The Cunningham Center at Columbus State University on Thursday celebrated the 10th anniversary of its grand opening.
"In just 10 years, the Cunningham Center has really become both a Columbus destination as well as a community resource," Ed Helton, the center's managing director, said in a news release. "Mirroring the university's vision, we're working to become organizations' first choice for leadership development or event hosting."
The 67,500-square-foot building on Gentian Boulevard contains three main areas:
The Cunningham Conference Center features a 5,432-square foot banquet hall, six seminar rooms, an executive board room and four computer training labs and is equipped with modern audio-visual technology in all meeting spaces throughout the building.
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The Leadership Institute at Columbus State University is a consulting group that provides expertise and training in leadership development, team building, assessments, executive coaching and strategic planning. Its signature event, the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, offers an intimate setting with some of the world's foremost leaders. The forum, named in honor of the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Synovus Financial Corp., brings some of the world's brightest minds to Columbus. This year's forum, Aug. 24-25 in the Columbus Convention & Trade Center, is headlined by former President George W. Bush, his wife, Laura, and daughters, Barbara and Jenna.
Offices@Cunningham offers professional office space with meeting rooms and comprehensive business services, including administrative support and a business center. Offices@Cunningham spans 20,000 square feet, comprises two floors at the east end of the facility and can accommodate as many as 33 tenant companies.
The Cunningham Center also houses the Columbus Regional Mathematics Collaborative and the Center for Quality Teaching and Learning, outreach centers for CSU's College of Education and Health Professions.
The building began with a gift and a bequest to the university from John Cunningham, a salesman who was passionate about the sales profession. His instincts and self-study led to a successful career that included John Cunningham Trucking, Radio Wholesale and a mail-order electronics business that served an international clientele
Though he never went to college, Cunningham believed that the best legacy he could leave was to provide a way for others to help themselves. That idea grew into what was then called the Cunningham Center for Leadership Development, a state-of-the-art facility designed to enhance leadership skills, increase sales effectiveness and conduct effective conferences/events. The overriding goal was to continue CSU's tradition of fostering community and economic development in this region.
Now called simply the Cunningham Center, it was designed by 2WR and built by Denson Construction, both of Columbus, in 2004-2005.