Cougar Kickoff Celebrates New School Year

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University welcomes students for a new school year with Cougar Kickoff, an Aug. 14-28 series of events not only for fun, but to introduce new students and reacquaint returnees to the depth of offerings through CSU’s Student Life and Development office.

Live music, open-mic talent shows, a movie night and a student organization expo represent a portion of what’s on tap for both main and RiverPark campuses. Special events like a beach party and a RiverPark-to-main campus bike-ride along the city’s new rails to trails path add a twist to the celebration.

Plus, Freshman Convocation serves as a rite of passage, introducing new students to the university’s community of scholars.

The following events, also open to faculty and staff, comprise the series:

  • Movie Night, 9 p.m., Monday, Aug. 16 in Lumpkin Center features a screening of Invictus, director Clint Eastwood’s 2009 film starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman and covering events leading up to South Africa hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup following the dismantling of apartheid.

  • Main campus Welcome Back Picnic, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, brings students, faculty and staff to the clock tower for food, games and student organization displays. Later in the evening at the same site, students can network with Greek student organizations in a 7 p.m. Meet the Greeks program.

  • A second annual Callaway Gardens Beach Party, 2-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20 includes free food, games and transportation from CSU to the Pine Mountain resort.

  • Freshman Convocation, 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22 in University Hall auditorium, brings together hundreds of freshmen and their families, plus Columbus State faculty and administrators in academic regalia. This traditional program is designed to welcome the new students to the academic environment at the college level. A Davidson Student reception follows the convocation.

  • Bike Riding with Mescon, 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24 involves CSU cyclists joining CSU President Tim Mescon in riding the city’s new rails to trails path from RiverPark to main campus. Bicycles and helmets will be provided. Food (5-8:30 p.m.), music and a foam party (6-10 p.m.) on main campus will complement the ride.

  • Guest comics take the stage for Comedy Night, 8-11 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25 in University Hall auditorium.

  • Low Down Dirty Shame, 8-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26 in RiverCenter’s Studio Theatre, involves students performing comedy, parodies, impromptu skits, music and more. Performers will sign up during preceding Cougar Kickoff events.

  • Concert at the Intramural Field (University Avenue and Clearview Circle), 6-11 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27, is headlined by Classic Addict, backed by CSU student performers, food and raffles.

  • RiverPark Picnic, 7-10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 28, includes burgers, hot dogs, music, games, give-aways, a water slide and foam pit at Woodruff Park. (Originally set for Saturday, Aug. 14, this was rescheduled due to the threat of severe weather.)

For more information, go to or call the Student Life office at 706-568-2273.