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1News Updates Spring 2016 VSYOU At the heart of all that we do at Valdosta State University each individual who comes to learn to teach and to give remains our focus. Meet the leadership of our capital campaign and learn what motivates them to give and to keep giving. Here David and Cecilia Ratcliffe. PAGE 8 CAPITAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH Early success fuels new goals set for the most ambitious campaign in the Universitys 100 year history. Page 3 Invest. Ignite. Inspire. WHEN TWO LOVES COLLIDE Jesse Maranville loves his talented artist wife Dedo and is devoted to his alma mater. See what happens when two great loves come together. Page 5 LEADING US TO A NEW FUTURE They are the individuals ready to stand up and tell the story of VSU to impact our future. Meet the leadership at the helm of our Capital Campaign. Page 8 News Updates Issue 1 Volume 1 Spring 2016 THE CAMPAIGN FOR VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY 2 Invest. Ignite. Inspire. Invest. Ignite. Inspire. will allow for dramatic transformation at VSU in the coming years. For the first time in our history we will be able to offer competitive financial aid packages to high-achieving students and we will be able to ensure that more families do not have to choose another college option for their child because of financial reasons. We will be able to provide enhanced research support through release time stipends equipment and travel for our faculty. We will be positioned to provide seed money and matching funds for new ideas generated by faculty staff and students. We will sustain and grow a nationally recognized Blazer Athletic Program. Finally we will be able to make repairs and renovations to our campus structures ensuring that our campus remains the most beautiful in Georgia. Our success in fund-raising is due to you our alumni and our friends. We are very grateful to everyone who has made a gift to Invest. Ignite. Inspire. We will be wise stewards of your gifts and we will continue to strengthen our university today and for future generations. Sincerely Dr. Cecil P. Staton Interim President LetterFROM THE PRESIDENT Dear Friends It is my great pleasure to serve as Interim President of Valdosta State University. Catherine and I have been warmly received by the VSU community. We are very grateful to everyone for their expressions of support. I am equally pleased to tell you that the foundation of Valdosta State University is strong. We have an exceptional faculty a dedicated staff and the most academically prepared student body in a decade. Most importantly Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University has received over 46500000 in gifts and pledges. In just 20 months we have achieved 87 of the five-year campaign goal of 53250000 Dr. Staton and his wife Catherine in the 2015 Homecoming parade. 53.25M CAMPAIGN GOAL 87 Goal Reached 3News Updates Spring 2016 CAMPAIGN MILESTONES IN THE BEGINNING JULY 2012 The Valdosta State University Foundation Board of Trustees authorizes the Invest. Ignite. Inspire Campaign for Valdosta State University. OFFICIAL START JULY 2014 Valdosta State University begins the Leadership Phase of the campaign. 17MA RECORD GIFT NOVEMBER 2014 Largest estate gift commitment in the history of Valdosta State University17 million pledged towards the campaign goal. DECEMBER 2014 Valdosta State University Foundation Board of Trustees votes to increase campaign goal from 43250000 to 53250000. EXPANDING GOALS MARCH 2015 The Invest. Ignite. Inspire campaign launches publicly having achieved 57 of its goal. PUBLIC LAUNCH 57 OCTOBER 2015 The campaign surpasses its original goal of 43250000. INSPIRED GIVING 4 Invest. Ignite. Inspire. 46.5M NOW THATS COMMITMENT VSUs Capital Campaign is running strong reaching nearly 87 of its goal Valdosta State University has played an integral role in so many lives. The impact VSU has on the lives of its students as well as the communities it serves is remarkable. At VSU we are committed to charting a course for the University that will prepare future generations of students for the challenges of the 21st century. Valdosta State has always enjoyed an outstanding reputation because of the quality of our programs and the success of our graduates says John Crawford Vice President for University Advancement. We have very successful graduates all across the country and the time was right to engage our alumni and friends and to challenge them to consider an investment in the future of Valdosta State. In order to accomplish this university leadership requested that the J.F. Smith Groupan independent fund-raising firmcon- duct a feasibility study to assess the attitude of Valdosta States constituency toward its bold vision for the future. In June of 2014 equipped with strategic information from the feasibility study findings VSU launched Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Cam- paign for Valdosta State University which aspires to a working goal of 53250000. The original campaign 5-year working goal was set for 43250000 however after an amazing response at the onset of the campaign the decision was made to raise the goal by 10 