December 17, 2015
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
VSU Raises $46 Million in 18 Months Through Comprehensive Capital Campaign
University Advancement Team Hopes to Reach $53,250,000 Goal by Summer 2019
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University is proud to announce that it has secured more than $46 million in gifts and pledges through its first-ever comprehensive capital campaign — Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University.
Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University kicked off on July 1, 2014. With the support of VSU’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees, and friends, the University Advancement team hopes to continue to gain momentum as it strives to reach its working five-year campaign goal of $53,250,000 on or before June 30, 2019.
“Having been at Valdosta State for almost six months, one of the most heartening things I’ve encountered is the generosity of our alumni and friends,” said Dr. Cecil P. Staton, interim president. “It is encouraging to students, faculty, and staff when others make a financial investment in VSU, either because of what the institution has meant to them or out of recognition of the importance of VSU for our community and region. The gifts we receive through Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University will transform our university and change lives. Valdosta State is a great university and this campaign will insure that we are able to fulfill our aspiration to be a world-class university that is the intellectual, cultural, and economic center of our region.”
John D. Crawford, vice president for University Advancement and chief executive officer of the VSU Foundation Inc., said that more than 10,000 donors have made 17,000 gifts and pledges to VSU since the beginning of the comprehensive capital campaign counting period.
“This is a strong statement by our donors that they have enormous confidence in the leadership of Valdosta State University,” he added. “I am confident that we will continue on the path to success as long as the VSU community continues to give voice to the remarkable impact being made by the gifts of our donors. Every gift that we receive is impactful, no matter the amount, and we appreciate each donor because of this.
Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University is the natural evolution of the university’s bold strategic plan, which was developed in 2012 and represents a campus-wide commitment to the principles that underpin an innovative and engaged comprehensive institution like VSU. The campaign is also a tactical response to a new funding model for higher education that is expected to place greater weight on measurable outcomes like student retention and graduation rates.
With Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University VSU is making the crucial choices that will allow it to thrive in a new era for higher education in Georgia. It is taking the necessary steps to control is own destiny, to change its culture and secure the financial resources necessary to address its challenges.
Funds raised through Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University will aid in the further development of five key areas — student enrichment, faculty enhancement, program opportunities, athletic excellence, and facility upgrades.
VSU wants to significantly increase the number and dollar amount of scholarship offerings in the hope of enhancing its ability to recruit, retain, and graduate high-achieving students. Due to the immediate success of the campaign and the generosity of the donors, Staton and Crawford both noted that the VSU Foundation will award more than $1 million in student scholarships in the fall of 2016 — for the first time in university history.
“Our ability to recruit and retain students is paramount to our mission,” Crawford explained. “We do not want to simply be a university. We want to be a great university, and we are.”
VSU wants to support enhanced faculty development and make it easier for high-quality educators to pursue their passions in specific fields and conduct research that has the potential to improve the health and economic well being for people and businesses locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
VSU wants to invest in new opportunities and technologies in the classroom to ensure its students are prepared to excel today, tomorrow, and for years to come. It wants to create a new Marketing Resource Laboratory, which will allow the newly created Department of Marketing to provide experiential learning opportunities through consultation projects in the local community. It also wants to create a Southeastern Center for Education Innovation, which will focus on developing innovative approaches to creating more productive learning outcomes in K-12 education and teacher preparation; a Center for Experiential Learning, which will enable students from a variety of academic disciplines and colleges to engage with members of the community to achieve learning outcomes in a real-world setting; a Center for Business Engagement, which will allow the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration to expand its reach throughout South Georgia and North Florida by providing a wide array of business consulting services to the greater business community; a Center for Health Care Information Technology, which will seek to develop new programs in health care informatics and other areas of the exploding health care information technology industry; and a Center for Global e-Learning, which will utilize traditional online teaching and prior learning assessment to become a leading resource for adult learners in Georgia, the Southeastern United States, and beyond.
“Experiential learning opportunities have been shown to increase student learning outcomes,” said Dr. L. Wayne Plumly, dean of the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration. “Students that participate in these practical experiences outside of the normal walls of a classroom have a much more rounded education and are better prepared for life after graduation.”
VSU wants to advance athletics excellence to increase opportunities to recruit top-tier student-athletes who are able to manage their academic and athletic obligations as they engage in goal-driven environments with high expectations and meaningful consequences. The university boasts one of the most successful National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II programs in the nation and hopes to maintain that winning tradition on and off the field, court, or course.
VSU wants to invest in facilities. One of the largest areas of investment will be in the College of the Arts, which promotes an atmosphere of academic and creative excellence through student-centered, comprehensive professional and liberal arts degree programs. Upgrades to studios, practice rooms, and performance areas will provide arts students with a sense of pride, as they will be able to showcase their hard work in state-of-the art facilities.
“Our student performances, productions, and research activities from the College of the Arts have a long history of success impacting diverse audiences,” said A. Blake Pearce, dean of the College of the Arts. “These audiences include future students, the university community, and community members from across the region. I believe it is time that the facilities where this work is produced reflect the high caliber products that come from our programs.”
Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/advancement/ to learn more about investing in the future of VSU while also igniting opportunities and inspiring excellence today.