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Miracle Riders, Columbus State cut ribbon on new mother-baby sim nursing lab - Columbus State University Skip to Main Content

Miracle Riders, Columbus State cut ribbon on new mother-baby sim nursing lab

April 1, 2024

A group of people cutting a ceremonial ribbon

Scott Ressmeyer, the Miracle Riders and Columbus State University leaders celebrated the opening of the new mother-baby simulation lab today at Frank D. Brown Hall on Columbus State’s RiverPark campus. 

The lab is named in honor of Dr. Cecil F. Whitaker, retired OB-GYN physician, who delivered thousands of babies in the Columbus area over his long career. 

“Dr. Whitaker served the families of our region for nearly his entire medical career,” said Scott Ressmeyer, co-owner of Country’s Barbecue and founder of the Miracle Ride. “Last year when we decided we wanted to ride to raise funds for a mother-baby simulation lab, honoring Dr. Whitaker in this way immediately came to mind.”

The riders began supporting the Columbus State nursing program in 2021 and have a fundraising goal of $1 million over time. In 2021, they raised more than $225,000 for the pediatric simulation lab, which features life-like mannequins, related technology to operate the mannequins and other enhancements to the lab, including child-inspired murals in the lab room. 

Group of nursing students standing bedside with a lifelike medical mannequin

Headshot of Margie Yates“When communities talk about ‘quality of life,’ healthcare infrastructure is often at the heart of that discussion,” said Dr. Margie Yates (pictured), dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. “We’re proud of the role our nursing graduates serve in the quality of healthcare here in Columbus and throughout the region. State-of-the-art resources like our new mother-baby simulation lab are part of the innovative academic experience our students benefit from here at Columbus State,” she added. 

Last year, the Miracle Riders announced a goal of $300,000 to equip the mother-baby simulation lab with similar equipment, technology and other enhancements. The lab provides enhanced training opportunities for all Columbus State nursing students in caring for women laboring and delivering and their newborns. Students will train on mother-baby simulation mannequins with lifelike movements, facial expressions and responses.

In addition to the equipment and technology, enhancements include a child-friendly mural on the lab’s walls, designed by artists Mike Jones and “Doc” Reed. Funds also were used to acquire equipment and technology for simulated training in medication administration for obstetric, neonatal and pediatric patients.

Headshot of Stuart Rayfield“Every day our students and academic programs benefit from the incredible support of our community,” said Dr. Stuart Rayfield (pictured), president of Columbus State. “Our ongoing partnership with the Miracle Riders is a testament to the power of how those relationships enhance what our students learn in the classroom, how they prepare for their chosen careers and how they bring value to the communities where they live and lead. We are proud to be affiliated with the Miracle Riders and are grateful to be the beneficiaries of their efforts.”


The ride began in 2009 when Scott Ressmeyer set out alone on a ride through the 48 contiguous states to celebrate his 50th birthday and raise funds for the Children’s Hospital at Midtown Medical Center in Columbus. An additional 29 motorcyclists joined the ride over the next six years, raising $1.2 million for the hospital’s pediatric services. After meeting their initial goal, the riders broadened their fundraising efforts to include other local services for children. In 2015 they established the Miracle Ride Fund in the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley. They have raised more than $1.1 million for the fund.

Since the inaugural ride in 2009, Ressmeyer and the Riders have raised more than $2.3 million for services for children. The riders pay all their own expenses on their annual cross-country trips. Collectively, they have spent more than $750,000 of their own money to participate in the rides. For more information, visit


Based in Columbus State University’s College of Education & Health Professions, the School of Nursing offers undergraduate- and graduate-level nursing programs, including a BSN program; an RN-BSN program with on-campus and online options; an on-campus and online MSN program with Nurse Educator, Nurse Informaticist or Nurse Leader tracks; and an FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) MSN program with both on-campus and online options.

With more than 10 faculty members, students enjoy a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students also benefit from activities hosted by the school’s National Student Nurses’ Association chapter and networking through the school’s Nursing Alumni Group.

Students interested in pursuing a nursing degree apply to the School of Nursing after completing 63 hours of the university’s core, health and STEM courses that complement the nursing plan of study. This is usually the semester before they begin their junior year. Admission also includes achieving minimum GPA requirements and successfully completing required sections of the RN Admission Evolve Reach A2 Assessment Test. Once accepted, they receive specialized advising from the school’s staff.

The School of Nursing has full approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and many of its programs are ranked regionally and nationally for their affordability and academic rigor.

For more information, visit

Media contacts:
Michael Tullier, APR, Executive Director of Strategic Communication + Marketing, 706.507.8729, 
Marion Scott, Miracle Riders, 

Related news coverage:
“Who wants to catch?” CSU, Miracle Riders celebrate new mother-baby simulation lab (March 29, 2024, Ledger-Enquirer)