Columbus State University Receives $3 Million Endowment from Author, Businessman

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Local author and businessman Donald L. Jordan gifted Columbus State University’s College of Letters and Sciences with a $3 million endowment to encourage students to continue the art of writing.

The university held a signing ceremony to establish the Donald L. Jordan Endowment for Traditional American Writing in the College of Letters and Sciences — the largest single gift to the college and one of the largest to CSU — on Sept. 26 at the Cunningham Center.

“This day marks one of the most incredible days I have experienced since coming to Columbus State University,” said Dennis Rome, dean of CSU's College of Letters and Sciences. “This wide-ranging gift from Mr. Jordan will not only support the students in our creative writing program but will also give our students who travel abroad the opportunity to come back and share their experiences with others through their writing.”

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Jordan’s works have been published in national magazines, trade book publishers and with self-publishers. "In contemporary fiction we are quickly losing the spirit of generosity, faith and love that personified the characters of our great American writers,” added Jordan.

This generous contribution will encourage current and future generations of authors to write about people who they hold dear and honor the values of responsibility, gratitude, generosity, faith and love.

The endowment will help student writers develop their craft. The fund also will support the following programs at Columbus State University:

The Donald L. Jordan Prize in Traditional American Writing
This open manuscript competition to published and unpublished writers nationwide awards annual prizes for the top entries that best represent the traditional American values of responsibility, gratitude, generosity, faith and love. The winner will have their work published by Columbus State University Press and distributed nationally. A panel of selected judges, including at least one eminent American writer, will judge the contest.

The Donald L. Jordan Endowed Professorship in Creative Writing
This professorship in creative writing will support CSU’s Department of English by supplementing the salary of a faculty member. The faculty member will teach courses and oversee the execution of The Donald L. Jordan Prize in Traditional American Writing and a writing conference every two to three years on campus to publicize writing that honors traditional American values.

The Donald L. Jordan Study Abroad Service Learning Program
This program supports a group of up to 10 students and two faculty members to travel to a developing country for up to two weeks and engage in a humanitarian project. Working with an established agency, the group will collaborate with local organizations and health departments to provide much-needed support by building awareness through educational presentations in schools and in communities. Program participants will engage in life-changing work and following the experience will write about how responsibility, generosity, faith and love can be used for the good of others.

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