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Making Columbus State a First Choice University Founded by civic leaders who wanted to transform their community through higher education, Columbus State was born as a junior college in an abandoned hosiery mill. These founders had great hope for the impact it would eventually have on this community and region. Almost 60 years later, Columbus State University has not only fulfilled that initial vision but matured in stride with the evolution of Columbus. The university has shaped the region’s development, guiding its transformation from a mill town to an economic powerhouse now home to giants in technology, banking, insurance, tourism and commerce. CSU – and Columbus – has benefitted from a succession of visionary women and men who invested their time, insight, and financial resources here. Today, CSU is an agile, driven, inventive and intellectually electric university. Through the arts, education, health care, business, technology, sciences and more, we are guiding the vitality and quality of life in this region. Although we remain very much of a part of Columbus, our reach and impact now extend across the Southeast and around the globe. This is a transformational time in our university’s history. We sit on the verge of creating a university that influences the world. We can become a destination. A resource. A catalyst. A First Choice.

What is The First Choice Comprehensive Campaign? . . . . . . .1

Why Now? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

College of Education and Health Professions . . . . . . . . . . .5

D. Abbott Turner College of Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

College of Letters and Sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

College of the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Honors College . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Athletics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Institutional Priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

What is The First Choice Comprehensive Campaign? The First Choice Comprehensive Campaign is a multi-year effort to secure at least $100 million in private support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations. Reaching this lofty goal will require the most ambitious fundraising effort in our history – one that will touch and transform every aspect of the university. Becoming a First Choice university means: • Becoming a first choice institution for discerning students who seek challenging, enriching, and employment-centric programs. • Attracting and keeping talented and engaged faculty who thrive on teaching and appreciate the complementary benefits of academic research. • Creating a vibrant, globally connected campus culture that nurtures our students and enhances our community. • Developing the expertise on campus to address the most pressing challenges in our businesses and neighborhoods. This campaign will allow our university to improve the student experience, attract and retain talented faculty, serve as an economic engine for the region and state through research and job creation as well as improve the quality of life.



Why Now? Columbus State’s last major fund-raising initiative, the Investment in People campaign that ended in 2008, provided the base the university needed to reach this point, to become an institution capable of artistic and economic impact. We now need our alumni and friends again to realize that potential. We are poised to reach even greater heights, and private investment will allow the university to attract outstanding faculty and students who will affect positive change worldwide. With CSU’s strong history of private investment, we will address some of society’s most pressing and urgent issues – from the future of business and technology to K-12 education and nursing. Private funding also will better enable students and faculty to explore the creative and performing arts that will enrich the human experience and quality of life for generations to come. Private investment in Columbus State also pays dividends in this community and this state. For example, the RiverPark campus downtown now has a $21 million annual economic impact on this region, and that does not even include the impending move of the College of Education and Health Professions that will have an even greater impact on Uptown Columbus. More lies ahead. We can transform Columbus State University, the region and the nation. We call upon the thousands of alumni, faculty, staff, community members, parents, and friends who share our vision and are eager to help CSU fulfill its potential.



COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions will transform Columbus into a city known for innovation in education and healthcare. Our top priorities: • Student Scholarships – $1.25 million Student scholarships are vital to attracting creatively talented and academically gifted students, especially in high-demand fields such as math and science education, and nursing. The ability to offer more and bigger scholarships will support the college’s strong reputation and position us to compete for high achieving students that often select a university where they receive the strongest financial support. • Professorships – $2.5 million Endowed professorships in areas such as special education will attract the best faculty available who are able to significantly contribute to the goal of improving the overall quality of life in the valley region. These endowed positions attract and retain engaged, pioneering faculty. This investment in people allows faculty to innovate, ask and answer questions, and engage our students in helping to solve some of our greatest challenges of creating better systems of education and health care. Adding faculty known as trail blazers in their fields can be a game changer for this college in terms of continuing to build our reputation and seeking external funding through grants. • NEW Building on RiverPark campus in UpTown Columbus – $25 million Relocating the College of Education and Health Professions to Uptown Columbus allows us to expand our capabilities to transform education and health care in our region with state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, and will serve as a physical reminder of the value placed on teaching and health care. With our students, these facilities and the faculty leaders we have, we can address some of this region’s most important issues. For instance, our nurses will learn in high-tech classrooms that look like hospitals; our faculty will monitor student reaction and interaction through observations rooms; and our young teachers will have access to the very latest tools, resources and centers. Through this move, CSU will assume a high-profile position as the regional leader in educator preparation and health care and give us more opportunities to engage with the community around the topics of education and health care.


