President’s Message | December 2021

Published on December 8th, 2021

Dear students and alumni,

As we enter the holiday season, I am filled with gratitude and joy to have the opportunity to serve you. Christmas is always a very special time here at CSU. For me personally, it is a time to give back, spread cheer and spend quality time with the ones who mean the most.

As 2021 comes to an end, I am reminded of the memories we have made as a CSU family this year. Our fall commencement was one I will never forget. After our virtual ceremonies in 2020, I was reminded of how much joy it brings me to see our graduates walk across the stage and receive their diploma. As if seeing your dreams lived out isn’t enough, hearing them is also a gift. One graduate, Elroy Widow, earned his bachelor’s in occupational safety and health after starting his college journey in 1982. Meeting Elroy and hearing his story of perseverance was inspiring and one that I will always remember. It is because of moments like these I feel blessed to be a part of the Knight family. Thank you for making this year’s commencement one to remember!

Other students and alumni who have made this year memorable are the recipients of the Outstanding Law and Fire Professionals. Frank Imparato was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Law Enforcement Professional. He earned his associate at CSU and is currently pursuing his bachelor’s in criminal justice. Trish Connolly was named the 2021 Outstanding Fire Service Professional. She is a CSU graduate with a master’s degree in public administration who has made strides within this profession as the first female fire officer of her department and first female recipient of this award. Congratulations and thank you both for your service to your communities.

Speaking of service, the members of the CSU staff volunteered for the 13th annual Turkey Takeout in our local community of Baldwin County. During this project, staff assisted with making calls to families, sorting and packing food for the event. Because of their service, more than 10,000 canned foods were collected, an incredible feat that allowed more than 230 families to fill their pantries.  I am proud of the dedication our local CSU family has shown to our community. I encourage each of you to go out and make a difference within your own communities during this season of giving.

We also have new and exciting things happening at CSU as we head into 2022! I am pleased to inform you on Dec. 2, 2021, the SACSCOC board of trustees granted CSU candidacy and authorized an accreditation committee in preparation for the final step for membership. We are excited to have achieved this milestone and look forward to providing further details once available.

I hope you all enjoy a well-deserved break this holiday season and have the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. Here at CSU, we will close our offices in order to do the same. CSU offices will be closed Dec. 23-27 in observance of the Christmas holidays and Dec. 31 to prepare for the New Year.

As a new year approaches, please let us know If we can be of any assistance to you.

Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year,
Dr. Ken Styron


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