Alumni couple contribute to alma mater in many ways
(May 20, 2019) An alumni couple, one a longtime faculty member and the other a trustee at Kennesaw State University, have certainly made an impact on their alma mater.
After 32 years of teaching at Southern Polytechnic State University and then Kennesaw State, Pam Frinzi ’83, ’94 recently retired as a professor of computer engineering. Meanwhile, her husband Carl Frinzi ’83 – whom she met on the Marietta campus almost 40 years ago – continues to be a member of the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees.
Pam began her impact on students as an instructor at what was then called Southern College of Technology in March 1987. Later, she was promoted to assistant professor, associate professor and finally professor. During her more than three decades on the Marietta campus, Pam also served several roles outside of the classroom.
In 2008, Carl joined the SPSU Foundation. The senior vice president and general manager of Batson-Cook Construction in Atlanta, he transitioned to become a KSU board member after consolidation.
“Becoming a trustee was easy. It was something that I felt I could do to give something back to the university that meant so much to me and my family,” Carl said. “I have always had a strong connection to Southern Tech and SPSU. I chose to stay on as a KSU trustee after the merger.
Additionally, Carl has been a part of the Kennesaw State Construction Industry Advisory Board since 2011 and has regularly provided internships and jobs for KSU students and graduates.
Both Carl and Pam came from different states outside of Georgia, but they both wound up in Marietta as undergraduate students in the late 1970s.
“I grew up in the northeast and I am from Pittsburgh,” Pam said. “I went to high school in Decatur.”
Carl, who is originally from Milwaukee but raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, first moved to Georgia to further his education.
“I did some research and heard great things about the (civil engineering technology) program,” Carl said. “I liked the size and feel of Southern Tech when I visited. I started in 1978.”
Carl, honored with a KSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017, received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering technology.
Pam was also attracted to what is now Kennesaw State’s Marietta campus and went on to earn an advanced degree.
“I liked the EET (electrical engineering technology) program,” Pam said. “I started in 1979.”
She finished with a B.S. in electrical engineering technology and 11 years later acquired her Master of Science in engineering technology.
In the fall of 1980, both Carl and Pam volunteered to be student orientation leaders. That is when they first met and the two have been together ever since.
“We became best friends in college,” Carl said.
Besides being orientation leaders, Carl and Pam were involved in Greek life. They both said they enjoyed fraternity and sorority gatherings, making new friends and the bathtub races.
Carl and Pam are not the only KSU alumni in their immediate family. Their son, Carl J. Frinzi Jr. ’13, also earned a degree from the university.
“Our son, Joey Frinzi, graduated with his construction management bachelor’s,” Pam said.
For nearly 30 years, Carl and Pam have been generous donors to SPSU and then Kennesaw State. One way in which they give back is through the Carl J. Frinzi Sr. Endowed Scholarship, which assists construction management majors.
“A few years into becoming a trustee, I decided to establish a scholarship,” Carl said. “I felt it was the best way to have a positive impact on deserving students that may have a need for some financial support. It is a way to help someone get one step closer to meeting their goal of earning a degree.
“I initially chose construction management because it is the industry that I have been in my entire life. I plan to change the name in the very near future to the ‘Frinzi Family Endowed Scholarship.’ Also, I am hopeful that one day we will be able to provide a second scholarship which will be Pam’s decision to decide which department or degree it will go to.”
Carl and Pam Frinzi have contributed to KSU in so many ways for decades, and the university is grateful to have them as supporters.
- KSU -