Kennesaw State to graduate more than 3,500 during spring commencement

KSU bus

Kennesaw State University is scheduled to graduate more than 3,500 students during its spring commencement ceremonies on May 11 and 12.

The ceremonies will take place at the Convocation Center on the Kennesaw campus at 590 Cobb Ave, Kennesaw, GA 30144.

According to the university’s media advisory:

KSU will hold six ceremonies in which undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students will be awarded with degrees from the University.


One of the ceremonies will include a guest speaker – Mary Chatman, the executive vice president of Wellstar Health System and president of Wellstar Kennestone and Windy Hill Hospitals. Chatman will speak during the ceremony that includes the graduates of the Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, on May 11 at 2 p.m.

KSU distributed the following commencement schedule.

May 11

9 a.m. – Coles College of Business (including Cyber Workforce Development) and College of Architecture and Construction Management

2 p.m. – Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, College of the Arts and Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology

7 p.m. – Graduate College

May 12

9 a.m. – Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences

2 p.m. – College of Computing and Software Engineering and Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Psychology and Communications)

7 p.m. – Bagwell College of Education and College of Science and Mathematics

For more information about the graduation ceremonies, visit the commencement website.

About Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University describes itself as follows on its website:

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 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 126 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.

Origin of Kennesaw State University

KSU is an important educational institution in the state, with a number of acclaimed programs and a growing emphasis on research.  But how did it get its start?

It began its life as Kennesaw Junior College.  In the early 1960s, the oldest of the post-WWII baby boom generation were reaching college age.  Carl Sanders, who won the Georgia governorship in the 1962 election, had long been an advocate for the construction of community colleges throughout the state.  In 1961, when he was still a leader in the state Senate, the Atlanta Constitution reported that Sanders asked for a referendum on new taxes, in part to fund new community colleges because of “the great onrush at the college level.”  During his campaign for governor, he argued not only for the building of junior colleges but that ultimately those colleges should be tuition-free, like the public high schools.

Many counties in Georgia wanted the new junior colleges during those years.  In addition to Cobb County, Bartow County was also lobbying for a junior college to be located in Cartersville.  If the Bartow location were chosen, it was doubtful that a college would be built in Cobb County, because both locations were in the 7th Congressional District.  Sanders had extended a promise to Bartow County that they would be chosen as the site.  Cobb County sprung into action.  They chose a location for the college approximately midway between Marietta and Cartersville, in part so the new campus could be within commuting distance of Bartow County as well as Cobb. Importantly, both Marietta and Cobb County issued bonds to fund the college.  Residents of both Marietta and Cobb County voted overwhelmingly in support of the bonds.

Since Bartow County was slow to present a counter-proposal, the north Cobb location was chosen.  The proximity of the college to Bartow gave Sanders some political cover for reneging on his promise that the college would be in Cartersville.  The groundbreaking ceremony was held in November of 1964.  Soon thereafter, Horace W. Sturgis, who had been an associate registrar at Georgia Tech, became the first president of the school.

When Sturgis was hired, no name had been chosen for the college.  He ordered the first stationary with the letterhead “Marietta Junior College”.  There was a significant outpouring of opposition to that name. Sturgis thought one of the other suggested names, “Kennesaw Mountain Junior College”, was too long.   He suggested shortening it to “Kennesaw Junior College.”  That satisfied the opponents of Sturgis’s original name, and the new junior college officially became Kennesaw Junior College.

The opening of the college was delayed by a series of strikes and labor disputes, but that worked to the college’s advantage in an unusual way.  Since the strikes also delayed the payment schedule for the work, the bond money sat in the bank drawing interest before the college opened, leading to an unexpected amount of money for the fledgling college.

Kennesaw Junior College opened in the fall quarter of 1966. with 1,014 students registered.