CSU Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebration

COLUMBUS, GA. - Bells will peal throughout Columbus Jan. 24 as Columbus State University kicks off a year-long 50th anniversary celebration.

More than two dozen churches throughout the city plan to ring their bells for two minutes to mark the beginning of a 12:30 p.m. ceremony that will be the first of several signature events celebrating the school’s anniversary.CSU

The ceremony is scheduled to be held at CSU’s Thomas Y. Whitley Clock Tower, named after the first president of what was then Columbus College, founded Sept. 22, 1958 with 14 faculty and fewer than 300 students.

Presiding over the 12:30 p.m. ceremony at the clock tower will be CSU’s current president, Frank D. Brown, who has announced plans to retire June 30. Honorees include graduates of the first Class of 1960 and other alumni of the former Shannon Hosiery Mill site. CSU held its earliest classes in the renovated textile mill on Talbotton Road from 1958 until 1963, when the college moved to a former dairy farm that’s now its main campus.

The Shannon Mill alumni will also gather earlier for lunch and spend the afternoon touring main campus and CSU’s downtown RiverPark campus, part of which occupies another renovated textile mill.

With plenty of spaces available in a new parking deck next to the Lumpkin Center, the public is invited to attend this ceremony and a 2 p.m. groundbreaking for the Schuster Student Success Center, which will be built near the University Avenue entrance to the main campus. Devoted to developing future leaders, the Schuster Center will house CSU’s Student Leadership Program, Honors Program, Career Center, Counseling Center, disability services and administrative offices for student affairs and University College.

CSU students and faculty are being encouraged to dress in 1950s attire to mark the day’s activities recalling the university’s birth. The half-hour ceremony at the clock tower will close with the cutting of two 50th anniversary cakes.

Faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to participate in other activities at Woodruff Gym throughout the afternoon.

Refreshments will also be served 5-6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Center for Commerce and Technology, plus Jordan and Howard halls.

Three more major events are planned to celebrate the anniversary:

• The April 4-5 homecoming that will combine traditional alumni and student events with a campuswide open house to showcase the university’s facilities, talent and intellect.

• A 50th Anniversary Banquet on May 13 that will encompass the university’s annual President’s Recognition Banquet, plus more.

• A 50th Anniversary Convocation at a date to be announced in September at the RiverCenter that will include a nationally known figure who will be the 2008 Hunter Lecture Series speaker.

For updates and more information, visit http://www.colstate.edu/50years.