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COLUMBUS, Georgia — When Columbus State University’s 2024 CSU GIVES exceeded its goal of 540 donors on April 10, it did something else — it set a new 24-hours-of-giving record with $208,607 in donations from alumni and friends.

According to Katie Evans, Columbus State’s director of annual giving and alumni engagement, the 540-donor goal honored Cody the Cougar’s 54th birthday. The university celebrated the beloved mascot’s birthday at a joint birthday party/campaign celebration on April 10. By then, 556 donors had given to the annual campaign.

Although this year’s campaign is over, opportunities always exist to give to Columbus State and specific giving funds online or through other means.

Campaign takeaways included:

A new one-day giving record
Until this year, the largest one-day giving campaign was the 2022 CSU GIVES campaign, which raised $63,000. This year’s CSU GIVES campaign more than tripled that record set in 2022.
Most popular funds
• CSU Athletics’ Cougar Club ($54,905 from 14 donors), which provides general support to the Athletics Department and all 13 of the university’s NCAA Division II teams.
• CSU Fund ($29,169 from 101 donors), which gives university leaders flexibility to immediately direct donations to “areas of greatest need,” which can include student scholarships, academic programs, community outreach, student and faculty development, or opportunities of distinction.
• College of the Arts ($15,115 from 37 donors), which gives the dean discretionary support for academic departments and programs, including the Bo Bartlett Center, Pasaquan and more.

Deans' Battle Winner 

The campaign featured friendly competitions between Greek Life chapters and athletics teams to attract the most donors. The most notable of those competitions was the quest for the coveted Deans’ Battle Trophy. Dean Margie Yates claimed the trophy with help from the College of Education & Health Professions’ 80 donors who contributed $12,192 toward its academic programs and departments, which include the Coca-Cola Space Science Center and Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center.
Matching Challenges

Seven alumni—several of them members of the CSU Alumni Association Board—matched gifts during the 24-hour period. Those included challenges based on the number of donors or value of contributions to individual academic colleges, Athletics and the CSU Fund, and involved both one-to-one matches and bonus gifts.

About Columbus State University
Columbus State University is a four-year regional public university founded in 1958 in Columbus, Georgia. It hosts more than 7,500 students and nearly 40,000 alumni, and offers more than 90 degrees and programs of study. CSU is one of 26 public colleges and universities that comprise the University System of Georgia. It is administered by the USG Board of Regents and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). For more information, visit