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Couple Donates $500,000 to Kennesaw State University

The gift will fund the College’s newly created Hughes College-to-Career Leadership Program, which will provide a unique blended advisement program combining academic and career guidance for business students.

Thomas W. Hughes, an Atlanta businessman, and his wife, Barbara, donated $500,000 to Kennesaw State University to support a new program for students in the Michael J. Coles College of Business.

The gift will fund the College’s newly created Hughes College-to-Career Leadership Program, which will provide a unique blended advisement program combining academic and career guidance for business students.

“Tom and Barbara are longtime friends of Kennesaw State University and valued members of our community,” said Daniel S. Papp, president of Kennesaw State, in a press release. “Their generosity will have a profound impact on our students and will provide a solid foundation for guiding students toward the right career path.”

Hughes is founder and past president/CEO of National Electronic Attachment, Inc., which he began in 1998, and Medical Electronic Attachment, Inc., which he started in 2007.

A Coles College MBA graduate, Hughes is a member of the KSU Board of Trustees and serves on the Coles College of Business Advisory Board, where he was selected Board Member of the Year in 2010 and 2013.

In 2011, he was named a Coles College executive-in-residence. 

“Barbara and I are very sensitive to the current job market, and we want to give KSU business school graduates every advantage to be successful in finding employment,” said Thomas Hughes in the release.

“Serving on the Advisory Board of Coles College gave me the opportunity to help the College and Dean (Kathy) Schwaig roll out this important program to students.” 

The College-to-Career Leadership Program will address the challenges undergraduate students face when making career choices and obtaining jobs after graduation.

Traditionally, universities offer academic advising during the first two years and then career advising in the later years, but not a blended option. This program will help to combine these often-separated advising options seamlessly throughout a student’s entire college career. 

During the fall 2013 semester, Hughes taught “The Philanthropy of Business,” a graduate-level class designed to help business leaders and entrepreneurs learn how to effectively manage philanthropic gifts. As part of the 15-week course, Hughes made a $1,000 donation in each student’s name to their selected charities.

Hughes received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University with dual degrees in marketing and finance.

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