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GSU capital campaign raises $53 million

Campaign far exceeds $40 million goal

    In a gala with a dual purpose, Georgia Southern University's 1906 Society feted the school's 100th year as well as celebrated surpassing the goal of the university's first comprehensive capital campaign.
    Blue and gold balloons fluttered to the floor, released as university president Dr. Bruce Grube announced the final total of $53,051,156 raised during the five-year Campaign for National Distinction. The campaign’s goal had been set at $40 million.
     “I am enormously grateful for the efforts of the many friends of Georgia Southern that have brought us to the successful conclusion of the campaign,” he said. “With the resounding success of The Campaign for National Distinction, Georgia Southern is well-positioned to enter its second century of service to the region, the state, and the nation.”
    The 1906 Gala is an annual event in honor of the 1906 Society, membership in which is exclusive to those contributing annual gifts of $1,000 or more  to support the Georgia Southern University Foundation.  Members are invited to other social and cultural events as well. When cumulative  gift totals reach $10,000, donors become lifetime  members of the 1906 Society.
    This year, the celebration encompassed the announcement of the campaign's total as well as noted the university's centennial year.
    Before a film documenting the university's rise from it's beginning as First District A&M to today's  Georgia Southern University, Grube thanked everyone who helped support the university.
    "It was 100 years ago at this very hour that Statesboro was celebrating" the announcement that the school would be located in Bulloch County, he said. "This evening we gather in the same spirit as our founders. We recognize all of you in this room as the keepers of the flame that was lit in 1906 ... tonight we thank you as we mark the completion of the Campaign of Distinction."
    Campaign Coordinator and Vice President for University Advancement Billy Griffis noted that the dollars raised significantly add to the funds provided by the state.
    “We are grateful for our strong, positive relationships in Atlanta," he said. "With them comes the expectation that Georgia Southern will do its part to supplement the support the state provides ... This successful campaign gives Georgia Southern the margin of excellence to move ahead in our objective of national distinction.”
    The Campaign for National Distinction focused on six strategic themes of importance in the ongoing development of the University: academic distinction, student-centered university, technological advancement, transcultural opportunities, public/private partnerships, and physical environment.
    Gifts to the campaign will help fund numerous programs and projects, including scholarship endowments, eminent scholar chairs, graduate assistantships and fellowships, athletics facilities, technology modernization, and the Alumni House and Welcome Center.
    “Our national campaign consultant advised that $40 million might have been even a bit ambitious as the goal for our first comprehensive campaign,”  Grube said. “That makes the outcome all the more gratifying.”
    He also said that the university’s recent reclassification as a national doctoral-research university will boost its potential for impact in the Coastal Southeast and beyond.
    “Georgia Southern University stands alone in its capabilities to serve the state. The results of the capital campaign are an affirmation of our successes, as well as the trust so many donors have invested in our future,” he said.
    Announcing the campaign exceeded by far its goal was an  “excellent way to kick off Georgia Southern’s Centennial,” he said. “This institution began because of the incredibly deep commitment of this community. The campaign illustrates that the commitment has been successfully passed through the generations, and that the community of people who believe in what Georgia Southern is, and can become, continues to grow. This coming year of Centennial celebration will give us all a chance to reflect on our rich history, and look forward to great days ahead.”
    The night's dinner included lobster bisque; a salad of Belgian endive, Shiitake mushrooms, bacon, sun dried tomatoes and English cucumbers with sesame vinaigrette; peppercorn and Mediterranean sea salt encrusted beef tenderloin with a wild mushroom demi glaze, and seared sea scallops with charron sauce.
    Dessert was slices of birthday cake in honor of Georgia Southern University. The cakes, designed as a university building with chocolate doors and windows and a GSU logo,  served as centerpieces for each table. Sparkler candles were lit before serving.

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