New Building Downtown to be Named for Former CSU President Frank Brown

frank-brownCOLUMBUS, Ga. --- The University System of Georgia Board of Regents today approved Columbus State University’s request to name its new building downtown after former CSU President Frank D. Brown.

“This new building will be a ‘front door’ of sorts to CSU’s downtown presence,” said current CSU President Chris Markwood. “It is very fitting that it bear the name of Dr. Brown, who was so instrumental in the development of CSU’s RiverPark campus and in the revitalization of downtown Columbus. We are delighted that Dr. Brown allowed us to add his name to this structure as a tribute to his legacy and the power of partnerships. The proposal had broad support among our supporters and with the Regents.”

Faculty and staff will begin moving into Frank D. Brown Hall next month, and classes will start in the building in January.

Brown retired June 30, 2008 after two decades as president of Columbus State University. When he left, he was the longest-serving president in the University System of Georgia.

“This is humbling, and I especially welcome the connection to CSU's RiverPark campus,” Brown said. “When Dr. Markwood approached me about this idea, I accepted on the condition that we create a tangible reminder on the site that the RiverPark campus -- like so many other developments in Columbus -- is the result of partnerships and the collective work of a large number of people, a team of which I was privileged to be a part.”

Serving as president in one place for 20 years – an inordinately long time for a university president by today’s standards – is a testament to Brown’s legacy as a genuine servant leader who worked hard to establish trust, harmony and collaboration among CSU faculty, students and staff, Markwood said. “He cultivated deep, meaningful, and mutually productive partnerships with the people, businesses and organizations served by Columbus State University.”

Brown guided the university through a capital campaign that raised $100 million by 2005.

Much of the focus of that campaign was on what has become CSU’s RiverPark campus, home to CSU’s Schwob School of Music and the departments of art, theatre, communication and history. Developed entirely with private funds, CSU’s RiverPark campus provides spectacular facilities for the university’s fine arts programs and now houses more than 450 students. The university’s efforts led to more than $112 million being invested into downtown Columbus by, or on behalf of, CSU in the last decade and helped spur a revitalization of the whole area.

The next stage in that revitalization is the university’s new home for many of its education and nursing programs.

“Housing CSU’s nursing and many education programs, this building also is completely funded through private giving,” Markwood said in a letter to the Regents proposing the naming. “Because of its repurposed use, its reliance on private funding, its visibility to the community and its mission to teach and serve, we believe it would be most appropriate for this new complex to be known as the Dr. Frank D. Brown Hall.”

“I am thrilled that Dr. Brown's name will be associated with our college,” said Deirdre Greer, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. “Dr. Brown was the president when I started at CSU, so I know about the great work he did here. I think in many ways, the work that the College of Education and Health Professions is doing parallels the work that Dr. Brown did. For example, we are working with our many community partners to support the growth and development of health care and education in the region, which will attract and promote families and businesses to Columbus. Columbus State University has had a significant impact on this city, much of which can be attributed to the work done by Dr. Brown, and the College of Education and Health Professions plans to do our part to continue that work.”