President's Letter: Welcoming Our Olympians
For instance, at our welcome back meeting in the much-enhanced University Hall auditorium, I was proud to display pictures from London, capturing Jon Hall, our own Turner College of Business student and former NCAA national rifle champion, and our Rifle Team Assistant Coach Jamie Gray, who were both on the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team this summer. And then, I welcomed Jamie to the stage. I was so proud to recognize her in front of more than 1,000 cheering faculty and staff who wanted to help celebrate her winning the gold medal in the women’s 50-meter three-position event, shooting an Olympic record 691.9. Jamie had the gold medal draped around her neck, and it was the greatest of honors to present this wonderful colleague with a bouquet of roses and to join in the thunderous ovation for this record-breaking feat.
The following week, we celebrated our fourth annual Day of Service, partnering with United Way, and we welcomed to campus Maj. Gen. H.R. McMaster, commanding general at Fort Benning’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, who gave the keynote address at our Freshman Convocation.
This summer was filled with other activities and events that reinforce the reach and beat of our university:
- Our Whiddon Chair of Piano, Professor Alex Kobrin, received a most favorable review in the New York Times for his incredible performance at the Mannes Music Festival in New York.
- Tom Dolan, chair of our political science department, realized a lifelong dream and traveled to North Korea. Dr. Dolan, formerly a U.S. Naval intelligence officer, has researched and written about Korean unification for years, but he has had neither the opportunity to travel to nor interact with citizens in North Korea in their own country. This truly reflects the reach of our university and the commitment to continuing our global efforts.
- Shawn Cruzen and team at our Coca-Cola Space Science Center traveled to the Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Ala., and retrieved a $15 million nozzle from the NASA Space Shuttle program. This nozzle, part of $19 million in space equipment that will call CSU home, will help transform our Coca-Cola Space Science Center from a hands-on education facility to a true museum.
- We expanded our residential life footprint in Uptown Columbus at our RiverPark campus and continue to see great gentrification progress in this area of the city that will complete its transformation with the opening of the 2.5-mile whitewater run on the Chattahoochee River sometime in 2013.
- A fantastic revitalization of our main library has truly created a contemporary study-research environment for our university. The library now remains open until 2 a.m., and our campus shuttle buses run until 3 a.m., reflective of our response to student requests.
As always, I invite you to visit the main or RiverPark campuses to share in this excitement and enhancement of the university. We are truly becoming a first choice for so many students, and I want you to share in the growth and development of Columbus State University.