• (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) STEM Teacher Preparation – $3 million The College of Education and Health Professions plays a leading role in the university’s emergence as a national leader in preparing teachers of math and science. Columbus State has earned three multi-million dollar national grants for this critically needed initiative and seeks to expand those efforts to become a nationally recognized UTeach model of STEM teach Preparation. Further development of these programs will position the College of Education and Health Professions to continue these highly effective initiatives and be a national leader in the field of STEM teacher preparation in terms of quality and quantity. The payoff from these investments is a new generation of young people who emerge from school with a true desire to learn more about how the world works, how to solve problems, how to develop the next technology that makes our life easier, or how to solve our most dire health issues. • CSU Fund – $2.5 million The CSU Fund allows the college to be more effective, competitive, and responsive to the academic – and often unexpected – needs of our faculty, staff and students. Ongoing support to the College of the Education and Health Professions provides critical support for scholarships, teaching, equipment, faculty and student travel, and program support at our community outreach centers such as Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, or the Columbus Regional Mathematics Collaborative.


CSU College of Education and Health Profession’s new home in Uptown Columbus.




CSU’s Turner College will emerge as the Southeast’s leader in finding solutions to real-world business and technology issues while becoming a recognized first-choice destination for students considering business and computer science education. Our top priorities: • Endowed Student Scholarships – $1.25 million We no longer compete primarily on a local basis for quality students. We compete nationally and internationally. Leading universities around the world seek talented students in our state. To be a first-choice program requires first-choice investments in the best students. The Turner College must be more competitive in attracting high achieving students. These students will raise the overall level of achievement in the classroom, and their professional success following graduation will further enhance our reputation as a first-choice college. • School of Accountancy – $2.5 million The School of Accountancy will be a new academic unit within the Turner College. Creating a School of Accountancy not only allows the Turner College to remain competitive, but also provides a tremendous opportunity to develop a program tied to fraud and financial data security. The endowment income will subsidize state funding to allow the college to hire preeminent accounting faculty to assist in launching a master’s program in accounting. We anticipate that the graduates of this program will be highly sought after by government and industry. • Professorships – $2 million We are seeking private investment to help us leverage public funds to recruit and retain premier faculty. One specific area of focus is attracting a highly accomplished faculty member in the field of cybersecurity to develop the TSYS Cybersecurity Center for Financial Services, which will be a nationally relevant laboratory for ongoing research and training. Data security and protection is a planned focus of the University System of Georgia, and CSU’s Turner College of Business – in partnership with local supporters – has plans to take a leadership role in this important work. As our programs expand, we see an eventual need for an addition to the Center for Commerce and


Technology. A Commerce and Technology addition would create new learning spaces and create synergy among Turner College centers. The new facility would blend cutting-edge learning technology with faculty-driven, team-oriented project learning. Naming opportunities could showcase our donor’s support and commitment to the college. • Center for Commerce and Technology Addition – $8 million As our programs expand, we see an eventual need for an addition to the Center for Commerce and Technology. Today’s business work environment is open, collaborative and offers multiple technologies to tackle challenging business issues. Our students need to experience that type of environment during their education. Additionally, we can add great value to our industry partners in the preparation of our students to gather, analyze, report and secure financial data. An addition to the Center for Commerce and Technology will allow us to build upon our current programs in financial fraud, cyber security and create synergy among existing Turner College centers. • CSU Fund – $2 million The world is a dynamic place. Challenges abound. Even the finest strategy can’t anticipate every opportunity. Companies and institutions that don’t adapt are soon surpassed. As such, we are committed to continually adapting our courses and programs to meet the changing needs of you, our stakeholders. Your investment will position us to adapt to market changes as we prepare tomorrow’s business and technology leaders. It also will allow us to provide much-needed help for faculty research, academic competitions, program support and other opportunities for distinction.





