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New center at KSU named for local donors
Bagwell donates to KSU

The name of a new center at Kennesaw State University is one most Forsyth County residents will recognize.

The Bagwell Center for the Study of Markets and Economic Opportunity is named for longtime donors Tommy and Chantal Bagwell in recognition of a $2.25 million contribution from the couple. An additional $1 million for the Charles Koch Foundation also funded the center.

“Chantal and I are honored to continue our commitment to Kennesaw State University,” Tommy Bagwell said in a news release. “We can think of no more significant investment in a community than education. A good education is the key to people improving their social and economic mobility.”

The Bagwell family has been donating since 1996, when Clarice Bagwell, Tommy’s mother, gave a gift to name the Leland and Clarice C. Bagwell College of Education.

“We appreciate the generosity of our donors, in particular Tommy and Chantal Bagwell, who continue to demonstrate their dedication to education and Kennesaw State,” said Kathy Schwaig, dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business. “We are committed to launching a center that will provide education and research opportunities for students and faculty in a context that encourages and welcomes the exchange of diverse ideas targeted at real-world challenges.”

Tommy Bagwell has served on the school’s board of trustees for 12 years, and Chantel Bagwell has served on the same board.

The center was developed by the Coles College Department of Economics, Finance and Quantitative Analysis and will research opportunities for students and faculty “related to economic mobility and prosperity, entrepreneurship, and the impact public policies and market institutions have on economic outcomes.” 

“Our emphasis is on giving students the opportunity to develop sound economic problem-solving skills. This puts them in a position to make a positive impact on their communities,” said Brett Katzman, chair of the department. “The Center will help us promote education and research that explores the link between economic opportunity and human well-being.”

The director of the center will be Timothy Mathews, a professor of economics whose expertise includes applied game theory, public economics, and industrial organization, and there are plans to hire three full-time business faculty members.