Office of the President

Office of the President

Saturday Gives Columbus State a Chance to Truly Shine

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 1:24pm -- Saturday was a magnificent day on the Columbus State University campus. We started at 9 a.m. with a Discovery Day designed for admitted freshmen and transfer students.

The energy was palpable. Students were joined by family members for an immersion into campus life, course selection and an incredibly energetic introduction to CSU. My thanks to Amy Clines and her entire recruiting team for orchestrating a truly powerful day.

At 1 p.m., Lauren and I hosted Columbus State's Peach Belt champion women's basketball team, coaches Jonathan Norton and Quacy Timmons, and their children. Our student-athletes are exceptional. This is a wonderful group of women who had an exceptionally wonderful season ending in the NCAA regionals. Lauren and I were so very proud of them and honored to host the celebration at our home.

Saturday night at RiverCenter, our Schwob School of Music held its annual Kaleidoscope concert. This unbelievable event features every student in every studio in the Schwob school. For 70 minutes, the audience was mesmerized by the talent of our students and the leadership of our faculty.

It's amazing how, all in a single day, anyone can see why Columbus State is a First Choice university.

One CSU Events Demonstrate Commitment to Sustainability

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:17pm -- I am so very proud of our students, faculty and staff for planning another round of One CSU events on April 18-26. So many have worked diligently to support a week-long commitment to sustainability. As a university, we are committed to reducing the university's ecological footprint through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions campus wide, to enhancing university environmental stewardship efforts and to fostering the concepts of sustainability and environmental ethics in the curriculum. Please go to the One CSU sustainability page and join us in some of these incredibly important events, activities and programs.

CSU Shines with Day at the Capitol

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:15pm --

My sincere thanks go to the great team that represented our university in such a wonderful manner at the state Capitol in Atlanta on Monday. The exhibits -- Oxbow Meadows, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, ROTC, Google Glass and others -- were all well-attended, and Steve Morse and the CSU Logistics team outdid themselves again. Great meetings with so many legislators and senators. Our delegation was terrific, and we appreciated the fact that Chancellor Huckaby and Dr. Steve Wrigley stopped by as well. A special shout-out is also due to the 25 students who joined us -- during Spring Break!

Our Student Musicians Continue to Amaze Me

Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:44pm -- On Thursday, Feb. 13, I watched an amazing concert by the Columbus State University Singers and Choral Union, conducted by visiting professor Frode Gundersen and accompanied by Janie Lee Bullock and Susan Hoskins. What a show! From Greek folk songs to Brahms, the performance filled Legacy Hall with incredible sound and reflected the great partnership between the Schwob School and the community, with a number of friends of CSU performing in the Choral Union.

Last night, 17 students in professor Sergiu Schwartz's Violin Studio mesmerized an audience with their Spotlight on Violin! Studio Gala. The students from eight countries and five U.S. states, both undergraduate and graduate, were absolutely superb, and again Susan Hoskins and a very talented graduate student, Alina Sarkisyan, accompanied these students. Professor Schwartz's graduates go on to attend great music graduate programs and perform professionally around the world. A great night for CSU.

Cougar Leadership Conference Holds Promise for Students

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:23pm -- Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Gina Sheeks, our vice president for Student Affairs; Collins Brown, assistant director for Student Life and Development; and student leaders OluwaKemi OluwaDamilola Faderin, Mallery Spinks and Victoria Weaver, the Cougar Leadership Conference, with the theme of "Stir Up the Leader in You," is off and running.

Well over 100 CSU students participated in the inaugural event, comprised of a series of engaging workshops and an after-dinner keynote address by acclaimed speaker Justin Jones-Fosu.

This is a most important initiative at our university focused exclusively on developing student leadership talent. In March, participants will have the great pleasure of attending a speech by Dan Amos, chairman and CEO of Aflac. All told, this represents a terrific series of programs for our students.

Regent Kessel Stelling Tells Business Students, Faculty about Progress at Synovus

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:05pm -- Our Turner College of Business hosted a terrific lecture this week by Kessel Stelling, chairman and CEO of Synovus, as well as a member of our state Board of Regents.

Regent Stelling gave a fantastic overview of the enormous progress made by Synovus over the past few years. He discussed the TARP repayment, the "ringing of the bell" at the New York Stock Exchange by the Synovus team and the culture that has been so unique and impressive at Synovus.

Former Synovus executive and CSU Foundation trustee Jimmy Yancey was in attendance, as was Gardiner Garrad, CSU Foundation trustee and former Synovus board member. The students and faculty heard great lessons from a great leader. Kudos to Dean Hadley and team.

