Columbus State Unveils Plans For $80 Million Campaign

Columbus, Ga. --- Columbus State University has announced a record-breaking fund-raising campaign designed to use the university as a catalyst for regional development and enhancement.

With a goal of $80 million, the campaign, dubbed CSU~An Investment In People, will transform Columbus State and the community through initiatives such as an Uptown Columbus fine and performing arts campus, a nationally recognized teacher preparation program, a technology incubator and a campus learning environment that has no peer with any university its size.

At the kickoff on Oct. 29, Capital Campaign Chairman Jimmy Yancey detailed the impact that would be seen through this campaign, and announced the university had already raised $50.8 toward its goal.

'This is not just another capital campaign to raise money to do more of the same things we are already doing,' said Yancey, CEO of Synovus and alumnus of Columbus State. 'This campaign will enable CSU to be distinctive, allow us to offer programs that will achieve a national reputation for excellence and create a environment that will attract students from around the state and nation to CSU.'

When university officials first began exploring the idea of a major campaign, they first went to the community to gauge both public support and public needs. Where many campaigns are often a means of raising money to support internal objectives, Columbus State University's campaign is designed to use the community-born university as a means to a greater end, said CSU President Frank Brown.

'This is the community's university,' Brown said. 'It was established at the insistence of local leaders and we have thrived because of our local support - we will never forget that. With this campaign, our focus is again on the community - finding ways to meet local needs while creating an institution that will be another reason for national attention to this area.'

With a historic lead gift of $25 million from the Bradley-Turner Foundation and unprecedented support from CSU faculty, staff and foundation trustees, the campaign is off to a strong start.

Many of those early supporters are among the volunteers and leaders of the campaign, which is organized with specific goals into four areas:

Learning and Service

CSU envisions a campus environment that draws students from throughout our region and around the world. With an enhanced campus environment, Columbus State University plans to increase its enrollment to 7,500 over the next five years, with 1,500 students living on campus.
Some specific goals in this priority include:
* A Student Success and Leadership Development Center.
* Ensure the continuation and growth of the university's nationally recognized Servant Leadership program, expanding its philosophies universitywide. * Launch an innovative Undergraduate Initiative that will provide students with opportunities to work closely with faculty members through research projects, internships and professional development programs appropriate to their interests.

Teacher Preparation

CSU has developed significant strategies and unique programs that will address the acute shortage of well-qualified teachers with a supply of superbly trained and highly motivated teachers whose presence in the classrooms will transform our educational system. This will become a national model for teacher preparation.
Some specific goals in this priority include:
* Expand CSU's Coca-Cola Space Science Center and Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center to recruit and train more science and mathematics teachers, which are critically needed in our nation's schools.
* Create a Center for Excellence in Education to coordinate the work of the CSU faculty and community educational leaders, work with at-risk schools, provide mentoring for teachers and promote leadership development among educators.

Arts and Culture

CSU will continue the Columbus renaissance that is creating a city characterized by a vibrant arts community. The university will develop a complex of new and renovated historic buildings in Uptown Columbus that will house CSU's art and theatre programs, complementing the music school already located in the RiverCenter. A commitment to international education opportunities for all students is also in this priority.
Some additional goals in this priority include:
* Double the number of students in the Schwob School of Music.
* Attract more faculty of national and international prominence to the fine and performing arts programs
* Build an International House on campus for visiting scholars
* Increase scholarships for study abroad opportunities
* Create a program in Oxford England, in cooperation with Oxford University, that will include a CSU-owned residence overseas.

Technology and Commerce
CSU can be the engine and power source for this region's dynamic growth through technology and commerce. The university will become a leader in transforming the region into one of the Southeast's premier centers for technology-related businesses.
Some specific goals in this priority include:
* Combine the resources of the Abbott Turner College of Business and CSU's award-winning computer science program in the new Technology and Commerce Center to provide research and workforce development in partnership with local business leaders.
* Develop a technology business incubator in collaboration with Georgia Tech and the Chamber of Commerce.
* Assist local businesses in evaluating their critical technology systems and needs.

There are many more priorities, initiatives and goals in each of the categories. Also in each category, university officials hope to raise more money for student scholarships, campus equipment and needs and for faculty positions, support and development.

'With this campaign, we will attract top-quality students from across the world because of nationally recognized programs in the arts, teacher education, international study, business and technology and unique leadership opportunities,' said CSU President Frank Brown. 'We will add to our faculty who are renowned in their field and who will teach, motivate, inspire, mentor, research and contribute to the campus and community life. And we will partner with current leaders - and create new community leaders - to enhance economic development, workforce preparation and aid in the growth of our cultural vitality.'

'There was a time, not so many years ago, that our people saw little reason to consider staying in Columbus when they planned their higher education or plotted their career goals,' Brown said. 'Through our valued partnerships, our outstanding students and our dedicated faculty, that has changed dramatically.'

For more information about the Capital Campaign, visit the website located at