million. Our early success has been remarkable but at the same time we were confident that our alumni would respond if the university community worked together to present funding opportunities that will make a bold impact on our students and the communities we serve Crawford continues. Through the feasibility study we were able to identify projects that our donors have really embraced. The campaign focuses on five project areas 1 Student Enrichment 2 Faculty Enhancement 3 Program Opportunities 4 Athletics Excellence and 5 Facility Upgrades. The campaigns investment opportunities illustrate a focused dedication to student success and the creation of a livinglearning environment that embraces discovery. The campaign will also lead to an infusion of energy and creativity into the lives of the citizens of the state of Georgia something that can only be accomplished through a vibrant university community. Invest. Ignite. Inspire. will transform our university and its impact will be felt for decades to come. 5News Updates Spring 2016 Interact with the university because the university wants to interact with you Thats what Jesse Maranville Valdosta State University Foundation Board Chairman and President of Georgia Gulf Sulfur says about getting involved with VSU. A 1971 graduate in Finance Jesse has a long history with Valdosta State University. Over the years he has served on various boards and been a guest lecturer several times at the Business School. Being personally involved on the foundation board Jesse says he sees first-hand how people give or dont give. A lot of people graduates especially feel they have to make a contribution that will astound. Thats not true Give 100 500 whatever you can. Think if every graduate gave back 100 that would be a lot of money I would ask the local people to get more involved with the university says Jesse. Theyve seen the growth and the beauty of the campus. Get involved whether its sports or the arts and interact with this great institution. Youll be happy you did. Jesse and his wife Dedo recently made a leadership gift to Invest. Ignite. Inspire. which has been recognized with the naming of the Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery. Jesse and Dedo Maranville are special people who care very deeply for our university and our students says Vice President for University Advancement John Crawford. We are very proud that our fine arts gallery now carries Dedos name. To learn more about Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University please contact Hilary Gibbs at or 229-259-5503 or visit www.valdosta.eduinspire. DEDO MARANVILLE FINE ARTS GALLERY NAMED Jesse and Dedo Maranville at their home in Valdosta Above and with President Staton at the gallery entrance Right. 6 Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The year I graduated I said I would always give back something to Valdosta State. I remember the first year I gave 100. I have never missed a year in giving since. Robert Bob Hagan is a loyal supporter of Valdosta State University. For more than 30 years he has given faithfully to the university and to the athletic program. I believe in giving back and taking care of the institution that got me where I am today he says. Bob has always been a big fan of the Valdosta State athletic program. His love for basketball specifically was built on the stories of his fathers success as a basketball player at the University of Georgia. Bob first got involved with VSU athletics when he served as the water boy for the Lady Blazer basketball team during his first semester on campus. Many years have passed since his days as a water boy but Bobs support of the program has never wavered. As a result in February Valdosta State University honored Bob by naming the basketball court The Robert W. Hagan Court. When they made the announcement I was floored No I didnt play on that court but my name is on it. Im very proud of that and I know my dad is proud too. Bob continues Knowing my name is on that court and knowing that its an everlasting gift makes me feel good all over. One day my children and grandchildren will see it and thats exciting. ABLAZE WITH PRIDE The Robert W. Hagan Court Named 7News Updates Spring 2016 Top left Bob Hagan stands on the court named after him. Above The Lady Blazers in competition. Left In recognition for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the Valdosta State Athletic Department Interim President Dr. Cecil Staton formally inducted Bob Hagan into the Athletic Hall of Fame on February 13th at VSUs annual Hall of Fame ceremony. 