Governor Offers Vivid Tribute to CSU's Command College

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 6:05pm --

Gov. Nathan Deal has been front and center among state officials warning the public about winter storm threats this week. Yesterday, during a nationally televised news conference, an alumnus with a sharp eye noticed the governor, right, was wearing a bright red jacket bearing the official seal of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College.

Columbus State has been home to the Command College since 1995, when the university formalized a partnership with the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. Since then, more than 1,200 law enforcement managers from throughout Georgia and beyond have gone through extensive coursework here to obtain a master's degree specifically tailored to help them do their jobs better.

Command College Director Archie Rainey, a longtime CSU professor of criminal justice, presented the distinctive jacket to the governor in 2011, shortly after he took office. As you can see on the Command College's homepage, Dr. Rainey (standing just to the right of the governor in that photo) was among 15 state law enforcement leaders meeting with the governor at the Capitol that day.

We're proud of the level of professionalism among Georgia law enforcement that our Command College has been able to help foster over the years. The governor's red Command College jacket offers a vivid reminder of the work they do during times of crisis and beyond.

Faculty Artists Offer Gold Medal Performance

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 4:18pm -- Sunday: I joined a packed audience at Legacy Hall to witness a spellbinding concert by professors Alexander Kobrin (piano), Sergiu Schwartz (violin) and Wendy Warner (cello). These three faculty, each holding an endowed distinguished chair in our Schwob School of Music, performed Schubert and Mendelssohn pieces that enthralled an incredibly enthusiastic audience for two hours.

These faculty attract from around the world best-of-class students who enhance our university population and add incredible diversity to our student body. Endowments create a much-needed competitive advantage for public universities, providing a competitive edge in recruiting outstanding faculty.

Of course, our Saunders Center for Music Studies, thanks to the generosity of the Schiffman family, is  an "All-Steinway" facility, and this too is so very important. In the midst of all the Olympic excitement in Sochi, it was incredibly gratifying to see a gold medal performance from our faculty in Uptown Columbus at the RiverCenter's Legacy Hall.

CSU Theatre Offers Powerful Drama in Stop Kiss

Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:34pm --

Congratulations are in order for these Columbus State University theatre students:

  • Quanesha Wilson
  • Brooke Pulaski
  • Danny Blanda
  • Matthew Scott
  • Alden Burroughs
  • Kayla Reid
  • Rachel Wolovick

They all offer compelling performances in CSU Theatre's latest production, Stop Kiss. This powerful drama is directed by professor Becky Becker; professor Sam Renner handles scene and technical design; lighting is the work of professor Scott Parker; sound is by professor Krystal Kennel; and costumes are by professor Steven Graver.

All contributions were exceptional. As I looked at how students in various classes contributed to this production, it reinforced how very fortunate we are to have such a compelling and engaged theatre program at our university.

World-Class Piano Concert Reflects Gift's Impact

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:03pm --

Often, the term "world class" is embraced by universities intent on using compelling terminology to describe key initiatives or programs that hopefully will be considered competitive and successful.

Our Schwob School of Music's Pianomania concert last week set a new definition for "best of class" and is reflective of the power of faculty recruiting and its impact on student performance. It is a pleasure to share with you a letter written by Ike Van Meter, director of institutional sales for Steinway, following his attendance at Pianomania:

Please accept my most sincere thanks for inviting me to attend the 2014 "Pianomania" fundraising concert at CSU this past Sunday. You may recall that I have attended this event every year since its inception and I am writing today to say that it is now very obvious that each year at this event the bar of excellence has been not only placed but literally shoved higher and higher. After last year's performance (which was excellent by the way) I didn't think a performance of mostly college students could get much better. I was dead wrong. Sunday's Pianomania performance exhibited a level of artistry, musicianship and technical, wizardry that was far beyond impressive. Alex Kobrin and his current piano studio at CSU are nothing short of amazing. I've never heard a student performance that comes close to touching what I witnessed that afternoon. 

I was so impressed with the experience that first thing yesterday morning I wrote to Sally Coveleskie, national director of institutional sales at Steinway & Sons in New York, to tell her of what a fabulous concert that you had presented. In no uncertain terms I mentioned to her, because of the huge and easily demonstrable difference that the All-Steinway program has made at CSU, that if any school deserves to be the "poster child" for the All-Steinway School program, it is CSU and its Schwob School of Music. I believe that the story of how Maxine Schiffman's gift, enabling CSU to become All-Steinway, has allowed your institution to attract and retain superbly talented, highly qualified faculty and students (not to mention the story of the progress that you have made since then) needs to be shouted from the roof tops of every Steinway dealer in America. What I heard and saw on Sunday was a fabulous testament to what "can be" when the right people, with the right equipment come together to make a difference in our world. This is a tale that should to be told... and told often.  