Our campaign vision is to provide nationally distinctive programs that enable our students to become tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. We plan to build on the university’s unique resources to further enhance the university’s ability to impact this community and shape the world. Our top priorities: • Professorships – $2.5 million One of the single-most important variables that directly affect student success is quality of instruction. We must maintain a faculty that is knowledgeable, effective and cognizant of our student demographics and needs, thus creating a learning environment that is student-focused. We seek more support for the creation of innovative faculty development programs and we need to encourage research endeavors that directly address the scholarship of teaching and learning. A professorship in biology would greatly enhance the teaching and research endeavors within the new graduate biology program, especially the international DNA barcoding project. A professorship in Southern Literary Studies would enhance programming in the English department through our own Carson McCullers Center in Columbus and McCullers’ home in Nyack, New York. This position will coordinate the Carson McCullers Arts Immersion Program in New York, which provides students an experience like no other in the nation. • Student Scholarships – $1.25 million Many promising students are derailed early in their academic careers by financial hardships. Needs-based scholarships are critical to keeping capable students on track to graduate. Scholarships also will enable our college to attract in-demand students. Currently, the college has no scholarships that cover tuition costs for even one semester.


We seek to establish at least five undergraduate scholarships across all disciplines to increase student recruitment and improve degree completion rates. Many students are non-traditional and are unable to complete their studies within four years, due to various external factors. Scholarships will enable more students to graduate in a timely manner and continue with graduate studies or enter the workforce. Additionally, we hope to provide at least five graduate assistantships for our existing graduate programs (history, public administration, natural sciences) and in our planned programs (chemistry and math), to increase recruitment and to remain competitive against our peer institutions. • STEM Solutions – $3 million CSU recognizes that professions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are in great demand, and build communities and transform nations. CSU seeks to become a first choice destination for STEM careers and education in the region by growing our STEM programs, including UTeach Columbus and the Competitive Premedical Studies program. With these fields becoming increasingly important to U.S. economic competitiveness and growth, supporting UTeach means investing in the long-term educational needs of our future workforce. The Competitive Premedical Studies Program is a new initiative designed to place more students on the path to medical school, helping to address the statewide and national physician shortage. CSU’s program includes physician mentors and other connections with the local medical community, enhancing students’ preparation for medical school and also increasing their likelihood of returning to our community to practice. • New laboratory sciences building (match) – $2 million The university has received state appropriations of $11.3 million for a much-needed new laboratory sciences building to be built next to the aging LeNoir Hall. To secure this state funding, the university had to ensure a private match of at least $2 million to assist with designing, building and equipping this facility. New, up-to-date labs will better support graduate studies, expand expectations for students in growing programs such as biology and pre-med, and greatly assist faculty members – some of whom are doing nationally recognized research. • CSU Fund – $2 million As thought leaders in their fields, our faculty members are identifying and indeed creating new opportunities every day. Investing in the CSU Fund allows us to provide opportunities that offer exciting returns for our students and our region. Examples include internships that tie classroom lessons to real-world needs; undergraduate research and travel to showcase our students’ talent; and support for the Carson McCullers Center, a cultural treasure and a resource for writers and musicians that provides insights into the art and literary world in the mid-20th century.





