CSU Welcomes Community to Weekend Anniversary Celebration

COLUMBUS, Ga. - CSU continues its 50th anniversary celebration with an April 4-5 weekend of traditional alumni-student homecoming events combined with a campuswide open house to showcase the university’s facilities, talent and intellect.

“I see this as our gift to the community for 50 years of support,” said Meri Robinson, director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, who chairs the committee organizing this weekend’s Open House-Homecoming. “We belong to this community. They have nurtured us and supported us. They have made an amazing investment, and I think it has paid off.”

Dean of Libraries Callie McGinnis, chair of the 50th anniversary celebration, said the events are designed to “celebrate the university’s past achievements and its growing reputation as a leader in academic excellence.”

Alumni participating in this weekend’s reunions will gather by college to hear faculty discuss research or watch videos highlighting CSU academics.

Fun also is on tap. Following a Thursday evening 40th anniversary reunion and celebration of CSU’s nursing program, the weekend’s agenda ranges from an opening night concert by the Swingin’ Medallions to Saturday’s 5k road race, craft fair, pet show, baseball doubleheader, CSU history forum and several other events, including a block party downtown at CSU’s RiverPark campus.

CSU Archivist Reagan Grimsley, will moderate the CSU history forum at 11:30 a.m. in the Davidson auditorium with panelists:

• Raymond Gonzalez, professor emeritus of political science, who arrived in 1969 and retired in 2004. An expert in Arab and Islamic politics, he also chaired the committee that formulated CSU’s Servant Leadership Program.

• Lindsey Mock, retired vice president for student affairs (1985-1992), who earlier served as director of guidance and head of the education-psychology division. He joined Columbus College from the University of Georgia in 1961, citing “a unique opportunity” to help build a fledgling institution.”

• Dr. John Townsend, CSU’s first African-American student, who enrolled in 1964 and earned an associate degree.

• Mary Blackmon, professor emeritus of physical education, who also coached tennis and is a CSU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee.

Blackmon, who joined Columbus College in 1959, said she didn’t plan to stay in Columbus but came to appreciate the college’s “one big happy family” atmosphere and its commitment to success.

“Every time I got ready to leave, there would be a new challenge — the new campus, the four-year program and then graduate school,” she said.

Blackmon remembers an early Columbus College that wasn’t taken seriously and credits retiring President Frank D. Brown with much of the university’s growth and success. “As time has moved on, things have changed and the attitude has changed,” she said. “We are very competitive with larger institutions.”

Before the history forum, Grimsley will sign copies of his recently published book, “Enriching Lives: A Pictorial History of Columbus State University” from 9-11:15 a.m. at the Thomas Y.Whitley Clock tower. He also will accommodate signing requests just before and after the history panel. The $29.95, 128-page book is available in the CSU Bookstore and online (http://www.columbus.bkstr.com).

In addition to reunions by academic college, CSU’s Silver C Society will gather Saturday afternoon to honor those who attended or graduated more than 25 years ago. Anyone who attended Columbus College at the old Shannon Mill from 1958-1963 also is welcome.

Also ahead are placement of a historic marker at Hannan Elementary on Talbotton Road, the former site of Columbus College in the old Shannon Mill, erection of a life-size cougar statue on main campus and a student-organized “Day of Service” to the community.



• 5-8 p.m. - CSU nursing reunion-40th anniversary celebration, Cunningham Center

• 10-11 a.m. – Performance by Atlanta Drumline, Lumpkin Center Hosted by CSU’s Child Care Resource and Referral Center of West Georgia, this event also is part of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Week of the Young Child (officially April 8-13). The audience will include 2,000-2,500 children from local Head Start programs, elementary schools and area child care centers. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 706-569-3109.

• 7-9 p.m. - Free concert by Swingin’ Medallions and fireworks display, clock tower

• 8 a.m. - One-mile fun run and 5K road race, Lumpkin Center An entry form is online at: http://www.colstate.edu/50years/RoadRace.pdf. For more information, call CSU Alumni Affairs at 706-568-2280 or Race Director Alice Pate at 706-565-3637.

• 8 a.m.-1 p.m. - Homecoming student cookoff, Lumpkin Center

• 8 a.m.-5p.m. - Army expo, Richards Hall parking lot

• 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – CSU Staff Council craft fair, clock tower

• 9 a.m.-1 p.m. – Homecoming tailgating, Lumpkin Center

• 9-11 a.m. - Pre-Veterinary Medical Association pet show, Intramural Field Registration begins at 9 a.m., and pet owners can enter any 6-month-or-older pet on a leash with proof of rabies shots. A $1 per pet entry fee covers supplies and prizes and benefits the association, which is part of the College of Science. For more information, call 706-568-2056

• 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Alumni reunions by college: Arts and Letters (Schwob Library), Business (Center for Commerce and Technology), Education (Jordan Hall) and Science (LeNoir Hall)

• 11 a.m. CSU athletes reunion, Ragsdale Field (under tent)

• 11:30 a.m. - “History of CSU” panel discussion, Davidson Student Center auditorium

• 12:30 p.m. – Drop-in alumni lunch, featuring a 50-foot scrambled dog, Cunningham Center

• 12:45-1 p.m. - Fort Benning Silver Wings parachute team demonstration, Ragsdale Field

• 1 and 4 p.m. – CSU vs. Lander baseball doubleheader, Ragsdale Field Homecoming court and competition winners will be announced between games.

• 2 p.m. - Silver C induction for Class of 1983 and Shannon Hosiery Mill alumni, Cunningham Center

• 4 p.m. - RiverPark campus reunions for the departments of art, Corn Center for the Visual Arts; theatre, Theatre on the Park; and music, Schwob School of Music, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts; and block party outside RiverCenter

In case of inclement weather on Friday, the Swingin’ Medallions performance would move to the Cunningham Center at 7 p.m. Friday and the fireworks display would take place Saturday night over the clock tower.

For more information, go to http://www.colstate.edu/50years.