Zeta Beta Tau, which was founded in 1898 as the first Jewish fraternity, initiated Kennesaw State University President Sam Olens into its brotherhood Monday, April 3, in a ceremony at the Buckhead Club.
“I’ve known Sam Olens for a long time. He is a valuable and esteemed member of the community,” said Zeta Beta Tau Foundation President Bruce Weinstein, a University of Alabama alum and Atlanta resident. “As attorney general for the state of Georgia, he had a positive effect on the lives of millions of people. In his new role as president of Kennesaw State University, he will continue that great tradition. The response to Sam’s speech at ZBT’s 2016 International Convention (in Atlanta) was powerful and impactful. And we knew we wanted Sam to be a part of Zeta Beta Tau. We couldn’t be more honored to have Sam as a brother.”
Olens, a member of Congregation Etz Chaim, became the first Jewish Georgian to win in a statewide partisan election in 201 when he was elected attorney general. In his second term, he resigned last year to become Kennesaw State’s president Nov. 1.
In 2016, Georgia Trend magazine named Olens the Georgian of the Year, and he has been listed among the publication’s “100 Most Influential Georgians” for 12 consecutive years.
Olens received his law degree from Emory and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from American University in international politics. He and wife Lisa have two children, Lauren and Jonathan.