Columbus State University

Columbus State University is a public university 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.

Columbus State University
Columbus State University seal.png
Former names
Columbus College
TypePublic university
Established1958; 64 years ago (1958)
Parent institution
University System of Georgia
Academic affiliations
Endowment$70.7 million (2020)[1]
PresidentChris Markwood
ProvostDeborah Bordelon
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students7,877 (Fall 2019)[4]
Location, ,
United States
CampusSuburban, 132 acres (Main campus); Urban (RiverPark campus)
Colors   Blue & red
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIPeach Belt Conference
MascotCody Cougar
Columbus State University logo.png


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 2010 academic year, the university enrolled more than 8,200 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.[5]

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 president, and in 2015 Chris Markwood became president.

The T.Y. Whitley Clock Tower on main campus


Columbus State University's 132-acre main campus is located in suburban and downtown, Columbus Georgia. A satellite campus is also located on Fort Benning, Georgia at the southern edge of the city.

Main campusEdit

CSU's main campus is located in suburban Columbus at the intersection of Interstate 185 and GA-85. 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, the D. Abbott Turner College of Business, and the Frank G. Lumpkin Jr. Center which is home to the athletic department.

The Japanese Saturday School of Columbus – Georgia (コロンバス(GA)補習授業校 Koronbasu (GA) Hoshū Jugyō Kō) has its office in the Howard Building at the university,[6] and it conducts its classes at the university.[7] As of 2005 classes are held at the Howard Building.[8]

RiverPark campusEdit

CSU's RiverPark campus, located near the banks of the Chattahoochee River, is the home of the university's fine and performing arts, communications, and history and geography departments. The downtown campus is housed in a mix of rehabilitated 19th and early 20th century industrial and commercial buildings and newly constructed facilities. The Schwob School of Music is contained in the state of the art 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 Department of Communication is located in the Carpenter's Building and the Department of History and Geography is located in the Yancy Center and Dillingham Building. The university continues to expand the RiverPark campus by acquiring new real estate in the area. CSU also houses over 400 students in several halls of residence in downtown Columbus along with dining, campus bookstore, and regular bus service to the main campus. In 2016 the College of Education and Health Professions relocated downtown.[9] This college's new home, Frank Brown Hall, mixes new construction with rehabilitating the 1931 Mediterranean-revival building (the previous location of the Ledger-Enquirer newspaper) along with new construction.[10]



The university recruits from all fifty states as well as every major metropolitan area and county 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 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 world renowned Schwob School of Music received the Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs from the University System of Georgia.[11] The Department of History and Geography offers an MA with tracks in History and History - Race, Ethnicity & Society.


In 2009, the university added a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Leadership degree as its first doctoral program.[12][13][14][15]

Academic centers and outreachEdit

The university operates the Coca-Cola Space Science Center which hosts student and public programs. Its facilities include the Omnisphere Theater (a planetarium) and the Mead Observatory.[16]

The Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians provides regular programs and offers fellowships.[17] The university also owns the Carson McCullers House in Nyack, NY.

Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center hosts student and public programs. Its facilities include two nature trails, a bee exhibit, a live alligator and other reptiles, various live raptors, a live opossum, 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.[18]

The Center for Global Engagement (formerly Center for International Studies) makes use of the Spencer House at Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Pasaquan, an art environment created by Eddie Owens Martin or St. EOM in Buena Vista, Georgia, was recently renovated and reopened in 2016 through the Kohler Foundation and is now operated by the university.[19]

The Columbus State University Archives houses over four hundred manuscript collections, including those of the International Trombone Association, The International Trumpet Guild, and the Institute for the Study of American Cultures.[20] Other special collections include the Spencer Southeastern Map Collection[21] and unique manuscripts related to southern author Carson McCullers.[22]

Student lifeEdit

In addition to co-educational intramural and recreational programs, students participate in more than a hundred chartered student groups, sororities, fraternities, honor societies, club sports, and special-interest clubs.


