Archive for November, 2013

CSU Named a Best College for Veterans

November 25, 2013

Congratulatioons to CSU for its high ranking in helping veterans. I decided to post the CSU release just the way it was sent to me.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — U.S. News & World Report has listed Columbus State University among the Top 25 regional universities in the South in the magazine’s inaugural Best Colleges for Veterans rankings of 234 schools across the nation.

The new rankings provide data and information on schools that offer federal benefits, including tuition and housing assistance, to veterans and active service members, all done in efforts to help veterans pursue a college education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“I’d be disappointed if Columbus State wasn’t on there,”said Lt. Col. Michael Feret, professor of Military Science at CSU. “It’s an important honor. As veterans exit the service, it’s good to be able to offer them educational opportunities, which also will be good for the Columbus area.”

CSU’s ranking reflects the relationship between Columbus State, Fort Benning and the large population of veterans who live in the area, Feret said.

“They’re able to leverage some of the benefits by being so close to Fort Benning,” he said. “There’s a strong partnership between Columbus State and Fort Benning and the community, which allows these programs to be supportive of each other.” 

All of the 2014 Best Colleges for Veterans scored well in terms of graduation rate, faculty resources, reputation and other markers of academic quality. To qualify for the new rankings, the schools had to be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium.

In total, there were 234 ranked schools across all 10 U.S. News ranking categories: National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities (North, South, Midwest and West) and Regional Colleges (North, South, Midwest and West).

CSU recently reaffirmed its commitment to helping educate veterans when it decided to cover more than $33,000 in tuition and fees for about 50 military students who incurred costs because they registered or attended classes at Columbus State during the federal government shutdown.

During any given semester, about 10 percent of Columbus State’s enrollment is military-related, whether the students are on active duty, veterans or spouses of military members. Those connections prompted the university to ramp up its efforts over the past few years to better serve the military with more online programs, academic credit for military leaders who completed the Captains Career Course, establishment of a CSU office at Fort Benning, expansion of a campus Veterans Affairs office and more.


WRBL News Investigates MCSD “No-bid Deal”

November 22, 2013

WRBL’s 11 p.m. News did not lead with a predictable list of wrecks, fires, and crimes last night. It led with a solid piece of investigative journalism, something that I am afraid gets little attention by a lot of local stations, not just in Columbus, but around the country.

Sydney Cameron’s digging paid off with a very informative report, “The No-bid Deal.”  It was a look at the controversial Muscogee County School Board’s practice of not using the bidding process in hiring a law firm.

It was a well-balanced report, giving time to both sides of the controversy.  To me, it is a very important controversy, because it involves the issues of  the way our tax dollars are being spent and transparency in government.

Last night’s report is one of the best investigative reports I have seen on local TV in a long time.  And it’s not over. More reports on this issue are promised.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see this series win some broadcast journalism awards.

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Latest: “The Bully Pulpit”

November 18, 2013

Christmas is a great time for book lovers, especially lovers of non-fiction. The book store shelves are bristling with a lot of interesting new histories and biographies.

I just bought Doris Kearns Goodwin’s newest history,  The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism . It’s about how Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft worked together as Republican progressives, and the split after Taft followed Roosevelt as president.

It’s also about the way that Roosevelt made a special effort to cultivate newspaper and magazine reporters of the time in order to get them to get across his messages to the American public.  It’s also about how Taft didn’t do that and paid for it.

The parallels between the turn of the 20th Century and now are amazingly close, things like a wide and widening income gap between the rich and poor and a split within the Republican party.

I’ve just started reading it, and it’ll be a while before I finish because I am a slow reader of histories and biographies.  I read novels like Sycamore Row by John Grishom  fairly fast.  It, by the way, is a good read, in my view, though, not  up to some of his preceding novels.



Georgia-Auburn Columbus Memories

November 15, 2013

 It it has been played in Columbus more times than anywhere else, 38 games, according to Wikipedia.  It was played in Columbus from 1920 to 1958, with the only break being when it was played in Athens in 1929. Memorial Stadium (now A.J. McClung Memorial  Stadium), I am told, was larger than the stadiums at Georgia and Auburn in 1920. 

Not only was the game the largest sports event in Cweolumbus, it was also arguably the biggest social even of the year. Parties were held all over town. Men wore business suits and women their Sunday best when going to the game.

When I was a boy, no one I knew went to parties or the game because we were in the depths of the Great Depression.  My dad would drive the family by the stadium so we could see the well-dressed crowds going into the game, then we would listen to it on the radio. And everyone could watch the Georgia and Auburn bands in the game day parade on Broadway.  The Georgia Band would arrive by train at  the  Central of  Georgia Depot on 6th Avenue, a block away from where we lived in the 1940s. My buddies and I would watch the band detrain, form up and start its march to Broadway  We would follow the band to Broadway where it would join the Auburn band for the Broadway parade. Georgia and Auburn fans would decorate their cars in school colors and signs.

