell Family Foundation in memory of the late environmentalist David Brower. The sculpture was intended to be a permanent reminder to future generations to take care of their delicate planet.
In late December 2006, only three months after installation on campus, the structure collapsed. After the collapse, Eino attributed the disaster to vandalism, but later reports that surfaced associated the collapse with poor construction.
The sculpture, completed at an estimated cost of $1.5 million, is currently recognized as the world’s largest quartz sphere.
A. L. Burruss Building
The A. L. Burruss Building is home to the Michael J. Coles College of Business. It is situated in the east section of campus overlooking the Campus Green. The ground floor contains a food court with table seating for eating and studying surrounded by numerous lecture halls. The fourth floor of the Burruss Building is a computer lab open to students and one of the campus data centers. This building is one of the more dominant features of this sector of the campus, which contains other large structures. At night, the tower that extends from the center of the Burruss Building facade lights up with the letters “KSU”. A sidewalk west of the Burruss building leads north to university housing communities University Village and KSU Place. Easy access to the developing arts district northwest of the Burruss Building (Stillwell Theatre, Performance Hall) is offered from the west exit of the Burruss Building.
The Campus Green is a grass area in the center of campus. It offers students an area to relax, study, or throw a football or flying disc between classes. During the spring and fall, student activity on the green can be seen during the noon and afternoon hours. During graduation ceremonies, the Campus Green is no longer utilized as a reception area. Signs from the East Parking Deck lead students and visitors to the Campus Green surrounded by the towering buildings in the area (Burruss Building, Kennesaw Hall and The Student Recreation & Wellness Center) which offers a unique atmosphere on this suburban campus. The Campus Green offers direct access to Kennesaw State’s James V. Carmichael Student Center.
Kennesaw Hall is home to the Bagwell College of Education and administrative offices of the university. The Office of the President resides on the top floor of the building that can be seen from Barrett Parkway (a busy Kennesaw road a few miles (kilometers) away) and Kennesaw Mountain. Kennesaw Hall overlooks the Campus Green and is one of the largest buildings in the East section of campus.
The Convocation Center is located southeast of the Campus Green and houses the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball programs at Kennesaw State University. The Convocation Center is a multipurpose facility that supports academic classes, lectures, concerts, theatrical performances, athletic events, graduations, and convocation ceremonies. The facility has locker rooms, training rooms, and offices for the athletic department. The third floor of the center houses hospitality and conference suits that overlook the arena floor. KSU’s Convocation Center is the largest of its kind in northwest Georgia, with seating for 4,800.
The Bentley Rare Book Gallery
The Bentley Rare Book Gallery & Special Collections, named in honor of Fred and Sara Bentley, brings together a world-class collection of 15,000 items that spans the history of the written word in the Western World. This collection provides undergraduate students the opportunity to study original works firsthand. Recent additions to this collection includes a fourth folio Shakespeare dated 1685b and a first edition complete works of Chaucer dated 1542. Located on the basement floor of KSU’s Sturgis Library, the Rare Book Gallery can be reserved for classroom visits, meetings, presentations, and is open for research by appointment.
Other selected buildings
The ‘historic district’ of the university (Original Campus) is located in the west section of campus and includes the University College (formerly the Social Sciences Building), Pilcher Public Service and Library, Willingham Hall, Nursing, Advancement, and Technology Annex buildings. These buildings served primarily as the home to the College of Humanities and Social Science until construction on the Social Science Building was completed at the end of 2006. In 2009, a new two-story, 1,500-seat dining hall known as “The Commons” opened. In 2008, a new $46,000,000, 915-bed freshman residence hall called “University Suites” opened.
The Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center
The Bailey Performance Center opened its doors in October, 2007. The $9 million facility contains a 630-seat auditorium designed to accommodate a variety of performance ensembles, The Gwendolyn Brooker Rehearsal Hall, and the Don Russell Clayton Gallery. While serving as the heart of Kennesaw State’s School of Music, the center hosts rehearsals, masterclasses, recording sessions, and recitals for the music faculty and students.
Kennesaw State University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a public institution in Georgia and is overseen by the Georgia Board of Regents. As of fall 2014, 30,806 students were enrolled making this the largest enrollment in Kennesaw State University’s history. Over three-quarters of the student body come fromCobb, Cherokee, or Fulton counties, while 9% of the student body come from over 136 countries world wide. About 70% undergraduates are full-time, while the figure for graduate students is 31%. As of spring 2007, 56% of undergraduates are under 23 years old; over half (57%) of its graduate students are between 23 and 34 years of age.
For fall 2006, 36% were in its Bagwell College of Education; 35% of graduate enrollments were in the Coles College of Business. That semester also saw the university continue its trend of having significantly more female (61%) than male (39%) students. As of 2004, KSU has the third-largest university enrollment within the University System of Georgia, out of the 34 universities and colleges in the system.
There are 607 faculty members at Kennesaw State; 37% of these are assistant professors. 38% of faculty are tenured and 43% are on a tenured track. Kennesaw State is currently ranked 10th among other four-year USG institutions with faculty having a doctorate degree, at 74%.
