The Year of Michael J. Coles

Michael ColesIt has been 25 years since the Michael J. Coles College of Business was named after respected business leader and philanthropist Michael Coles. In honor of this important milestone, the College has chosen Michael as the 2018-2019 executive in residence and is calling the academic year the “Year of Michael J. Coles.”

Students and members of the Kennesaw State community will have several opportunities to meet and learn from Michael Coles throughout the fall and spring. Michael is a gifted entrepreneur, a passionate philanthropist, and a longtime friend of the Coles College of Business. Please join us in honoring our esteemed benefactor. See below for a full calendar of events.

Learn more about Michael Coles.

Classroom Presentations  

All Year Long

Michael Coles

Michael enjoys speaking directly with Coles College students, and is doing so throughout the academic year. His compelling life story, his expertise in managing successful businesses, and his friendly, open approach to communication can inspire students to accomplish their own academic and professional goals.

Past Events

Honorary Captain of the Owls Football Team

September 22, 2018

As honorary captain of the Owls homecoming football game, Michael Coles performed the opening coin toss in the game against the Clark Atlanta University Panthers. Michael was joined in the end zone by his honorary co-captain, Kennesaw State University President Pamela Whitten. 

Executive in Residence Day

October 17, 2018
Burruss Building 151

Michael will spend a full day on campus interacting with Coles College students, faculty, and leadership. He will host a presentation open to everyone, where he will also distribute and sign complimentary copies of his new biography Time to Get Tough: How Cookies, Coffee, and a Crash Led to Success in Business and Life, co-authored by Dr. Catherine Lewis, a professor of history at Kennesaw State

Prior to his presentation, Michael will unveil the new Michael J. Coles exhibit in the Burruss Building, highlighting his extraordinary life and career.

Attendees will also receive free cookies!

Executive in Residence Day Schedule:

  • 2:45: Ribbon cutting for Michael Coles Exhibit

    • Includes ceremonial cookie cutting

  • 3:00: All students in attendance receive a free copy of Michael Coles’ biography

  • 3:15: Presentation from Michael and book launch

  • 4:00: Book signing

Tetley Distinguished Leader Series

February 26, 2019
Burruss Building, Room 151

Thanks to a generous endowment from Hank McInerney, former CEO of Tetley, Inc., the Coles College of Business brings important business and community leaders each semester to speak to Kennesaw State students about leadership. This spring, Michael Coles will participate in a Tetley Distinguished Leader Series presentation, where he will inspire students with his life story of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and success despite overwhelming odds.

Tetley Distinguished Leader Series are open to all Kennesaw State students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Lessons in Leadership

February 28, 2019
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center

Lessons in Leadership

The 19th annual Lessons in Leadership will feature Michael Coles as the exclusive presenter. Organized by the Coles College Executive MBA program, Lessons in Leadership invites EMBA students, EMBA alumni, and prominent members of the business community to learn from prominent Atlanta-area leaders. Michael will offer his insights on leadership and share his unique perspective on achieving success.

Lessons in Leadership is by invitation only.