Kennesaw State cuts ribbon on new student-focused Academic Learning Center

KENNESAW, Ga. | Feb 24, 2022

Kennesaw State University hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the new Academic Learning Center, a 143,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, located in the heart of the Kennesaw Campus.

Shown cutting the ribbon for Kennesaw State's new Academic Learning Center are, left to right: University System of Georgia Regent Jose Perez; Regent Cade Joiner; KSU student Jeremiah Hayes; Scrappy the Owl; KSU Interim President Kathy Schwaig; State Rep. John Carson; and KSU Interim Provost Ivan Pulinkala.

Members of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, elected officials and KSU Foundation trustees joined students, faculty and staff in the official opening of the center. The ceremony was followed by tours of the five-story building, which has greatly increased the University’s instructional space and student-support services.

“There are so many resources available to our students all in this one building. This was intentional, so that we could meet the needs of our growing student population most effectively and efficiently,” KSU Interim President Kathy Schwaig said. “The Academic Learning Center will have a tremendous impact on our campus for years to come.”

Jeremiah Hayes
Jeremiah Hayes

Jeremiah Hayes, a senior Honors student majoring in industrial and systems engineering, brought remarks at the event on behalf of the KSU student body. Hayes shared his enthusiasm about the ALC being the new home for KSU Journey Honors College, and of the significance the Academic Learning Center will have for all Kennesaw State students.

“Having these resources in the ALC is essential for student success because they provide us with dedicated tools to enhance engagement in academics and student life,” Hayes said. “As KSU continues to grow, this space will be critical in enabling students to meet their academic and career goals.”

Along with its 20 classrooms, 200-seat auditorium, 12 seminar rooms, 11 group study rooms, student study lounge and faculty hoteling suite, the Academic Learning Center features a 4,600-square-foot suite housing KSU Journey Honors College. Honors enrollment grew to 1,659 students in the 2021-22 academic year, a new high for the College and a 167-percent increase from just five years ago.

“The Academic Learning Center has been strategically located, physically and psychologically situating our students in the center of our institutional mission,” said Ivan Pulinkala, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Completion of the ALC comes at a time when its need could not be evidenced more impactfully by the students, faculty and staff this building serves.”


Reflecting Kennesaw State’s commitment to research as a Carnegie-designated R2 doctoral research institution, the Office of Undergraduate Research has also moved to the ALC. Its new office is centrally located and is equipped with configurable workspaces for student and faculty researchers, as well as a state-of-the-art interactive video wall that visualizes complex data.

The ALC also houses the Division of Global Affairs, which offers a variety of study-abroad programming for students to engage in diverse and immersive cultural experiences while earning academic credit toward their degree programs. Global Affairs also supports KSU’s growing international student population that represents more than 70 countries and provides impactful cultural exchange experiences on campus.

In addition, the ALC houses departments that help students advance their academics and prepare for careers: Owl Advising, the Department of Career Planning and Development, Student-Athlete Success Services, and the SMART (Science and Math Academic Resource and Tutoring) Center.


For KSU junior Julia Volovoi, the Academic Learning Center has provided a new favorite place to study between classes, the Robin and Doug Shore Honors Student Lounge. The lounge is named in honor of a major financial gift from the Shores, who are longtime supporters of Kennesaw State.

“I’m really happy and proud that KSU is doing a good job of making sure that students feel accommodated,” said Volovoi, an Honors student majoring in sociology. “It’s great to have resources dedicated specifically for our success and for our well-being.”

– Paul Floeckher
Photos by Jason Getz and Judy Pishnery

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit