CSU Day March 31 To Celebrate University-Community Partnership

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On Thursday, March 31, red, white and blue signs proclaiming We Are Partners With Columbus State University will appear throughout the area as an annual tradition continues of highlighting the vital link between CSU and the community.

Officially designated by city proclamation, the 11th annual CSU Day re-emphasizes the universitys appreciation for local support. The occasion also signifies the volume of success CSU owes to the community and how much impact the university has on the community.

The first wave of signs will start appearing Friday and increase Monday courtesy of agents from Kennon, Parker Duncan and Key, CSU fraternity students and the CSU athletics staff. However, the sign distribution will crest on Thursday (3/31) when CSU Days full force of volunteers fan out to plant the signs in front of businesses and donors who have supported the university.

CSU faculty, staff and students will join community volunteers in delivering the signs. All volunteers will meet at the Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center on CSU Day for breakfast at 8 a.m., and then begin the sign distribution in teams at about 9 a.m.

The community volunteer effort is spearheaded by CSU Day Chair Sheree Mitchell, CEO of Growing Room, Inc., along with a roster of team captains: Rich Cellino (CB&T), Janet Davis (TIC Federal Credit Union), Brenda Williams (CB&T), Cissy Giglio (CB&T - also CSU Day Chair-Elect), Mike Welch (CB&T), Drew Holloman (SunTrust), Sandy Lampert (Sandman), Tom Scrivner (CB&T), Torrey Wiley (Pfizer, Inc.), Jennifer Sweeney (Wachovia Bank), Renee Sturkie (Regions Bank), Denise Kendust (Hughston Orthopedic Hospital), and Chris and Sarah Luby (TSYS).

CSU Day also represents the pinnacle of the universitys Annual Fund effort. A $70,000 CSU Day fund-raising goal will bolster the 2004-05 Annual Fund drive toward its $1.25 million goal in 2004-05. Separate from CSUs Investment In People Capital Campaign, the annual fund supports academic and athletic scholarships, new technology, international studies and community outreach programs.

More than 450 volunteers from CSU and several Columbus-area businesses have been reaching out to donors since the this years annual fund kicked off last fall.

Columbus has a great giving spirit, and CSU has the reputation and credibility, said Mark Holladay, the 2004-05 annual fund chair and executive vice president and chief credit officer for Synovus Financial Corporation.

The communitys return from the investments in CSU abound. In addition to a $175 million impact on the community, more than 50 percent of teachers in Muscogee County are CSU graduates, more than 80 percent of local nurses were educated at CSU, about 70 percent of local law enforcement officers were trained and educated at CSU and that half of all baccalaureate degree holders in Muscogee County received their degree from CSU.

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For more information, contact Meri Robinson, 568-5172; E-mail: robinson_meri@ColumbusState.edu