Between now and then, members of the Southern Polytechnic State University community — faculty, staff, alumni, and Foundation Board members — are contacting and visiting nearly 2,000 businesses in the area to build on our current relationship.
The Marietta Daily Journal recently reported that SPSU’s economic impact on Georgia was more than $198 million in FY11. This represents a 3.5 percent increase over the previous year, and a 24 percent increase in the last two years. And the university’s contributions to the state’s economy have increased 87 percent over the last decade.
SPSU was originally founded in 1948 (as The Technical Institute) at the request of business and industry, and the University continues to make a significant economic contribution to the region.
About 25 percent of SPSU students are from Cobb County, and our graduates do amazing things. Alumni have won both Grammy awards (for song writing and sound) and Academy Awards (for inventing the motion-capture software used in the film “Polar Express”).
SPSU graduates are CEOs, authors, architects, ambassadors, and racecar designers — and drivers. They teach, design and build. They create video games, software manuals and blueprints. And they give back to the community, through Kiwanis, Rotary, Civitan, churches and synagogues, Scout troops and Boys and Girls Clubs.
Ever since Southern Polytechnic moved to Marietta in the early 1960’s — as a result of strong advocacy by civic leaders in the Marietta Kiwanis Club — the university has been an important part of this community.
We value that relationship. Being a polytechnic institution makes SPSU a natural partner for industry, and many businesses in the community employ our graduates. The efforts leading up to PolyDay are helping to recognize our industry partners, gain increased visibility for the university and foster new and on-going support.
One of the major goals in Southern Polytechnic’s current strategic plan is “To increase the sense of community within the University and between the University and the region.” We define community broadly — in terms of geography, educational systems, and the economy.
PolyDay is a part of that effort to strengthen community.
And as part of the buildup to PolyDay, we have been looking for our community supporters to continue the cycle of giving back. Support for SPSU is an investment — in our students, in the economy, in future employees, and in the future in general.
Volunteers are visiting businesses in Cobb County to ask for support, and all contributions, large and small, will be greatly appreciated.
Students will benefit directly through scholarships, instructional equipment, funding for special projects and leadership programs. The entire region ultimately benefits from the positive difference that this support will provide.
I wish we could slip PolyDay into every week (who couldn’t use an extra day in the week?), but we’ll start with one day out of the year: Monday, October 8.
Thank you, Cobb County, for being such a great partner and for giving back to SPSU, just as the university gives back to the region. Together, we are investing in the future through our students.
We hope you’ll celebrate with us on PolyDay. 10.8.12.
Dr. Lisa A. Rossbacher is president of Southern Polytechnic State University.