Building on our strengths, the College of the Arts will help make Columbus State a first-choice institution by enhancing its programs of international distinction. Our top priorities: • Bo Bartlett Center – $9 million The Bo Bartlett Center is positioned to bring national and international attention to the College of the Arts. The center’s interactive learning experience will serve as a catalyst for creating a major tourist destination for art enthusiasts. Featuring exhibits of Bo Bartlett works, master classes and exhibitions by internationally recognized artists, educational outreach to local schools, and research materials which will draw art scholars from around the world to our campus’s proposed Arts Library and Archives, the center will enhance Columbus’ reputation as a cultural center in the Southeast. Plans designed by AIA national award winning architect Tom Kundig call for an 18,425-squarefoot interactive gallery space on the entire second floor of CSU’s Corn Center for the Visual Arts, overlooking the Chattahoochee River in downtown Columbus. • RiverPark Arts Library and Archives – $2 million To better serve our students and our community, we must expand library services on the RiverPark campus. Our plan is to create a College of the Arts Library and Archives at One Arsenal Place, allowing CSU Libraries to relocate collections and services for all of the College of Arts disciplines into a single library facility that supports communication, music, theater, and the visual arts. These collections would be made accessible to the public for research on all aspects of the arts, catering to the more than 20 public arts organizations, performance venues, and galleries in Columbus that could potentially benefit from access to a library research facility. 17

The College of the Arts also envisions that the library could become a repository for sketchbooks, journals and other significant memorabilia of the Bo Bartlett collection as well as archival documents of nationally and internationally acclaimed visiting artists. • CSU Fund – $2 million Ongoing support of the College of the Arts through the CSU Fund (often via our support groups) provides critical funding for the college’s merit-student scholarships, 250 concerts, theatre performances and art exhibitions annually, its academic programs, equipment and faculty travel for the departments of art, music, theatre and communication. This support also allows us to take advantage of unplanned opportunities such as when Schwob School of Music students were invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Planned Bo Bartlett Center





CSU’s Honors College will lead the university’s pursuit of attracting, mentoring and graduating high-achieving students who will gain national attention for themselves and the university. Our top priorities: • Student scholarships – $6 million Top students today have a choice of where to attend college. With rising admission standards and nationally accredited programs, we are attracting interest from more and more academically gifted students. But to truly attract the best student possible, we need to provide scholarships that ensure we are a more attractive choice than other schools vying for the same students. • Educational Activity Endowment – $8 million Today’s students seek educational opportunities that transcend traditional classrooms. They thrive personally and educationally through experiences such as internships, national competitions, conferences, study abroad, and undergraduate research programs. We need dynamic leaders for the Honors College and we need to support “co-curricular” opportunities that build critical skills that enable students to become successful professionals in our community. Establishing a permanent endowment would ensure we can provide these opportunities to ALL students at CSU. • CSU Annual Fund – $1 million Until the above endowments can be permanently established, ongoing annual support is needed to make certain Columbus State University continues to attract and retain the students who are truly making a difference across campus, changing the academic perceptions of CSU across the country, and going to be the ones who graduate with the intent – and capability.



ATHLETICS CSU’s Athletic Department strives to become a premier Division II athletic program, nationally recognized for its athletic competitiveness and the outstanding academic accomplishments of its student-athletes. We strive to consistently win Peach Belt Conference championships and the Commissioner’s Cup, advance in NCAA post-season competition, while representing CSU with class, character, and pride. Our top priorities: • Annual Cougar Club Support – $500,000 The Cougar Club is the fundraising program for CSU Athletics. The athletics program receives no state funding and is heavily reliant on charitable and generated support to provide the margin of excellence for our athletic teams. Gifts to the Cougar Club, which provides support to the general athletics budget and to the student-athlete scholarship program, are essential in helping talented student-athletes realize their athletic and academic dreams. Though Cougar teams are highly competitive, our sport programs award scholarships far below the maximum allowable for NCAA Division II programs. By providing additional scholarship support, our coaches can recruit an even higher caliber of student-athlete to represent Columbus State University. • CSU Athletic Performance Center – $2.25 million The 5,000-square-foot CSU Athletic Performance Center, which will be located adjacent to the Lumpkin Center, will provide facilities that will continue to allow CSU Athletics to attract the best student-athletes to Columbus State University. The department focus has always been in providing student-athletes’ with the very best in academic support, fitness training, and sports medicine care. The current facilities we enlist for these areas today are not sufficient for our goal of being a First Choice in student-athlete welfare programming. The center will undoubtedly enhance recruiting efforts; while training, developing, and caring for our student- athletes in their academic and athletic pursuits. • Key Golf Facility – $2 million Thanks to visionary supporters, the Key Golf Facility opened in 2015, giving the Cougar men’s and women’s golf teams an opportunity to practice year-round and continue to compete with the best nationally. Funding will allow for the renovation of the building adjacent to the studio to serve as the headquarters and locker rooms for our men’s and women’s programs. Ongoing support will help ensure the Cougar golfers of tomorrow will continue to benefit from this first-class training and practice facility. 23


