September 21, 2023

A Season of Growth and Gratitude

Dear students and alumni,

Another inspiring Commencement ceremony is in the books. On October 27, more than 600 proud graduates walked across the stage to celebrate their accomplishment of earning a degree. It is always such a pleasure to meet our Knights who have traveled from all 50 states and 15 countries to participate. There were also more than 200 CSU employees who worked our Open House and Commencement events to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for our graduates. I am always humbled to have the privilege to shake their hands and congratulate them personally on the stage.

Our keynote speaker, Erin Gruwell, gave an uplifting speech on leaving a “legacy of words.” We were blessed to have her as part of our Commencement ceremony.

You can watch the full ceremony here or a short highlight version at

A beloved member of the CSU family and a pioneer in the fire service industry, Chief Alan Brunacini, passed away recently. Everyone who knew him knew of his fondness for Hawaiian shirts, his relaxed demeanor and his love for and dedication to the fire industry. Chief Brunacini was a great teacher of leadership and he leaves a legacy behind with his impact on the fire service. He was a good friend and will be greatly missed.

I am proud to say that our Bachelor of Science in occupational safety and health was recently revised and recognized as a Qualified Academic Program (QAP) by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). This will mean a great deal to our students, who will be able to place the Graduate Safety Practitioner® (GSP) designation after their names upon degree completion. Additionally, students graduating from the revised degree program will waive the requirement to sit for the Associate Safety Professional® (ASP9) exam prior to the Certified Safety Professional® (CSP) exam. Columbia Southern University’s QAP start date is effective April 12, 2017, which corresponds with the revised curriculum updates.  We have always strived to offer our students the best options in their career fields, so it is an honor to be able to add this distinction to our safety program.

You can learn more about the Bachelor of Science in occupational safety and health on our website.

November is always a great time of year as the holidays approach and we begin to reflect on our many blessings. I hope that this month brings warmth, reflection and gratitude your way.

Know that all of us at CSU are very grateful for each of you.

God bless,

Robert Mayes


One Comment

  1. Dellas Salway

    Congratulations to the students, professors, and staff that make this type of event happen. I am thrilled to see that the BCSP has approved the school as a QAP…having gone back to school in my fifties and still working on my AAS in OSH and having a full time job working sixty plus hours a week, I may just have to study for the ASP. I do love the classes I have taken, and the one I am currently enrolled in and the last of the coursework for my AAS degree, as they have helped me immensely in my job duties.
    Thank you for this opportunity, and HUGE shout out to a most wonderful, patient, motivating, encouraging Academic Advisor; Nicole H. THANK YOU!!!