In 2008 for the first time, U.S. News polled top college officials to identify schools that had recently made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus or facilities. Kennesaw State was among 70 colleges that received the most nominations. KSU was the only public institution in Georgia cited on the list of “up-and-coming” schools. Kennesaw State was also the only college in Georgia recognized for its efforts to help freshmen acclimate to the rigors of college life. For the sixth consecutive year, the magazine cited KSU’s First-Year Experience program as a “Program to Look For”.
In 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranked KSU as 31st in the South Region among all public universities. The school was ranked 30th out of all colleges and universities in the “Best Colleges for Veterans” category, and its part-time MBA program was ranked 38th.
Colleges and degrees
The university is divided into thirteen colleges and offers 52 bachelor’s degrees, 21 master degree programs, one specialist degree, and five doctoral programs; according to Kennesaw State’s Registrar’s Office the university offers 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Kennesaw State’s Department of Continuing Education, the largest in the nation, is housed in the KSU Center, located a mile away from the main campus.
Kennesaw State is home to the state’s largest Educational Technology Training Center (ETTC). The ETTC is one of 13 such centers around the state. Teachers and other school personnel from around the state come to the KSU ETTC for professional development.
KSU’s Computer Science and Information Systems department hosts the Center for Election Systems, which certifies and monitors the direct recording electronic machines used in Georgia elections and trains local elections officials.
Kennesaw State University’s Athletic teams are called the Owls. The school colors are black and yellow. The Owls participate in NCAADivision I Atlantic Sun Conference (and previously NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference). After spending ten years in Division II’s Peach Belt Conference, the university fully transitioned to Division I status in the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the beginning of the 2009–10 season. Vaughn Williams was hired in April 2011 as the university’s third Director of Athletics. He had previously served for six and a half years as UConn’s associate athletic director, where he was responsible for strategic planning, facility master planning, and policy and procedure improvement.
Kennesaw State University’s mascot is Scrappy the Owl. The Kennesaw State Athletics Association unveiled their new Scrappy mascot on October 13, 2012, during their basketball season preview called Flight Night.
Past NCAA Division II National Championships include: baseball (1996), men’s basketball (2004), cheerleading (2004, 2005), women’s soccer (2003), and softball (1995, 1996). The baseball team also won an NAIA National Championship (1994). Kennesaw State is one of two division II schools to win a national championship in four different sports, Grand Valley State University being the other. KSU also has several other regional and divisional championships.
The Owls will field a Division I Football Championship Subdivision football team. KSU announced on the 14th of November 2013 their first football game. They will take on the East Tennessee State Buccaneers in Tennessee on September 3, 2015. It will be the first in a home & home series between the schools. East Tennessee will face off against the Owls in Kennesaw for the 2016 season. The Football Owls will be the only athletic program at this time to play in the Big South Conference, and will take on 6 Big South Schools in their first year. Head Coach Brian Bohannon has stated that Kennesaw State has no interest in playing any games in exchange for guaranteed payments in the team’s first few years. “We want to build a winning culture.”
The Owls will play home games in the 5/3rd Bank Stadium in Kennesaw. Current home to the KSU Women’s Soccer and Lacrosse Teams. Planned renovations look to expand the 8,300 seat stadium to just over 10,000 seats by the time the Owls first kick off.
KSU has over 170 registered student groups and organizations for student participation. Some of the more active organizations in recent years have been Greeks, Religious Life, and Club Sports. There are seven line-item student organizations, Student Government, Kennesaw Activities Board, African American Student Alliance, Global Society, International Student Association, Graduate Students Association and Student Media. These organizations are awarded a line-item budget yearly ranging from $30,000 to $144,000 that is spent on student programing and activities. Many of these groups give stipends to their members up to 100 percent of tuition and fees. All other student organizations have the opportunity to spend up to $350 per year on program from the Student Life budget. The budgets for student organizations are awarded by the Student Activities and Budget Advisory Committee (SABAC), which is a majority student, faculty and staff run advisory committee to the Vice President of Students. This committee meets regularly during the fall and spring semesters approving new organizations, funding requests and by-law changes.
The purpose of KSU’s Student Government is to promote understanding and involvement among all members of the campus community, and to represent and legislate the interest of the university’s student body on a campus-wide, local, state, and federal level in accordance with KSU statutes, student codes of conduct, and the policies of the Board of Regents. All active students at KSU are allowed to vote in the yearly elections during spring semester. Student Government is made up of the President, Executive Vice President, Parliamentarian, Secretary, Treasurer and five appointed and confirmed Directors and 28 senator positions. The Student Government has weekly meetings where they discuss and pass legislation, listen to testimony from administrative officials and plan/discuss upcoming campus events. Senators and a Director (the chair) are separated into five standing committees to facilitate in legislative development. The five standing committees are: Academic Affairs, Student Services, Press and Public Relations, External Affairs, and Operations.
- The Sentinel (KSU) is the official newspaper for KSU. It is printed weekly during fall and spring semesters and twice during the summer semester.
- The Talon is the feature magazine for Kennesaw State University.
- Share is KSU’s national award-winning magazine that features the work of KSU students.
- “OWL Radio” is the student run radio station for KSU. Content is streamed online with live365.
- Talisman is the name of the former Student Yearbook for KSU.