8 Invest. Ignite. Inspire. Jerry Jennett CEO Quality Manager Georgia Gulf Sulfur Corporation Laura Lynn Miller Community Healthcare Entrepreneur David Ratcliffe Retired Chairman President CEO Southern Company Tom Wiley Vice Chairman President State Bank Financial Corporation One of the first priorities that must be considered when launching a capital campaign is that of campaign leadership. Who will be recruited to stand as the face and voice of the campaign Within the VSU community we are fortunate to have many individuals who would serve well in this role but ultimately four names stood out. These four people have graciously agreed to serve as the co-chairs of the Invest. Ignite. Inspire. campaign. In addition to lending their time and talents to the campaign collectively they have gifted and pledged over 6100000 to Invest. Ignite. Inspire. The Campaign for Valdosta State University. Jerry Jennett and his wife Kay moved to Valdosta in the early 1970s. It was much different from other cities in which they previously lived Cleveland and Atlanta. The Jennetts were avid patrons of the arts and so they kept their tickets to the Met in Atlanta even after moving to Valdosta. It didnt take long for Jerry and Kay to take notice of the Theatre Department at VSU. The symphony the music the jazz it was all impressive says Jerry. And so they started sticking around the city more and more and have since become deeply involved with the university. Jerry is well aware of the significance of the campaign at hand. Over the years state funding for higher education has decreased at a rapid rate he says. Without state funding there are things you just cant do for the students. I remember 15 years ago or so it was dormitories. VSU needed a new one and the state wouldnt fund it. That money has to come from somewhere else. Today Jerry sees a similar need in the arts. Im in the music building twice a week and so I know how old it is he says. VSU needs a performance hall and practice rooms. Of course there are all sorts of important projects but this one really hits home with me. LEADING US TO OUR FUTURE Strong Campaign Leadership Facilitates Success 9News Updates Spring 2016 To others Id say come visit. Walk up and down the halls. Come and see what is being done here. Youd be very proud. But the truth is we dont get enough money from the state. We need your help. Jerry Jennett Laura Lynn Miller graduated from Valdosta State in 1971 with a degree in Social Work. After working for several years she married had a child and wanted to be able to stay home with her newborn. In 1978 she started a home business for nursing care as an alternative to nursing homes. With this background healthcare has been her focus at VSU. Valdosta State trains so many nurses in Georgia says Laura Lynn. Institutions love to hire VSU nursing graduates. The business side is also so important because hospitals need good administrators. Laura Lynn continues Im excited about all the campaign projects but especially the effects it will have on the Nursing Program. Also masters degrees are so important to make good hospital employees. The education of our young people is our future. We must educate them and to do so we must get private support. Valdosta State holds a very special place in Laura Lynns heart. She recalls If there had not been a college in my hometown I may not have been able to go to school. It allowed me to live at home work and get an education all at the same time. Im thankful for VSU. We want VSU to be here and to thrive in the future. If you have ever loved VSU if its been good to you like it has been to me please contribute what you can. The education of our young people is our future. We must educate our people and to do so we must get private support. Laura Lynn Miller David Ratcliffe graduated from VSU in 1970 with a degree in Biology. With limited options right out of school he took a job teaching Biology at the local high school. Six months later he was offered a job at Georgia Power Company in Atlanta. After more than 40 years with Georgia Power and the Southern Company David can attest to the fact that his degree from VSU served him well. Ive always thought a good education is more than just what you learn in the classroom says David. Its also about the relationships you build and the experiences you encounter. Activities both inside and outside of the classroom are valuable in providing a good education. Valdosta State gave me and continues to give students today the family feel and the community experience. We met there enjoyed great experiences and received quality educations that have served us well. Cecilia and I got involved in this campaign because its time for us to give back to what has blessed us so much in our lives. David Ratcliffe David and his wife Cecilia met at Valdosta State in the late 1960s. As such VSU holds a special place in their hearts. Its very simple. We got a lot from our time at Valdosta State says David. David shares the universitys goal to promote a more educated Georgia. I truly believe that VSU can become the university in south Georgia and the Florida panhandle. There is no reason it shouldnt be leading the nation with its capability. This campaign will make VSU a better place and enable others to enjoy life- changing experiences. Tom Wiley graduated from Valdosta State University in 1974 with a degree in Business Administration. Upon graduation he worked in Valdosta for seven years at CS Bank and so remained connected to the university. Business later took Tom away from Valdosta and he lost touch with VSU for almost 15 years. In 1995 VSU reached out to him and a wonderful relationship has flourished since. Now the Vice Chairman and President for State Bank Financial Corporation Tom has taken a keen interest in VSUs Langdale College of Business and has spoken to various business