In 1963, the Board of Regents approved the establishment of a new junior college in Cobb County, GA. Three years later, Kennesaw Junior College officially opened its doors to 1,000 students for the fall 1966 semester, with Dr. Horace W. Sturgis serving as the college's first president. Due to the unfinished state of the campus, classes were held on the campus of the Southern Technical Institute and Banberry Elementary School. Nonetheless, Kennesaw Junior College experienced steady growth and development during this first academic year, including the establishment of a school newspaper, opening its new campus, and awarding its first degrees. In 1976, the Board of Regents voted to make Kennesaw Junior College into a four-year institution named Kennesaw College in 1977. in 1981, Dr. Horace W. Sturgis retired and Dr. Betty L. Siegel became the second president of Kennesaw College, making her the first female president in the history of the University System of Georgia. An enthusiastic, dynamic, and visionary president, Dr. Siegel's twenty-five year career at Kennesaw College included many landmark changes for the institution including academic and departmental restructuring, the creation of a master's degree program, residential living quarters, increasingly high enrollment, and promotion to university status. In 2006, Kennesaw State University named its third president, Dr. Daniel S. Papp. For the next nine years, Kennesaw State University continued to grow and thrive, achieving accolades and milestones such as NCAA status, the creation of a football team, and its first doctoral programs. In January of 2015, Kennesaw State University merged with Southern Polytechnic State University, making Kennesaw State University the third largest school in the University System of Georgia. Dr. Papp retired in spring 2016, and Kennesaw State University named Dr. Houston Davis as interim university president. In November 2016, the Board of Regents appointed Sam Olens - former Georgia Attorney General - as the fourth president of Kennesaw State University.

Collections in this community

  • KSU Building and Facility History

    This collection contains various images and other records that document the history and growth of the KSU campus.
  • KSU Presidents: Dr. Betty L. Seigel

    This collection contains biographical information and select archival records documenting the administration of Dr. Betty L. Siegel - the second president of Kennesaw State University.
  • KSU Presidents: Dr. Horace Sturgis

    This collection contains biographical information and select archival records documenting the administration of Dr. Horace W. Sturgis - the first president of Kennesaw State University.
  • KSU Publications

    This collection contains material published by and about Kennesaw State University.
  • KSU Timelines

    This collection contains resources that provide chronological documentation of KSU's history.

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