From the CSUAA Board president

The year 2020 is finally coming to an end.  And what an incredibly difficult year it has been. As I write, we are still in the grips of a global pandemic. Many are grieving. Many are struggling. Many are overwhelmed with frustration and uncertainty. However, even while this harsh reality is playing out, there are good reasons to feel hopeful and optimistic.

From my view, I can say that as a family, CSU has come together on all fronts to ensure that our University arise from this crisis and become even better. President Sands and his team have worked diligently to ensure we continue to deliver our mission of affordable, accessible education; our students remain firmly committed to their educational and professional growth; and our creative faculty and staff, many of whom have worked harder these past months than ever before to ensure that the quality of a CSU education is as excellent as always. A few recent accomplishments worth mentioning include:

  • Investment in new faculty
  • An extension of the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise to Fall 2021 Incoming Freshmen
  • In-state graduate tuition for all non-Ohio residents who graduate from ANY Ohio college or university
  • In-state tuition for all military service members on active duty and their spouses and dependents
  • $1 million in additional need-based financial aid for all students
  • $6.1 million in direct student grants to continuing undergraduate, graduate and law school students
  • $150 campus bookstore credit in Spring 2021 semester for all degree-seeking undergraduate students who returned in the Fall 2020 semester, enrolled for at least 12 credits and earned a 3.0 GPA or higher

I was equally proud to learn that CSU posted a Horizon-league leading 92% in the most recent release of the NCAA student-athlete Graduation Success Rate. And that in May, for the first time in school history, all 18 sport programs registered a term GPA above a 3.0. This is huge! And proof that our student-athletes are committed to performing academically, willing to make sacrifices, and carry the work ethic required to be successful at this level.

I want to close by saying that although we are making progress in many areas, I am keenly aware of the challenges that remain. I will be straightforward: financially, this is a very trying time for many of our students. As alumni, we play an important role in shaping their experience, whether it’s through mentoring and networking or providing financial support. We must do more; this crisis is not over. In the year ahead, the strength of the alumni community will be critical to CSU’s success. I ask you to think back to your own commitment to your CSU education. You made the bold choice to invest your time, energy, and resources in your professional and personal growth. This is a difficult choice in the best of times; today, our students have made this choice against astounding odds. If you are able, I hope you will extend a hand to them, and honor their commitment and yours, by making a gift today at It would really make a big difference.

With thanks and best wishes,

Nikki Byrd

President, Alumni Association Board