Coles College Selects Melih Madanoglu as First Michael A. Leven Endowed Chair

 Melih Madanoglu, Michael A. Leven Endowed Chair of Hospitality
Melih Madanoglu

Hospitality education expert will lead development of new hospitality degree program

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 23, 2019) — The Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality has selected Dr. Melih Madanoglu as its first Michael A. Leven Endowed Chair and Professor in Hospitality.

Made possible by a generous gift from Michael A. Leven, chairman and CEO of the Georgia Aquarium and namesake of the Leven School, the new endowed chair will serve a critical role in developing Kennesaw State University’s new undergraduate degree program in hospitality, which is expected to launch in fall 2020.

Leven has co-founded many hospitality franchises throughout his career and is currently a leading industry spokesperson who promotes the development of hospitality programs at educational institutions across the country. This endowed chair is the latest of those efforts.

Madanoglu, who joined Kennesaw State's Michael J. Coles College of Business in early September as endowed chair in hospitality, was previously Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Dean’s Distinguished Research Fellow at Florida Atlantic University. A prolific educator and researcher, Madanoglu has published more than 50 articles, book chapters, and applied notes on hospitality. He has also taught hospitality courses at Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Virginia Tech, and University of Deustro in Spain.

Once it launches, Kennesaw State’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree in hospitality will teach students the skills to lead in the broad range of organizations making up the hospitality industry, which includes hotels, restaurants, transportation companies, and other tourism-focused businesses.

“A vibrant Hospitality program will add a new dimension in the career and professional development opportunities that we provide for students in the Leven School,” says Dr. Raj Veliyath, Interim Director of the Leven School and a Professor of Management. “We are excited at the skill sets and contacts that a recognized thought leader like Melih brings with him which will enable us to continue on a trajectory of growth and success.”

Madanoglu says that he is eager to help build a world-class hospitality program in a school whose benefactor is an industry icon.

“I am very impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit and enviable growth momentum of Kennesaw State University and the motivation of its students,” he says. “One of my goals at the Leven School is to establish long-lasting relationships with the thriving hospitality businesses in the area, which should lead to job placements for our students and support for our program in its quest to achieve a national reputation.”

Madanoglu earned his PhD in Hospitality and Tourism from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science degree in Hospitality Administration from Oklahoma State University.