"The Uproar" is the university's official student-run newspaper. It is distributed on all Columbus State campuses and throughout the city of Columbus.[23]


Columbus State University, home of Cougar Athletics, has many types of men's and women's athletics, including basketball, baseball, soccer, softball, tennis, golf, and cross country. All sports, with the exception of rifle, compete at the NCAA Division II level in the Peach Belt Conference. Rifle competed as an associate member of the NCAA Division I Ohio Valley Conference. The Frank G. Lumpkin Jr. Center, a 4,500-seat arena, houses the Cougars.

Club sportsEdit

Club sports at the university formed in 2008 and may represent CSU in intercollegiate competitions. Currently there are 10 club sports offered: bass fishing, co-ed tennis, men's soccer, paintball, martial arts, tackle football, ultimate frisbee, women's soccer, women's volleyball, and wrestling.

Greek lifeEdit

Columbus State University currently has 17 Greek organizations for undergraduate students.


The university's Department of Communication operates and programs a student-run radio station, WCUG (FM) 88.5 Cougar Radio.

Notable alumniEdit

Bob the Drag Queen - American drag performer, winner of season 8 of RuPaul's Drag Race.[24]

John Clarence Stewart – American actor and singer[25]

Joni Ernst - Republican Senator from Iowa[26]

Joseph Gullett - Republican State Representative from Georgia

Eileen J. O’Connor, Esq. Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Tax Division, 2001 to 2007.[27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "CSU Common Data Set 2010-2011" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  3. ^ "Employees by Primary Function". Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 27, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Reagan L. Grimsley Enriching Lives: A Pictorial History of Columbus State University (Donning Publishers, 2008)
  6. ^ "shisetsulist.html Archived May 11, 2014, at WebCite." (). Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta. Retrieved on May 11, 2014. "#109B Harward [sic] Bldg. Columbus State University 4225 University Ave. Columbus, GA 31907"
  7. ^ "Home Archived May 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine" (). Japanese Saturday School of Columbus – Georgia. Retrieved on May 13, 2014. "Our Japanese Saturday School, is conveniently located on the Columbus State University campus in Columbus, GA."
  8. ^ "北米の補習授業校一覧" (). MEXT. September 15, 2005. Retrieved on April 6, 2015. "Japanese Saturday School of Columbus (連絡先) c/o Ms.Kimiko Selvidge 60 Lee Rd.969, Phenix City, AL 36867 U.S.A. (学校所在地) Howard Bldg.RM#109 Columbus State Univ.Columbus, GA31993 U.S.A."
  9. ^ "RiverPark Campus". Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  10. ^ "Board OKs CSU design to replace old L-E tower at 12th and Broad". Ledger-Enquirer.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Columbus State University: Schwob School of Music Archived 2009-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Columbus State to Offer Doctor of Education Degree | CSU News". Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  13. ^ "Doctor of Education". Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  14. ^ "Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership". Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  15. ^ "Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Leadership". Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  16. ^ "Columbus State University's Coca-Cola Space Science Center". Archived from the original on April 18, 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  17. ^ "Carson McCullers". Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  18. ^ "Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center". Archived from the original on November 20, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  19. ^ "Pasaquan". October 12, 2016. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  20. ^ "Columbus State University Archives". Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  21. ^ "J. Kyle Spencer Map Collection · Columbus State University Archives". Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  22. ^ "CSU Archives - Carson McCullers Research". Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  23. ^ "The Saber". Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  24. ^ Terrell, Matthew. "Preview: RuPaul's Bob the Drag Queen comes home for Mother's Day and a Heretic drag show".
  25. ^ Ho, Rodney. "INTERVIEW: Atlanta native John Clarence Stewart on playing Simon on "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist'". ajc. Archived from the original on May 14, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 15, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2022.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ [ "Eileen Connor"] Check |url= value (help). Department of Justice Archives.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 32°30′05″N 84°56′32″W / 32.501419°N 84.942226°W / 32.501419; -84.942226