• Burger King Stadium at Ragsdale Field – $1.15 million The university’s baseball stadium was built in 1970 as Cougar Field and renovated in 1990 and 1996. Now named in honor of Charles F. Ragsdale, Columbus State’s first baseball coach, the stadium is due for another upgrade to make the visitor experience more enjoyable and add to the sports fan culture at CSU. The next chapter of the baseball complex is targeted for several fan friendly amenities and enhancements. When completed, an attractive cantilevered roof over the 550 individual chair back seats will provide shade and an unobstructed view of the beautiful Ragsdale Field playing surface. A combination brick and aluminum façade, ticket booth, and new ornamental fencing will welcome fans to the home of Cougar Baseball. • New tennis complex (in partnership with the city of Columbus and CORTA) – $3 million Columbus State University is partnering with the city of Columbus and the Columbus Regional Tennis Association (CORTA) to expand one of the country’s premier public tennis facilities at Cooper Creek Park. This $9 million expansion will embrace the growth of organized and recreational tennis in this region. The new facilities will provide a headquarters for the nationally prominent men’s and women’s tennis teams; regularly ranked among the nation’s best. Plans include adding 12 hard courts, 10 rubico courts and a new clubhouse, providing a world-class home for players and spectators of CSU tennis.



• Servant Leadership Program – $5 million CSU’s Servant Leadership Program has established a national reputation for its four-year comprehensive program that incorporates leadership theory, practice, experiential learning, modeling and mentoring to prepare the next generation of leaders and service-centered citizens. We want to ensure this unique program’s future by endowing it and providing student scholarships to young men and women who seek to transform the world by leading with a lifelong commitment to service. • CSU Fund – $3.5 million The CSU Fund is the cornerstone of philanthropic support for CSU and provides opportunities for alumni and friends of CSU to invest in the lives of students through annual giving. During the First Choice Comprehensive Campaign, the CSU Fund will not only provide critical support for scholarships and programming needs within each of our colleges, but also funding for other institutional priorities that span the entire campus. These include the Servant Leadership Program, athletics, the Center for International Education, the Academic Center for Excellence, Student Life and Development, among others. Additionally, the CSU Fund will provide university leadership with unrestricted funding to address new challenges and opportunities throughout the year. With this campaign, we are committed to capitalizing on the university’s framework – the programs that make us special, and leave a lasting mark on this community and this country. We see great impact by investing in our ability to improve STEM education in this region, by spreading the Servant Leadership model, by providing more financial aid to deserving students, and by expanding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research, by keeping and attracting top-notch professors, and by continuing to improve the local quality of life. The funds we are raising through the First Choice comprehensive campaign are investments in our future – investments we are also leveraging with state funding to help enhance our facilities to keep with our academic aspirations. For CSU to grow its reputation as a first-choice institution, it will do so through the support of our alumni and friends.

These are indeed lofty goals. But first-choice institutions should never settle for second best.


Columbus State University 4225 University Ave | Columbus, GA 31907

Columbus State University First Choice Campaign  

Today, CSU is an agile, driven, inventive and intellectually electric university. Through the arts, education, health care, business, techno...