Alumni Recognition Award Winners

Gwen Ruff, M.S.A. '88
Thomas Y. Whitley Distinguished Alumnus Award
Gwen is a 1988 M.S.A. graduate of Columbus State. She has over 30 years’ experience in both Human Resources and Public Administration, and combined active duty and reserve in the United States Army. She sits on numerous boards in the Chattahoochee Valley and is currently the chair of this year’s United Way Campaign. Gwen serves Columbus State on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and is the chair of the CSU Black Alumni Council.

John (Johnny) W. Walden, Jr.
Frank D. Brown Achievement & Leadership Excellence Award
Johnny Walden has supported Columbus State University for over forty years. He retired from Stifel as the Senior Vice President of Investments. He serves Columbus State University as a member of the Athletic Fund Board and is a loyal supporter of our students and CSU Athletics.

Mark Lott, B.S. '08 & M.P.A. '09
Distinguished Alumnus in Military/Public Service
Mark Lott most recently served at CSU’s Police Chief, retiring after over 30 years in law enforcement. Under his direction, the department expanded its drone program and obtained its first narcotics detection dog.

De'smond Henry, B.A. '10
Young Alumni Award
Dr. Henry graduated from CSU in 2010 with a degree in Biology, and went on to complete his M.D. at Mercer University School of Medicine and his residency at Morehouse School of Medicine. During residency, Dr. Henry was the administrative chief resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA.

Jimbo Davis, B.S. '94 & M.P.A. '96
Alumni Service Award

Jimbo Davis is Columbus State’s Assistant Athletic Director and head cheerleading coach. Jimbo has been making an impact on CSU since he was a student in the 90s. He works tireless hours to all students at Columbus State have a positive experience and integral in maintaining our time honored traditions.

Suzanne Maynard, B.B.A. '87
Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award
Suzanne Maynard has worked as an accountant in CSU’s Advancement Services since 1996. In this role she has supported the Alumni Association, Athletic Fund, and CSU Foundation and ensured the financial health of each organization.

Meri Robinson
Honorary Alumni
Meri Robinson worked at Columbus State in the Office of University Advancement before her retirement in 2011. During her time at CSU, she was integral in growing and sustaining the Tower Society, CSU's donors of at least $1,000 annually. Additionally, Robinson grew CSU's Annual Fund from $1 million to $2 million. From 2012 to 2019, Robinson worked part time for the Turner College of Business to grow their Financial Forecast Breakfast, growing attendance to over 200 people. 

Lieutenant General Gary Brito
Honorary Alumni
Lieutenant General Gary Brito, the U.S. Army’s 49th Deputy Chief of Staff. Prior to this, he served as the Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning. During his time at Fort Benning he was a great ally to CSU and helped form long lasting community partnerships between CSU and Ft. Benning.

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