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Turner College of Business Receives Largest-Ever Gift
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus, Ga.-based TSYS, a leading global payments provider, and Columbus State University have entered into a unique partnership to develop a new, innovative program within the CSU computer science department specifically designed to prepare students for careers in cybersecurity both in Georgia and throughout the nation. Lack of qualified cyber security practitioners has been highlighted as a major challenge facing both industry and government.
Through this partnership, TSYS has contributed $2.5 million to establish the TSYS Cybersecurity Center for Financial Services to be housed in the Turner College of Business’ TSYS School of Computer Science. The TSYS Cybersecurity Center for Financial Services Endowment will supplement salaries to attract nationally recognized faculty, fund new research assistantships and student scholarships, support faculty and student travel, and finance special projects and initiatives. An additional $2 million will be used to establish the TSYS Endowment for Excellence in the Turner College to support excellence in the academic programs offered by the TSYS School of Computer Science with specific emphasis on mainframe computing, information technology and information systems. The remaining $500,000 of the TSYS gift, a total of $5 million, will be used for other CSU programs.
“TSYS has been proud to partner with CSU through the years in a variety of valuable initiatives, including the naming of the TSYS School of Computer Science in 2002,” said CSU alumnus M. Troy Woods (B.B.A. ’79), chairman, president and chief executive officer of TSYS. “The establishment of the Cybersecurity Center as well as the Endowment for Excellence represent the next step in TSYS’ partnership with CSU, and we look forward to seeing the fruit of this important investment in our community, our company and the financial services industry.”
In January, CSU was selected for a consortium of seven University System of Georgia (USG) institutions to develop the USG’s capabilities in IT and cyber security as well as significantly increase the number of IT and cyber security industry qualified graduates coming from USG institutions.
USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby stated in his memo for creating the consortium, “The U.S. Army Cyber Command, the U.S. National Security Agency, the financial transaction processing industry, and the health informatics and healthcare information technology industries play a huge and exponentially growing role in Georgia’s knowledge economy. The number of graduates in the information technology and cyber security programs of our combined institutions is not currently capable of meeting the existing and projected workforce demands of these industries in Georgia.”
“We are deeply appreciative that TSYS has joined CSU in this partnership and believe that together we can help provide real world solutions to this pressing problem and be a true innovator in the field,” said Tom Hackett, provost and vice president for academic affairs at CSU.
“These agreements and these gifts are a testament to the strength of TSYS’ commitment to CSU and its students,” said CSU President Chris Markwood. “It was such strength of community that first attracted me and my family to Columbus State University.”
“The gift is a significant contribution to support the academic and scholarship initiatives of the $100 million CSU First Choice Campaign and takes gifts and commitments to date to more than $65 million,” said Alan Medders, vice president for University Advancement. “This is the largest gift ever donated to CSU’s Turner College of Business.”
CSU First Choice Campaign donations will enable Columbus State University to continue to attract and retain first choice students and faculty, construct world-class facilities and endow the university with the means to enhance academic and athletic programs.