Also... it did not escape my attention that Alex's student, Tatiana Muzanova, was the first prize winner in the Artist Division at the 2013 Liszt-Garrison Piano competition in Baltimore this past October. I imagine this is the start of a trend which, if Sunday's performance is any indication, will certainly continue and increase in frequency all the while bringing greater welcome attention and recruiting power to the Schwob School and CSU.

Congratulations on a creating and nurturing such a fabulous program and its absolutely stunning results.

Ike M. Van Meter
Director, Institutional Sales
Steinway Piano Galleries 

Bidding a Memorable Final Farewell to our Fall Semester

Monday, December 9, 2013 at 4:25pm -- Tonight is our fall commencement, and we are so very excited to honor Ray and Evelyn Crowley, long-term supporters of our university with honorary doctorates. The Board of Regents makes these decisions with great thought, and clearly the Crowleys are most worthy recipients. We are delighted to have state Rep. Earl Ehrhart deliver our commencement address.

I just submitted the final grades for my entrepreneurship class. I was so very impressed with the caliber of work of these seniors and particularly proud to have four study-abroad students from Germany in the class. The final business plan presentations were outstanding.

I attended Brandon Smith's final percussion performance in the past week. Brandon is a student of professor Paul Vaillancourt, and this recital was given in partial fulfillment for the Bachelor of Music degree. In the final number, Brandon was joined by fellow students Joel Castro, Lacey Guyton and Jonathan Mashburn as they performed The Invisible Men with the 1907 silent move, Les Invisibles. by the Pathe Brothers playing on the screen behind them. A truly great evening!

Finally, I received the nicest holiday note and thoughts from Tamara Comer ... This reinforces why we are all in higher education.

Days Leading up to Thanksgiving Offer Swirl of Activities

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 9:43pm -- Chelsee Pike, our Student Government Association president, was kind enough to invite me to join her at Popcorn with the SGA President today in our Davidson Student Center.

This begins the crush of pre-Thanksgiving, pre-final exam commitments and gives our students some added support and nutrition during the final weeks of the semester.

Tonight is the launch of our Cougar men's basketball season, and the women's cross country team has landed at the NCAA national championships in Spokane, Wash.

Over the next week, students in our wind ensemble and our philharmonic orchestra will perform, and our fall opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, starts tonight as well. The quality of student engagement is high and that contributes to the overall quality of our university.

Coach, Runnners Enjoy Great Cross Country Weekend

Monday, October 28, 2013 at 2:23pm -- Special congratulations go to Coach J.D. Evilsizer, who has been named Women's Coach of the Year by the Peach Belt Conference.

The CSU cross country teams represented CSU this past weekend with pride and honor. The Cougar men tied for first and lost on the tie-breaker. The men's team had the fastest team average in conference championship history for a CSU team. This was after having to redshirt the No. 2 and No. 3 runners coming into the season. The Lady Cougars finished in the runner-up position. They did this while suffering the loss of their top runner from the previous year due to injury. The women also had the fastest team average in conference championship history.

All the runners had either season best times or personal best times. We had three women make all-conference, and four men earned all-conference honors. Jacob Dirkman earned The Elite 15 Award for highest GPA for a male runner. He has a 4.0 GPA. Nathan Reeves and Moneque English were named to the All-Sportsman Team.

Baseball Players, Fraternity Members Work to Help Others

Monday, October 28, 2013 at 2:18pm -- President Mescon, right, joins the hair-raising fun at Shave to Save. Over the last few days, three Columbus State University groups truly distinguished themselves. Our CSU Cougar baseball team hosted a terrific event for the Vs. Cancer Foundation, raising $10,000 to fight children's cancer.

Sigma Nu fraternity hosted a "Glow K" 5K Run and raised $11,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Kappa Sigma fraternity members raised over $7,000 to fight breast cancer during their seventh annual Shave to Save philanthropy event. Both our baseball players and Kappa Sig brothers wrapped up the weekend with shaved heads for great causes. We're proud of all of these young men.

Cougar Madness Puts the Spotlight on Winning Athletic Tradition

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 6:06pm -- Congratulations go to the Columbus State University Athletics Department for a great kickoff to the men's and women's basketball season with a fun Cougar Madness event at the Lumpkin Arena last night.

The celebration was proceed by a hard fought and victorious volleyball win. What great work by the Lady Cougars in their first year of NCAA play! The team is now 16-7. We also celebrated Assistant Athletic Director Jimbo Davis' 50th birthday in great style!

Men's basketball coach Robert Moore and women's coach Jonathan Norton were there with their teams and the slam-dunk contest, which followed a spirited but unsuccessful  faculty-staff team loss to the brothers of Pike fraternity, making for a wonderful evening.