classes. I have supported VSU over the years because of the impact it had on my life says Tom. A person is only at a university for a few years but those few years can have a life-changing effect. When that occurs you come up with a plan to give back. Thats what Ive done. When asked which projects speak to him the most Tom says scholarships for students and supplemental pay to attract faculty are of utmost significance. The most important thing is to attract the top scholars and pair them with the most qualified professors. The result is a higher-quality institution. I would encourage others to reflect on their lives and the role VSU has played and then to consider giving to this endeavor. It is critical to the future of VSU that we attract private support. Tom Wiley 10 Invest. Ignite. Inspire. Coming from Georgia State University in Atlanta Brantley signed on as a physics professor at VSU and served on the faculty until 1985 when he retired. Throughout his time at VSU he and his wife Barbara have been large proponents of the Arts. In fact since their time in Valdosta the couple has only missed one Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. They also enjoy Peach State Summer Theatre performances. Over the years the Jenkins have given generously to Valdosta State University but their largest gift came in the form of a 17 million estate gift which was formalized just last year. The Jenkins sizable gift was a major factor in VSUs decision to raise the working campaign goal by 10 million. Their gift will benefit the entire university with an emphasis on programs within the College of the Arts. Valdosta State is a big part of this community says Barbara. We just want the university to always be the best it can be. If they need new faculty or new programs we want them to have the funds to go get them. In recognition of their gift VSUs planned giving society known as the Order of the Dome has been renamed The Jenkins Society. We just want the university to always be the best it can be. If they need new faculty or new programs we want them to have the funds to go get them. Barbara Jenkins We made a lot of money by investing and playing the market says Brantley. I invested any extra money I had and just happened to push the right buttons all the way. I hope our story can be an example to others about the dividends of hard work and perseverance. Brantley Jenkins right and his wife Barbara center were recognized by VSU Interim President Dr. Cecil Staton left through the renaming of the Order of the Dome giving society to The Jenkins Society. GIVING Transformational Estate Gift Plays Significant Role in Campaign In the late 1960s Brantley Jenkins traveled through the city of Valdosta and liked it so much he stayed. It was a small college with a good degree program in a nice town says Brantley. That combination is hard to beat. 11News Updates Spring 2016 Scholarship opportunities are a great opportunity to invest in our students and thereby invest in VSU. In todays challenging economic environment as students are facing unprecedented challenges to cover the cost of a college education our goal at VSU is for more students to leave with an invaluable degree with no or as little debt as possible. The Jennett Scholars Program is one of the premier competitive merit-based scholarship programs offered in the state of Georgia. Recipients receive the highest level of scholarship support offered by Valdosta State University attracting highly qualified highly motivated students. Olivia Livvy Cote a sophomore psychology major from Peachtree City is one recipient of the Jennett Scholarship. The Jennett Scholarship holds me accountable. In high school there really arent any expectations for you other than from your parents. But receiving this scholarship was the world telling me We believe in you. Livvy Cote I would like to say thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Jennett. They have eased my worries about the future in a time when college tuition is higher than ever before. Because of the scholarship I will be able to go to graduate school use my talents and achieve my dreams in ways I may not have been able to otherwise. SCHOLARSHIPS Change Lives Top Livvy at her second home on campus the Honors College. Above Jerry and Kay Jennett The project goals are as follows Scholarship Support 20.9 million Faculty Enhancement- 9.6 million Programmatic Opportunities- 10.25 million Athletics Excellence- 6.6 million Facility Upgrades- 5.9 million 12 Invest. Ignite. Inspire. VSU FOUNDATION INC. Valdosta State University 1500 N. Patterson St. Valdosta GA 31698 NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S.POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 24 VALDOSTA GA VSYOU We are all VSYOU When we invest in our university we ignitea passion in our faculty that inspires our students to strive for excellence. The Invest. Ignite. Inspire. campaign will be transformative for Valdosta State University. This campaign has the capacity to change our culture and secure the financial resources necessary to address our challenges. This campaign will change the mindset of the entire institution. NEWS FROM THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY