Georgia State University recently received an unrestricted gift of $1 million from James C. Kennedy, chairman of privately-held Cox Enterprises, Inc.

The gift has not yet been earmarked for a specific use but will help the university with its expansion toward becoming one of the nations leading urban research institutions with a more traditional student life, said Nancy Peterman, Georgia State’s vice president for development.

“The $1 million gift from Jim is vitally important to Georgia State University as it represents not only unrestricted support but is also received at a pivotal time in the university’s long and rich history,” Peterman said. “It will significantly enhance our abilities to reach the ambitious goals we have set for our institution in the coming years.”

Among those goals, Georgia State plans to open a new Freshmen Hall with 350 rooms and a dining hall this coming fall. Also, the Parker H. Petit Science Center will be completed in spring 2010. Georgia State continues to make good progress towards its annual and long range fund-raising goals, despite the difficult economic climate, Peterman said.

Cox Enterprises, Inc., is one of the nation’s leading media companies and providers of automotive services. Kennedy was inducted into Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business Hall of Fame in 2004.

Kennedy also gave gifts to several other Georgia institutions, underscoring his commitment to higher education.

“The importance of higher education to Georgia’s future cannot be overstated and I am grateful for the opportunity to assist Georgia State University as it continues to grow and prosper towards its goal of becoming one of the countries leading urban research universities,” Kennedy said.