In Memoriam: Betty Lentz Siegal, 1931-2020

Betty Siegel, president emeritus of Kennesaw State University in Georgia and the first woman to serve as a campus president for an institution in the University System of Georgia, died on February 11 in Atlanta. She was 89 years old.

“The Kennesaw State University community is mourning the loss of one of its most beloved leaders,” KSU President Pamela Whitten said in a statement. “Betty Siegel has been described affectionately by many as a force of nature, and her energy, enthusiasm and passion for Kennesaw State University, will be long remembered. Without her leadership, vision and commitment to excellence, Kennesaw State would not be what it is today.”

Dr. Siegel became the second president of Kennesaw State University in 1981. At the time, the educational institution offered 15 degree programs and enrolled 3,500 students. At the time of her retirement a quarter-century later in 2006, the university offered 55 degree programs and enrolled 18,000 students.

A native of Cumberland, Kentucky, Dr. Siegal earned a bachelor’s degree at Wake Forest University. She held a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. in education from Florida State University. Before becoming president of Kennesaw State, Dr. Siegel held dean positions at the University of Florida and Western Carolina University.

The Student Recreation and Activities Center and the Institute of Leadership, Ethics and Character on the campus of Kennesaw State University are named in her honor.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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