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Dear Friends, The student-athletes in our programs are so appreciative of the resources and the facilities we provide for them. I am excited about the CSU First Choice Campaign because I feel we need to begin to do more for our student-athletes. The projects we have targeted will certainly go a long way toward letting them know that there is a very high commitment from Columbus State University, alumni, fans, and friends, and will especially showcase that CSU Athletics plays an important role in developing Columbus State University as a First Choice for all students. At Columbus State University, winning teams and exceptional student-athletes have become the norm. While we continue to have great success, the margin of excellence continues to be narrowed as funding for athletic scholarship and operational budgets has decreased programmatically over the last few years. The addition of new programs has been beneficial in diversifying our sport offerings, but has come as a result of existing programs operating with significantly fewer operating and scholarship dollars. With most of our teams having less than fifty percent of the maximum allowable scholarships available to distribute at the Division II level, we are reliant on our coaches and staff being extremely resourceful in the usage of funds. While this has served us well in recent years, our ability to compete at the very high level we have come to expect, without enhanced funding for our programs will be severely hampered and challenged.

Go Cougars! Todd Reeser Director of Athletics

Building Champions for Today and Leaders for Tomorrow Today’s Cougars are tomorrow’s leaders, and the time student-athletes spend on the Columbus State University campus is a crucial period of learning and growth. In addition to helping ensure success on the playing surface, the CSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics also offers educational support programs that position studentathletes for success after they leave campus. Scholarship support, 21st century facilities and resources, and a supportive learning environment are necessary for preparing today’s Cougars for their future – in communities and professions throughout Georgia and beyond. Through support of identified campaign priorities, we will build upon the pride of representing our university as a First Choice for deserving student-athletes. With 15 NCAA Division II teams, the Columbus State University Athletics program is a vital part of the university and greater Columbus community. The university is dedicated to the personal and professional development of student-athletes, challenging them to compete at the highest level on the field and in the classroom. The commitment has led to our student-athletes possessing some of the most impressive academic and athletic credentials in the Peach Belt Conference. CSU Athletics strives to provide student-athletes with an exceptional university experience culminating in graduation, ensure our teams compete for Peach Belt Conference (PBC) and Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) championships; bring national exposure to the Columbus community; and grant fans, alumni, and supporters a place to unite, connect, and celebrate the university. Transformational philanthropy from our Cougar supporters is crucial in helping studentathletes graduate from the Columbus State University while competing in championshipcaliber intercollegiate athletics. The overall well-being of the participants on all of our Cougar teams and the integrity of the program will remain paramount in all that we do.

Our Campaign Vision: 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. The combination of academic and athletic excellence of our program will synergize a campus environment that is exciting and engaging; instilling pride in all who support the Cougars.

Our funding priorities to accomplish our strategic vision are to invest in:

First-Choice Programs • 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 scholarship far below the maximum allowable for NCAA Division II programs. By providing additional scholarship support, our coaches can recruit an even higher caliber of studentathlete 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 studentathletes in their academic and athletic pursuits.

First-Choice Places • Key Golf Studio and Golf Complex – $2 million Thanks to visionary supporters, the Key Golf Studio will open in spring 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 be serve as the headquarters for tennis offices 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. • 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. The baseball complex will be officially named Burger King Stadium at Ragsdale Field, in honor of significant investments from Columbus’ Schuster Enterprises, which operates more than 60 Burger King restaurants in the Southeast.

• New tennis complex

(in partnership with the city of Columbus and CORTA) – $1.75 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 worldclass home for players and spectators of CSU tennis. The additions also expand the city’s and the university’s ability to host regional and national tennis events, and enable the city to better handle the growing interest in tennis, evidenced by a 3,863% increase in CORTA participation over the past 26 years.

Summary of Campaign Priorities: • Athletic Performance Center . . . . . . . . $2.25 Million • Key Golf Studio and Golf Center . . . . . . . .$2 Million • New Tennis Complex . . . . . . . . . . . $1.75 Million • Burger King Stadium at Ragsdale Field . . . $1.15 Million • Cougar Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500,000

$7.65 Million

Athletics Campaign at Columbus State University

With your gift, Athletics will: • Fund student-athlete scholarships and bolster operating budgets necessary to recruit, train, and develop student-athletes and making CSU a First Choice for their talents; • Construct a comprehensive Student-Athlete Performance Center that will include academic services, strength and conditioning, and athletic training facilities to contribute to our student-athletes’ success, both on and off the field; • Improve practice and competitive facilities for our tennis, track and field, baseball, softball, and golf programs, providing student-athletes with enhanced or new venues to compete in and further the student experience; • Fund salaries to attract and retain exemplary coaches, who will recruit and mentor the best student-athletes while producing academically excellent, winning teams.

Your support is critical to make our vision a reality. Cougar Athletics at Columbus State University 4225 University Ave Columbus, GA 31907 706-562-1756

Athletics Campaign at Columbus State University  

At Columbus State University, winning teams and exceptional student-athletes have become the norm. While we continue to have great success,...