|Flourish Online Magazine||Spring 2012|
Randy Stuart: Educator and donor
By Kevin McKenzie
(L to R) Randy Stuart with Joseph D. Meeks, dean of the College of the Arts
Photo by Tracie Hinnant
“A perfect match.” That is how Randy Stuart describes the advertisement that brought her to State University from Chicago in 1998. Now an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Professional Sales in the Michael J. Coles College of Business, Stuart brought a wealth of experience from a 25-year career in retail, wholesale sales and part-time teaching to Kennesaw State.
Stuart was inspired to begin teaching after earning her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a way to “give back to the community and share the knowledge that was shared with me.” Since joining KSU, Stuart has taught Principles of Marketing and Retail, and she makes a point to try and learn all of her students’ names. “It’s all about relationship building,” explains Stuart.
As a longtime donor to the university, relationship building is also at the core of Stuart’s giving philosophy. “My job is to help people solve their problems and achieve their goals,” she says. In 2010, she responded to the Bernard Zuckerman Challenge by making a pledge for Phase II of the Art Museum at KSU. She used part of an inheritance from her mother to support the new Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery at KSU. She also has made gifts to the Program in Dance and the Friends of the Bailey Center, and she actively supports KSU athletics.
Stuart’s relationship-building doesn’t end with her teaching and giving. She is currently auditing a painting class in the Department of Visual Arts. Stuart jokes, “It’s a lot easier to appreciate art than to create it!” Stuart traces her support of the arts at KSU to her upbringing in suburban Chicago. “My parents were very big on exposing us to the arts,” Stuart explains. “Live theater is my passion. I love it and can never get enough.”
Why is giving to KSU so rewarding for Stuart? “It’s all about the people,” she states. “We have some incredibly talented people here and I am very big believer in the idea that every person is important to the success of this organization, from the person who sweeps the floor all the way up to Dr. Papp.”
However, Stuart is quick to acknowledge that an individual’s style of giving is as unique as their passions. “I am a big believer in everybody doing what’s best for them.”