Blanchard Designates BellSouth Gift To CSU Campaign

Columbus, Ga. - Columbus State University has been designated as the recipient of a $400,000 contribution from BellSouth Corp., made in recognition of 10 years of service to the BellSouth board by James Blanchard.

Blanchard, chairman and CEO of the Synovus Financial Corp. and Georgia Trend's Georgian of the Year, designated the contribution to CSU to support a music program he has seen grow into national prominence.

'The Schwob School of Music has become a local treasure and a national player, and we're all reaping the benefits of its success,' Blanchard said. 'When the university's art and theater departments also are able to relocate downtown, I believe it will continue the amazing downtown renaissance and emergence of CSU.'

The BellSouth gift is just another example of Blanchard's support for the university. He has been a longtime advocate of the university as well as a member of the CSU Foundation Board of Trustees, said CSU President Frank Brown.

'This university would not be where it is today without the support of leaders such as Jimmy Blanchard,' Brown said. 'We are grateful for this gesture, as well as for all the time and talent we've had from him.'

Interim Director of the Schwob School of Music Ron Wirt said the contribution from BellSouth will enable the Schwob School to invest in the needs of a growing student population and address a backlog of capital needs including instruments, storage, and library collection development.

CSU's 'Investment in People' capital campaign seeks to raise $80 million to establish a learning environment more advanced than at any institution of similar size. CSU has logged more than $69 million - $59 million in gifts and pledges that will be received over the next five years and $10 million in deferred gifts such as wills.

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Contact: Kayron Laska, (706) 568-2487; E-mail: laska_kayron@ColumbusState.edu