Remarks by President Ronald M. Berkman at Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon



It’s always wonderful to be with alumni and friends who are committed to the success of CSU students.

This room and the one across the hall are filled with enthusiastic and loyal supporters who recognize the importance of scholarships. Today we celebrate you and your impact on our students and our university.

We are indebted to each of you for your generous financial support that is providing students with a world-class education and a clear pathway to a career while building CSU’s national and international reputation in the process.

Let me share just a few recent successes.

For 2016 we were again named among the best universities and colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and we have been recognized by CNN, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other national media for our institution-wide efforts to help students graduate on time and prepared for a rewarding career.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities named Cleveland State a winner of its 2015 Excellence and Innovation Award for our initiatives to improve retention and graduation rates. Since 2002, retention rates for full-time, freshman students have increased by 17 percent, while graduation rates for the same group have increased by 49 percent.

The Brookings Institution – one of the nation’s most influential and trusted think tanks – ranked CSU in the top 3 of Ohio’s four-year public universities for “value added” or return on investment.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded CSU the prestigious Community Engagement Classification.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that CSU led all U.S. universities for increases in research spending on science and engineering. Between fiscal years 2004 and 2013, CSU was #1 in the nation with total research spending up 298 percent and federal research spending up 684 percent.

All these great achievements are boosting CSU’s reputation and attracting students. This fall, we welcomed 1,871 first-year students to campus, the largest-ever freshman class in our history. And from day one, we are focused on guiding them toward career success.

CSU connects the classroom to the workplace by working with more employers than any other public university in Ohio and helping students secure more than 3,000 internships and co-operative education placements at area workplaces each year.

In short, Cleveland State is providing a pathway for young intellectual capital in Cleveland to learn, grow and thrive. And your support is making it happen.

When you give to Cleveland State, you are investing in our students and their future.

Scholarships enable us to compete for the best and brightest students and to provide critical financial support to students who otherwise would not be able to afford a college education. 

You make the dream of a college education a reality for many young people, some of whom are here today.

When you give to Cleveland State, you are also investing in the future of our city and region. You help us educate and prepare the men and women who will serve as the next generation leaders and workforce.

Investing in our students and in the future is what ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University is all about. As Berinthia noted, we have raised more than $85 million of our $100 million goal to support student success.

Through your support for scholarships, you are supporting the campaign.

It is you who will ensure the success of our ENGAGE campaign and an unlimited future for this University and our students. For that, I express to you my deep gratitude.

To our student scholarship recipients -- congratulations and best wishes for continued success.

To parents and family members – you have every right to be proud.

To our generous friends and supporters -- thank you very, very much.