Convocation Serves as Final 50th Anniversary Signature Event

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The final signature event in Columbus State University’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration will begin Thursday, Sept. 25 with a bagpipe-led procession of faculty and freshmen — all dressed in academic regalia — through downtown Columbus.

After the procession ends in the RiverCenter’s Bill Heard Theatre, Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will deliver the keynote speech for CSU's 50th Anniversary Convocation.

Campus will be closed and classes canceled from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. to permit CSU participation at the convocation. Buses will transport faculty, staff and students from main campus to downtown.

The ceremony, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. also will serve as the 2008 Freshman Convocation. It is free and open to the public.

The Freshman Convocation is an annual CSU tradition that serves as a formal rite of passage to set the tone for the college careers of this year’s freshman class by inducting them into the CSU community of learners.

CSU President Tim Mescon will preside over the event. He will be joined by Vice President for Academic Affairs George Stanton and Vice President of Student Affairs Gina Sheeks in formally welcoming the students and conveying the significance of the educational endeavor and the university’s commitment to support students in achieving their goals.

The ceremony will also include the naming of Frank Brown as president emeritus and the address by Goodwin, who will serve as the 2008 Hunter Lecturer.

Goodwin is the author of five books and has been reporting on politics and baseball for over two decades. She is an analyst for NBC News and a consultant and on-air interviewee for PBS documentaries on Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy family, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ken Burns' The History of Baseball.

The procession will start at the Corn Center for the Visual Arts about 10:45 a.m. Audience members are encouraged to be seated by 10:45 a.m.

For more information, call 706-568-2044 or go to