Columbus State Celebrates Dedicated Community Members at President’s Recognition Dinner

COLUMBUS, GA --- Columbus State University and its Alumni Association recognized three individuals last night that together have contributed more than 80 years of service to CSU and the Columbus community.

About 160 people were in attendance for the 43rd Annual President’s Recognition Dinner at the Cunningham Conference Center to celebrate the following friends of the university:

Prem Virmani (MBA ’82), senior vice president of science and research at Cott Beverages, Inc., is regarded for building a quality private soda label, developing award-winning formulas for Cott Beverages, and his commitment to his family and the Columbus community. He also helped implement a new internship program at Cott exclusively for CSU students. Virmani is this year’s recipient of the Thomas Y. Whitley Distinguished Alumnus Award.

George Stanton is a lifelong resident of Columbus. He began his career as a professor of biology for the university in 1969 when it was still Columbus College. Stanton has served as chair for CSU’s Department of Biology, Director of Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, dean of the College of Science, vice president for academic affairs and interim president. Stanton is this year’s recipient of the Frank D. Brown Achievement and Leadership Excellence Award.

Marleen De Bode-Olivié is a passionate advocate for the arts and education. Under her leadership, Columbus State’s Department of Art and Friends of Art launched Beyond the Limit: Funding Future Artists, a program designed to offer more scholarships to incoming art students. She also serves on boards across the Chattahoochee Valley, including the Georgia Council of Art, the Columbus Museum and the Historic Columbus Foundation Board. Olivié is this year’s recipient of an Honorary Alumni Membership.

For more information about the President’s Recognition Dinner, visit or contact Jennifer Joyner, director of alumni and donor engagement, at 706-507-8956 or

[caption id="attachment_4684" align="alignleft" width="240"]Prem Virmani Prem Virmani[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4685" align="alignleft" width="239"]George Stanton George Stanton[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4688" align="alignleft" width="238"]Marlene Olivie Marlene Olivie[/caption]