Capital Campaign Raises More Than $100 Million

CSU Capital Campaign Ends With More Than $100 Million When Columbus State University began its capital campaign four years ago, organizers set a goal of $67 million and established a mission of using CSU to respond to community needs.

As the Investment in People campaign closes today, the university can offer dozens of examples where a regional impact already has been made. And CSU can look to more than 2,500 donors to thank for a campaign that has collected $100,326,928 in gifts and pledges.

The $100 million raised in Columbus State's campaign eclipses the drive's original goal of $67 million and even passes the revised final goal of $85 million. A representative from CSU's campaign consultants, Goettler Associates, Inc, said the total raised was 'incredible' for a university of this size and age.

Its truly astounding to be able to announce that we have raised more than $100 million with this capital campaign, said CSU President Frank Brown. This campaign is further evidence of the generosity of the community we serve, the alumni we have graduated and the friends we have made. Its their belief in CSU that has made this possible. And through their confidence, we will continue to make a difference.

Brown said the campaign would not have been possible without the legion of volunteers who pitched in to help spread the message about CSUs promising future. Jimmy Yancey, retired chairman of the board for Synovus Financial Corp., led the effort by serving as campaign chairman.

Yancey said he signed on to lead the campaign because he understands and appreciates how much CSU has done for the community and its people, including him. And hes excited about the promise of CSUs future a future he believes will have Columbus State stand out in the nation from other similar institutions.

The donors who supported this campaign also believe that CSU can continue to grow into an institution of regional, and national, prominence, Yancey said. Were not there yet. We have a lot of work we need to do, but this campaign has given us a great start down that road.

Some achievements that have already been accomplished with the Investment in People campaign include:

  • Thirty-two new endowed scholarships for students
  • Ten new endowed faculty chairs, and additional funding for one existing chair
  • $7 million distributed on campus for libraries, enhancements to undergraduate teaching and learning, faculty development, academic equipment, and support for advising, creative writing, student activities, athletics and the honors and servant leadership programs.
  • The Spencer House in Oxford, England, a CSU residence for study abroad programs.
  • A program funded by the Knight Foundation to mentor teachers during their first years in the classroom.
  • The downtown fine and performing arts campus, scheduled to open in fall of 2006.
  • Cunningham Center


Each accomplishment in this campaign began by using Columbus State Universitys strategic plan as a framework, then developing priorities to enhance the unique partnership enjoyed by the university and community. The outcome will be yet another transformation of Columbus and CSU economically, educationally and culturally. CSUs four priorities were:


  • Learning and Service - To enhance the campus learning environments, increase student retention and support student leadership and development.
  • Teacher Preparation - To support CSUs top-ranked Teacher Education Program in addressing the critical shortage of teachers in the region, with a focus on science and mathematics educators.
  • Arts and Culture -- To help transform Columbus into a premier cultural center and arts community and to aid in the global experiences of students and the community.
  • Technology and Commerce - To boost CSUs role in the ongoing community and economic development of the region, with special emphasis on business and information technology programs of national distinction.

    With this comprehensive campaign, we are enhancing the unique partnership of CSU, its alumni and the Columbus region to advance CSU on many diverse fronts simultaneously, Yancey said. The common element is people those with vision who have developed the plan, those who will implement it, those who will benefit from it and those whose support will make it all possible. Especially crucial to the campaigns success were the volunteers the community leaders and alumni who bought into CSUs vision with so much passion they not only contributed personally but they asked their friends and neighbors to contribute also, Brown said.

    Their work on behalf of CSUs future led to an amazing list of success stories, he said. Current and retired faculty and staff doubled their goal and pledged more than $2 million. CSU Foundation trustees contributed almost $30 million. The Bradley-Turner Foundations lead gift of $25 million was critical. National foundations some with no previous connections to CSU contributed up to $1 million each. Staff members wrote the university into their wills. Local companies contributed. Total alumni giving reached almost $17 million. Alumni and friends contacted by phone, some who had not donated in years, pledged almost $500,000. And 28 individual donors gave $1 million or more, gifts many did not want publicized.

    Close to $20 million is in deferred gifts, such as wills. Im just amazed at the support from all the constituencies of Columbus State, Yancey said. I believe those folks are going to be able to look at CSU five and 10 years from now and say, You know, I didnt just give them money I made a heck of an investment in Columbus State University.