Following the celebration at Memorial Stadium of the 100th Anniversary of the first Columbus-Jordan football game, a group of Alumni thought it a good idea to form a Columbus High Alumni Association. Shortly thereafter, the group incorporated and we obtained our charitable status as a 501(c) (3) charitable foundation. The Association provides ancillary financial support to Columbus High School (CHS) and its students for supplemental academic programs. As you know, CHS has an excellent booster club which provides more than adequate funds for its baseball teams and other sports.
The Alumni Association then established an Endowment Fund to ensure the continuation of our support for CHS and its students. For the past few years, the Association has provided funds for students who cannot otherwise afford to take advantage of various educational opportunities at CHS. For example, the Association has helped fund the student costs for Advance Placement Tests (the state no longer provides free tests to the students) and has helped students participate in trips to the High Museum in Atlanta and to Westville, etc. as some of the students do not have the funds to buy the ticket to the event or pay for lunch. The purpose for supplementing these costs is to allow CHS to continue to attract students from throughout the city who want to attend and who meet the academic criteria at CHS, notwithstanding their financial circumstances.
The CHS Alumni Association is a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) whose purpose is to provide supplemental support to CHS and its students who cannot afford the cost of certain activities and requirements available at CHS. These activities, some of which had been provided by the State, must now be paid by the students or their families. Most recently, State cutbacks have increased the cost burden of the State test in advance placement (AP) courses, which has now been partially shifted to the students. The CHS Alumni Association provides funds to the School to help those students in need to participate in activities they would not otherwise be able to experience. The selection of students to receive support are chosen by the administration and faculty at CHS.
The CHS Alumni Association created an endowment, the Endowment for Excellence, and then entered into an agreement with the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley to hold and invest the Endowment funds. The growth and income from the Endowment Fund will be used to enhance the educational excellence and individual development of these students at Columbus High.
The purpose of the Endowment for Excellence is to help insure that CHS continues its legacy of academic excellence and leadership development by providing students from all parts of our city regardless of their economic status, the opportunity to participate fully in the excellent prgrams at CHS. Because CHS strives to develop students who possess strong leadership skills and judgement beyond theur academic experiences, it offers a number of important opportunities for students to participate beyond the normal course load. These opportunities include ancillary programs in personal development, science and robotics, as well as trips to the museums, historic sites and other outside experiences which can add from $250 to $1000 annually to the cost of each student’s education. The costs of these programs are not publically funded and must come from students or their families.
Columbus High accepts the best and brightest students from our community regardless of family income or circumstances. Your gift to the Endowment for Excellence will help these students attend and fully participate in the many excellent programs offered at CHS.
Columbus High has for many years been a top ranking high school and in recent years has achieved singular recognition as being the top 1, 2 or 3 ranked public high schools in the State of Georgia (No. 1 in 2013) and recognized nationally in the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top public high schools in America. Almost all CHS graduates go to college, including some of the most prestigious schools in the country. Last year, CHS graduates entered Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, Duke and Virginia as well as UGA and Georgia Tech. Columbus High School excels in producing high quality graduates, many of whom have become leaders not only in our community but also in our State and Nation.
Notwithstanding these grand achievements, Columbus High has a highly diverse student body from a racial (30% to 35% non-white), ethnic and socio-economic standpoint who come from all parts of the city. Every student has specifically made application to attend Columbus High School and has demonstrated his or her ability and desire to make the most of a top quality high school education. The experience at CHS has completely changed the lives of many students.
Our initial campaign to raise $500,000 went well and we now have over $500,000 of assets (including pledges). Lead gifts and gifts from members of our Board of Trustees and Advisory Board raised over $200,000 of the total $500,000. We are now in a long range campaign to raise an additional $500,000 for the Endowment to bring the fund up to $1,000,000. This will give us adequate income to support most of the needs of deserving students at CHS.
We hope you will consider making a tax deductible gift to the Columbus High School Endowment for Excellence, using the pledge card. You can spread your donation over as many as five years. As a Donor at the Platinum ($50,000), Gold ($25,000), Silver ($10,000) and Bronze ($5,000) levels, you will be acknowledged as such on a special Honor Donors plaque to be placed at Columbus High School. All Donors at any level are acknowledged in the Foundation’s Newsletter, on our Website and in a Special Donor Book permanently kept in the Alumni Room at Columbus High School.
With your contribution, you will become part of a permanent legacy to enable Columbus High School continue as a school of academic excellence, producing exceptional graduates from diverse backgrounds, many of whom will become the future leaders of our community.
We appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to your joining us as a Donor to the CHS Endowment for Excellence.