Kennesaw Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Michael J. Coles College of Business

Kennesaw State Coles College

On the 25th anniversary of the renaming of the Michael J. Coles College of Business, Michael Coles is still taken aback.

“I see my name on everything the College does, and it’s overwhelming,” Coles recently said, celebrating the anniversary on campus. “I can’t describe what it feels like having my name attached to something that is so much bigger than my personal life.”

“It’s always extraordinarily humbling when I visit Kennesaw State, especially the Coles College,” Coles told KSU News. “I knew there was tremendous potential, but no one could have imagined how much it would grow. Whenever I walk into the [Burruss] Building, I am overwhelmed by what’s happening there.”

Nearly three decades ago, Coles, the Great American Cookie Company co-founder and CEO of Caribou Coffee, joined the Kennesaw State University board of trustees. His growing interest in the business school—then commonly referred to as “Entrepreneurial U”—eventually lead him to guest lecture roles. In 1994, he cemented his legacy with the school through his donation via the Coles-Novak Family Foundation.

Coles College of Business Dean Kathy Schwaig, at the Oct. 17 anniversary event, said, “It’s always a pleasure when we can bring Michael to the College. His story and his entrepreneurial spirit are truly inspiring.”

Michael J. Coles

Michael Coles, center, cutting the anniversary ribbon at the Michael J. Coles College of Business / Photo via David Caselli

Former Dean Tim Mescon, also in attendance at the Wednesday event, told Patrick Harbin at KSU News:

“The naming allowed the Coles College to truly promote itself aggressively and in a most enthusiastic manner to the community at large. Michael loved the entrepreneurial spirit of the College and knew that, with his investment, he could make a profound and indelible impact on the institution.”

The event also marks the release of Coles’ newest book, Time to Get Tough: How Cookies, Coffee, and a Crash Led to Success in Business and Life. Those in attendance at the event, including students, were lucky enough to receive a free copy of the book, along with a much-loved piece of cookie cake.

You can find out more about the recent Kennesaw State Coles College anniversary here.


About the Author

Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is a writer on MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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