September 27, 2023

Changing Weather, Exciting Events

Dear Students and Alumni,


Relay for Life in Orange Beach, Alabama

I hope you are enjoying some of the nice weather changes as we are in South Alabama. The high heat and humidity has eased up and we have enjoyed some cooler temperatures. Like most people, I enjoy the season changes. There is a strong desire to be outside more and enjoy nature as much as possible. I also find it an easier time of the year get my children outside and lessen their “screen time.”

Something I admire about the wonderful staff and faculty at CSU is our Relay for Life involvement here at Columbia Southern University. The CSU team is a part of the Relay for Life Gulf Shores, which brings together our entire community to raise money for the American Cancer Society. CSU’s own Theresa Enfinger and Vicki Barnes are the chairpersons for our local chapter’s event and we are very proud of all the work they do. Currently, our team has raised approximately $50,000 so far this season. We are proud of what we can accomplish when we come together to support the mission of fighting this disease.


CSU Tailgating Week

At the end of August, CSU employees celebrated what we call “Tailgating Week.” Each day of the week was themed in preparation for the notorious football season (and the rivalry that comes with it). Days included football trivia, fight song, root beer floats, and football fanatic fan day, which ended with an institution wide picnic. I enjoyed seeing everyone wear their favorite team shirts and it was nice to see our team members have some out-of-the-ordinary fun while still attending to the needs of our students. Our family culture is very important to us and events like this create a fun place to work and allow team members to connect in a different way.


Fire-Rescue International

The Fire-Rescue International conference was held in Atlanta August 25 through 29. This is always a great event for CSU to meet our fire safety and emergency services students, alumni, and other individuals in the field. Our Vice President of University Relations, Billy Hayes, our Program Director of Fire Science, Keith Padgett, as well as members of our Corporate Outreach department were in attendance. For all of you who stopped by our booth to say hello, thank you.

We do our best to reach different parts of the United States to meet all of you and last month our Student and Alumni Engagement department was in Jacksonville, Florida where 50 students and alumni met to share college experiences with one another, network, and build friendships with their new CSU connections.  This month we are headed to Ft. Worth where we are expecting a crowd of 150!  In October, we will be hosting our largest reception in conjunction with commencement ceremonies here in Orange Beach.  We look forward to welcoming graduates and their families to our home. Please check out all of our upcoming events on the website.



  1. Michelle Adams

    I noticed CSU’s new membership in the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society. This is great for students who are studying in that field. Has any thought been given to membership in Honor Societies for students who are studying in other academic fields? Many students are working very hard and would like to receive recognition by gaining membership to an honor society. Thank you for your consideration.

  2. Michelle Rushing

    CSU has recently started an exciting chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi). This is a merit-based, invitation-only leadership organization that allows students and alumni to explore who they are as leaders and gain great insights and lessons from some of the nation’s top leaders, among many other benefits.

    In addition, those who have graduated from CSU with a bachelor’s or master’s degree may be eligible to join the Delta Epsilon Tau Honor Society. This international honor society was established to recognize the extraordinary high academic achievements and leadership of CSU graduates.

    To learn more about these organizations, visit or email or