It's always a treat for me to meet parents of student-athletes as well. Last night, a terrific couple from Denton,Texas was on hand to watch our volleyball win.

Discovery Day Shows why CSU's a `First Choice' School

Tueday, October 22, 2013 at 7:15pm -- We're so very proud of our undergraduate recruiting team and our CSU student ambassadors for the exceptional work done this weekend for our Discovery Day program.

Discovery Day is an invitation-only event for high school juniors and seniors and their families, intended to give them an earlier-in-the-year look at our campuses, a chance to visit with faculty and staff and to help them make the right university choice.

We had a great day on campus, double the attendance from the last Discovery Day, and many families elected to stay the afternoon, tour Columbus, watch Lady Cougar volleyball and get an even better feel for what makes CSU a "first choice" institution. Here's a recent video that helps tell what all CSU and Columbus have to offer:

From Stage to Playing Field, CSU is one Very Busy Campus

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:52pm -- Professor Wendy Warner, who directs our cello studio in CSU's Schwob School of Music, is absolutely magnificent. Her recent concert with pianist colleague Irina Nuzova was mesmerizing. A large crowd at Legacy Hall was enthralled with performances from Prokofiev's Sonata in C Major to Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 40. Wendy has been a stunning addition to our faculty, and her concert reinforced the benefits of great community support for faculty talent. Her position exists because of generous funding from the Hamer family.

Likewise, our student talent is so very impressive. Yesterday's recital by graduate piano student Alina Sarkisyan was exceptional. Alina, a student of professor Alex Kobrin, has been a stunning addition to our master's program in the Schwob school, and her performance was simply outstanding.

The Lady Cougars volleyball team was on fire last night as it won over Fort Valley State, and the Lady Cougars soccer team had a terrific road match, winning 10-0. In all, these events reflect a very busy campus.

Competitive Premed Program Off to a Healthy Start

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 6:13pm -- Great thanks go to Dr. Katey Hughes, director of CSU's Competitive Premedical Program, and Jill Carroll, development officer for the College of Letters and Sciences, for a great kickoff event for the premed program last night at the River Club.

We enjoyed wonderful attendance by physician alumni, faculty, current students in the program and friends of CSU for this very special event.

Dr. Hughes brought her idea for this program to Dr. Julie Ballenger, chair of biology, who came to the provost and, in remarkably short order, the idea was launched. This is a very important initiative for Columbus State University, focused on academic excellence.

Weekend Offers Magnificent Mix of Music, Soccer, Recruiting and More

Tueday, September 24, 2013 at 1:00pm -- Cheers are being heard for our Lady Cougars soccer team as they scored an impressive 2-0 victory over Peach Belt rival Armstrong Atlantic on Friday night. A huge crowd was in attendance at the Walden Soccer Complex on Columbus State University's main campus. Kudos also go to fraternities for their raucous cheer section.

On Saturday, our Enrollment Services division hosted the first of the fall Discovery Days for high school students and family members. We saw terrific attendance from across Georgia and the region. I remain very impressed how far families will travel in pursuit of the "right match" for their student. A great group of high school students spent a good half day on our campuses exploring academic programs and attempting to determine if CSU will be their First Choice.

On Saturday afternoon, the office of the provost, students and staff participated in the first annual Latino Festival for Columbus and the region. The rainy weather failed to dampen spirits and great crowds, exhibits, dances and foods from across Central and South America graced the parking lots at the Columbus Civic Center. We were glad to see so many of our students in attendance.

Sunday afternoon brought the inaugural fall performance of the Schwob School of Music's Philharmonic under the direction of maestro Paul Hostetter. Our students were terrific.  A great crowd packed the RiverCenter's Legacy Hall for a wonderful performance. Viola Professor Zoran Jakovcic played masterfully, and students, faculty, staff and community enjoyed a truly engaging afternoon.

U.S. News and World Report Again Recognizes CSU

Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 3:24pm -- For the second consecutive year, Columbus State University is honored to be included among the top comprehensive universities in the region by U.S. News and World Report. This reflects great work by faculty and staff, as well as our ongoing effort to raise admissions standards and enrollment in key programs like Honors, Servant Leadership, Tower Scholars, Competitive Premed, etc. My sincere thanks go to all who are so very focused on this effort.

CSU's 4th President

Timothy Mescon became Columbus State University's fourth president on Aug. 1, 2008. Previously, he was dean of the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. He is the co-author of four books and also has published more than 200 articles and case studies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, an MBA from Southern Methodist University and a B.A. from Tulane University. Mescon was the founding dean of the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury (Md.) University and also has served on the faculties of Arizona State University and the University of Miami. He's served as a visiting lecturer at universities in England, China and Israel.

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