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Columbus State University

May 26, 2020 - Message from President Markwood

Good afternoon,

I hope that everyone had a chance to rest, relax, and enjoy the long holiday weekend, and that we each took a moment to remember those Americans that made the ultimate sacrifice in the protection of our Republic. Yesterday was a solemn reminder of the sacrifice made by the men and women of the armed services to ensure that we continue to live in a free and open society.

Returning to work after Memorial Day, I am reminded that sacrifice is an elemental aspect of service. We strive daily in service to our students, endeavoring to provide them with a first-rate education, a dynamic campus experience, and the tools and knowledge needed to build a better life for themselves and the world itself. To achieve this noble goal, we all must make sacrifices, even on the best of days. This year finds us living through trying times and circumstances will no doubt call for more and greater sacrifices to come.

That said, today I want to draw attention to one of the more positive news stories circulating around Cougar Nation.

I cannot stress enough how important communication has become in this age of social distancing, and a great example of this is the Create Care Outreach initiative that was activated upon the closing of our campuses. Since our departure from campus, more than 250 faculty, staff, and students participated in outreach to students, just checking in to see how they were adapting to online instruction or asking how they were feeling, gauging their mental and emotional well-being. There have been an estimated 16,000 outbound calls resulting in over 250 referrals to connect students with needed services, so the Create Care Outreach initiative has been a huge success and is a testament to our Cougar core values.

Todd Reeser, Director of Athletics, recounted to us one of the initiative’s first success stories. “Early on, one of the baseball coaches reached out to a student that he felt sounded like she needed medical assistance. The non-traditional student with children was unable to get an appointment with a medical professional. My coach was concerned enough to contact me on next steps to assist her. Through that outreach we got her through the Create Care Network and ultimately to the Student Health Center, where Vicki Roebuck (SHC) was able to provide great support. This student was so very appreciative that we reached her in a very important time of need.”

I would like to thank you all for your incredible hard work and dedication to making last semester a success, in spite of all the hardships; and I look forward to working with you on the budget, returning to campus, and continuing to provide our students with the educational experience of a lifetime.

Have a great day and thank you for all you do for our students, our community, and for each other.

Dr. Markwood's Signature

President Chris Markwood