Private Gifts to CSU Set New Record, Top $8.1 Million

Columbus State University alumni and friends demonstrated their generosity in 2012-2013 with record giving — more than $8.1 million.

Of that total received by July 31, $1.9 million represented gifts from previous pledges. Giving to CSU's Annual Fund, recently renamed the CSU Fund, also set a new record: $3.3 million toward a $3 million goal.

"Our alumni and friends continue to amaze me with their generosity," President Tim Mescon said.

Alan Medders, CSU's vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the CSU Foundation, said the rise in giving is particularly extraordinary, given external circumstances.

"To have an increase somewhere in the neighborhood of 36 percent over last year in private philanthropy, in this type of economy, is saying something significant about the support and appreciation that the community, our alums and our friends have for Columbus State," Medders said.

Medders added that dozens of volunteers helped Columbus State establish the new fundraising records, offering a special word of appreciation for the work of Russ Carreker, president and CEO of a local IT company, for agreeing to chair CSU's Annual Fund drive for a second year.

This is the fifth consecutive record year for the Annual Fund. The previous $2.9 million record in 2011-2012 represented an $800,000 increase from 2010-2011. That, plus the $400,000 increase from the previous year, totals $1.2 million in giving growth over the past two years.

"Our institution is very fortunate to have an incredible group of donors and advocates, led by our foundation trustees, who understand the impact that CSU has on our students and the value CSU adds to our community," said Brett Evans, CSU director of annual giving.

Annual giving supports many needs across campus, including:

  • Student scholarships
  • Academic programs
  • Community outreach (including Columbus Regional Math Collaborative, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center and the Coca-Cola Space Science Center)
  • Student and faculty development (including athletics, research, servant leadership and study abroad)
  • Opportunities for distinction (including athletic events and arts performances)

"It is not that difficult to raise funds that support CSU students and programs once you get a potential donor to see all the good things that are happening at CSU," Carreker said. "The Annual Fund, I think, had another great year because CSU had another great year. People are willing to share their financial resources when they see an organization like CSU that is constantly improving its product and its effect on our community and region."

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