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Columbus State University
Established 1958
Type Public university
Endowment $29.3 million[1]
President Tim Mescon
Provost Inessa Levi
Faculty 301[2]
Staff 468[2]
Students 8,178[3]
Undergraduates 6,941[3]
Postgraduates 1,210[3]
Location Columbus, Georgia, United States
Campus Suburban, 132 acres (Main campus); Urban (RiverPark campus)
Colors Blue, red, and white             
Nickname Cougars
Mascot Cody Cougar
Affiliations NCAA Division II, Peach Belt Conference

Columbus State University (commonly referred to by locals as CSU) is a four-year public university located in Columbus, Georgia. Founded as Columbus College in 1958, the university was established and is administered by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. While the main campus is in Midtown Columbus, the smaller RiverPark campus is located in the Downtown area, serving as home to the art, music, and theater departments.



The university was first called Columbus College when it opened as a junior college in a hosiery mill in 1958. The college was staffed by fifteen faculty and staff and almost three hundred students attended courses in the first year.

Columbus College relocated to the midtown area in 1963, building a campus defined by modern architecture on what was previously a dairy farm. The school was granted four-year status in 1965 with offerings of bachelor's and master's degrees. The first four-year class graduated in 1970.

In 1996 the school was renamed Columbus State University as part of a program to restructure four-year institutions within the state's university system. The school now offers undergraduate and graduate programs in more than ninety academic disciplines. As of the 2007 academic year, the university enrolled more than 7,500 students. In early 2007, the art and theatre departments moved to the university's newly built RiverPark Campus in downtown Columbus. The complex was designed to provide students of the fine arts with a tightly-knit living community and larger studios, laboratories, and galleries. The Schwob School of Music is housed in the adjacent RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.[4]

Frank Brown was President of Columbus State University from 1988-2008. Prior to holding this office, he was Vice President for Business Affairs. In August 2008, Tim Mescon became the new president.


The T.Y. Whitley Clock Tower on main campus

Columbus State's main campus is located in Midtown Columbus, near the intersection of Interstate 185 and Manchester Expressway/GA-85. At 132 acres, this campus houses the majority of the university's academic and athletic departments. Notable buildings include the Simon Schwob Memorial Library, the Center for Commerce and Technology (home to the D. Abbott Turner College of Business), and the Frank G. Lumpkin Jr. Center (housing the athletic department).

The CSU Theatre

The Downtown RiverPark campus, located near the banks of the Chattahoochee River, provides a much-needed expansion for the university's fine arts programs. The Schwob School of Music is contained in the south wing of the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, while the art and theater departments reside in the Corn Center for the Visual Arts, the Yancey Center, and the Rankin Arts Center. The university is continuing to expand this campus with the acquisition of older buildings, some of which have been remodeled as student housing and additional classrooms.


The university has received special recognition for its business school, which offers a reputable MBA program, as well as for its servant leadership program. The department of theatre also boasts the only accredited teacher education and certification program in drama in the State of Georgia. Additionally, in 2008 the music department received the Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs from the University System of Georgia[5]

The university recruits from all fifty states as well as every major metropolitan area in the state of Georgia. Because of the school's international education programs, presently offering exchanges to more than thirteen countries, the university has been known to be a popular destination for international students including those from India, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The university operates the Coca-Cola Challenger Space Science Center which hosts student and public programs. Its facilities include the Omnisphere Theater (a planetarium) and the Mead Observatory.

The university also operates the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center which hosts student and public programs. Its facilities include two nature trails, a bee exhibit, a live alligator, various live raptors, various live reptiles, a live possum, and a Native American exhibit. Each month, the center hosts its Second Sunday on the second Sunday of each month which is a special program open to the public at a small fee. Programs include the annual Insectival, Reptile Fest, Natural Holiday Decorations, Hummingbirds, Bees and Honey, and Bats.

Student Life

CSU now has a club football team. In addition to co-educational intramural and recreational programs, students participate in more than fifty chartered student groups, sororities, fraternities, honor societies, and special-interest clubs. The official university newspaper is The Saber.


The Columbus State University Cougars compete in NCAA Division II men's and women's athletics, including basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, and cross country. The Frank G. Lumpkin Jr. Center, a 4500 seat arena, houses the Cougars. Before becoming the Cougars in 1970, the mascot was the rebel. President T.Y. Whitley abolished the mascot in 1970.[6] The baseball team at Columbus State University has made four trips to the College World Series, numerous NCAA Regional Championship appearances, and is frequently in the NCSWA National Top 30 Poll.[7]

Notable alumni

  • Ralph J. Bryant—First black Graduate - C.E.O of Decatur Capital Management
  • Bobby G. Peters, former Mayor of Columbus, Georgia (1995-2003) and current Superior Court Judge (2005-Present).
  • Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, United States Department of Justice.
  • Michael W. Patrick, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Carmike Cinemas.
  • Kathleen Kennedy, former news anchor for CNN Headline News.
  • Wes Stinson (National Rifle Association) Current Southeastern Marketing Representative, NRA.

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Columbus State University: About CSU - Facts
  3. ^ a b c "Semester Enrollment Report" (PDF). Office of Research and Policy Analysis. University System of Georgia. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  4. ^ Reagan L. Grimsley Enriching Lives: A Pictorial History of Columbus State University (Donning Publishers, 2008)
  5. ^ Columbus State University: Schwob School of Music
  6. ^ Reagan L. Girmsley, Enriching Lives: A Pictorial History of Columbus State University (Donning Pulblishers, 2008)
  7. ^ Columbus State University: About CSU - Did You Know

External links



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