Mother-Daughter Team Spearheads CSU Day

COLUMBUS, Ga. - As Columbus State University turns 50 in 2008, this year also marks the first time for a mother-daughter team to lead CSU Day.

Sandy“Sandy Lampert and daughter Sommer Gowdy are co-chairing the March 27 event, which highlights the Annual Fund, a main funding source for scholarships, faculty development and nationally recognized community outreach efforts.

While thanking area businesses and residents who support the university, the event also provides an opportunity to tell the CSU story.

For Gowdy, a Turner College of Business graduate and manager of Columbus Bank and Trust’s 10th Street location, heralding her alma mater comes naturally.

“When I first enrolled, I envisioned completing my degree at a larger university,” she said. “But as I got more involved here, I realized I already was receiving a superior education.”

Gowdy also noted being part of a milestone year for the business college in 2003-2004, as she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration. “We moved into the Center for Commerce and Technology and became accredited member of AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International,” she said. “I have no doubt the entire experience prepared me for the early career success I’ve enjoyed with CB&T.”

Lampert, a Columbus-area sales manager for Veolia Environmental Services, cites a thriving CSU in a broader context. “It’s exciting to just think about how this institution has grown since I attended classes here in 1971 as part of the college’s first high school advancement program.”

Inspired by CSU’s evolution since her high school years, Lampert became a CSU Day volunteer in 1998 and recruited her daughter to the cause five years later.

“It was easy for me to get excited about CSU Day back then because, at the time, I was finding a niche as an ambassador for the university through my Miss CSU activities,” said Gowdy, current executive director of the Miss CSU scholarship pageant and title holder in 2003. “My role today as co-chair is an extension of this advocacy for something I strongly believe — that the Annual Fund is vital to supporting this university and faculty to grow the minds of our students, so we can continue grow both as a university and surrounding community.”

CSU Annual Fund Coordinator Kelley Gibson said Gowdy and Lampert have “provided strong leadership that exemplifies CSU’s strong community support.”

The mother-daughter co-chairs have been leading an army of volunteers, who as of Feb, 5, are contacting nearly 2,000 businesses in an effort to raise $80,000, part of the $1.65 million Annual Fund goal. The effort culminates with the March 21-27 delivery of the red, white and blue yard signs, each stating: “We Are Partners With Columbus State University.”