During the last year of World War II and right after the war, since the war had brought an end to the Great Depression, family finances picked up and we started going to the games.  The one that I remember most vividly was when Charlie Trippi played.  It was either the 1945 or 1946 game.  Trippi, who was an All-American and in the running for the Heisman Trophy (Doc Blanchard of Army won it) put on dazzling show.

It was a warm, sunny November Saturday afternoon.  We were sitting in the end zone seats , but that didn’t matter because I WAS THERE, actually seeing a Georgia-Auburn game.  And while I was rooting for Georgia, I enjoyed the Auburn band when it played The Tiger Rag  as much as the Bulldog band when it played Glory Glory to old Georgia.  I just loved it when the Auburn band tuba section stood and in unison turned from one side to the other when it did the roar part of the song.

And the end zone didn’t turn out so bad after all.  You got to see Trippi doing his dazzling reverses and running backwards before he would turn and run what it appeared to be right through most of the Auburn team in the end-zone area. That turned out to be better than the ultra-expensive 50-yard line seats. Georgia won. I  know that because Georgia won both the 1945 and 1946 games.

The Georgia-Auburn game is billed as “The Deep South’s Oldest Football Rivalry.”  Virginia-North Carolina claim to be “The South’s Oldest Football Rivalry” even though it played its first game in 1892, the same year that Georgia and Auburn played their first game.  Virgnia-North Carolina claim the most games since they played two in 1892.  There is the distinct possibility that Georgia and Auburn can play twice in one year for the SEC Championship so that will make it a tie for “oldest rivalry,” I suppose.

Robert George Personified the American Dream

November 12, 2013

Robert George, who  died of a heart attack Monday, recently told me, “Dick, when I see you, I think I should be marching behind you playing my trumpet.” That’s because he was a freshman in 1948 when I was a senior and drum major of the late Bob Barr’s Jordan Vocational High School Red Jacket Band.  He broke out his trumpet a few years ago and played with the Bob Barr alumni band at a memorial half-time ceremony at a Jordan-Columbus football game. He was CEO and  Chairman of the Board at Lummus Industries at the time.  Lummus was a manufacturer of cotton gins in Columbus.  It moved to Savannah.

I mentioned him in my Reader’s Digest article “Unforgettable Bob Barr.”  It was the story of a music man who inspired a lot of kids to do quite well  in life.  Robert George was a prime example of that.

As his obituary says, when he was with Lummus he traveled all over the world “with his favorite destination being the People’s Republic of China.” After retiring from Lummus, he became involved as an executive in a number of companies engaged in international trade, and he consulted with American companies wanting to do business in China.

He also lectured on international trade at universities in  the U.K.  Africa, and China, and a number of American civic clubs. He also served as President of Beacon College and Graduate School in Columbus from March 1998 to March 2000.

He was a fellow member of the Rotary Club of Columbus, where he served as president in 1991.

There will be a memorial service at Evangel Temple Wednesday, November 13, at 3 p.m. Visitation is from 5 – 7 p.m. today, November 12th, at Striffler – Hamby on Macon Road.  His obituary states that he is survived by his wife of 59 years Sara Crews Goerge, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. You can read the full obituary in tomorrow’s Ledger-Enquirer.

Not only was he intelligent and successful in business, he had an upbeat personality and was fun to know. We’ll miss him.


The Cobb County Braves?

November 12, 2013

I haven’t seen anywhere in the news reports about the Atlanta Braves moving to Smyrna in Cobb County whether the team will still be called the Atlanta Braves. After all, the team will be moving out of  the City of  Atlanta.

WSB-TV reports that Cobb County Commission Chairman  Tim Lee released a statement Monday morning saying, “Atlanta has evolved over the years into a broader community that offers so much for so many. Cobb County is proud to be a part of the region’s continued success.” That could be considered a clue the name won’t change when the stadium opens in 2017.

How do I feel about it?  It will make it easier for my niece Janet Sue Gray and family to get to the games since they live in Smyrna, and it’ll be closer to Cumming where my son and family live, and closer to Kennesaw where my step son Ken Champion and family live, so it suits me.  

T’ain’t What-cha Pay

November 3, 2013

The lyrics of a 1939 popular music hit said that “T’aint what you do, it’s the way how you do it” also apply to paying people for the work they do, according to a group  of Harvard professors.  A study they conducted showed that simply paying people more did not increase their productivity.  The best results came when employees percieved the increase to be an unexpected gift with no strings attached. They felt they were being payed more simply because their employer chose to do it. They reciprocated by increasing productivity.

You can read the Harvard Gazette story by going to this  link.