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Clayton State University Timeline



February 1968

College is officially named Clayton Junior College.
Clayton Junior College Sign

College is officially named Clayton Junior College.


February 1969

Dr. Harry S. Downs is named the College’s first President.
President Dr. Harry S. Downs

Dr. Harry S. Downs is named the College’s first President.


September 1969

Classes open with 942 students.
Classes open with 942 students

Classes open with 942 students.


January 1971

College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


July 1, 1986

College officially becomes Clayton State College.
College officially becomes Clayton State College

College officially becomes Clayton State College.


November 1990

Clayton State College enters into intercollegiate athletic competition
Clayton State College Men’s Basketball

Clayton State College enters into intercollegiate athletic competition with men’s basketball.


December 1990

College opens the state-of-the-art Continuing Education Center.
State-of-the-art Continuing Education Center

College opens the state-of-the-art Continuing Education Center.


January 23, 1991

Spivey Hall's opening concert with violinist Itzhak Perlman.
Violinist Itzhak Perlman

Spivey Hall's opening concert with violinist Itzhak Perlman.


November 1991

Clayton State expands intercollegiate athletic program
Laker Ladies

Clayton State expands intercollegiate athletic program with addition of women’s basketball.


August 1993

College opens Clayton State Boulevard
Clayton State Boulevard Opening

College opens Clayton State Boulevard, a new entrance road from Highway 54 to the main entrance of the campus.


January 1994

Dr. Richard A. Skinner is named Clayton State’s second President.
Dr. Richard A. Skinner

Dr. Richard A. Skinner is named Clayton State’s second President.


Septemeber 1994

President Skinner and then-director of Financial Aid Catherine McClarin
Clayton State Time Capsule Ceremony

President Skinner and then-director of Financial Aid Catherine McClarin place items in a time capsule during Clayton State’s 25th anniversary celebration.


Spring 1995

Clayton State joins NCAA Division II and the Peach Belt Conference.
Clayton State joins NCAA Division II and the Peach Belt Conference

Clayton State joins NCAA Division II and the Peach Belt Conference.


November 1996

Board of Regents authorizes change to university status and name change
Clayton College & State University Sign

Board of Regents authorizes change to university status and name change to Clayton College & State University.


April 1997

Continuing Education Center rededicated
Continuing Education Center

Continuing Education Center rededicated and renamed after President Emeritus Harry S. Downs.


January 1998

Distribution of notebook computers to all students
Students with Notebook Computers

Distribution of notebook computers to all students completed as part of the Information Technology Project, making Clayton State the first public university in the Southeast and third in the nation to issue notebook computers to all students at all levels in all majors, transforming the campus and making Clayton State a national pioneer in ubiquitous computing.


June 2000

Dr. Thomas K. Harden becomes Clayton State’s third president.
Dr. Thomas K. Harden

Dr. Thomas K. Harden becomes Clayton State’s third president.


May 2002

State Representative Gail Buckner awarded the University’s Distinguished Alumni
State Representative Gail Buckner

State Representative Gail Buckner awarded the University’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award.


August 2003

M. Allan Vigil, long-time trustee of the Clayton College & State University Foundation
M. Allan Vigil

M. Allan Vigil, long-time trustee of the Clayton College & State University Foundation, is named a Regent of the University System of Georgia by Governor Sonny Perdue.


April 2004

Clayton State awarded its first Fulbright-Hays grant.
Students, staff and faculty in Argentina

Clayton State awarded its first Fulbright-Hays grant. The $63,000 cost-sharing award allows 15 area faculty members, academic administrators and K-12 teachers to participate in a four week professional development program in Argentina and Chile.


May 18, 2005

University’s name changed to Clayton State University
Clayton State University Sign

University’s name changed to Clayton State University


November 12, 2005

Clayton State holds naming ceremony for James M. Baker University Center
Naming ceremony for James M. Baker University Center

Clayton State holds naming ceremony for James M. Baker University Center


April 10, 2006

Clayton State University School of Business earns AACSB accreditation.
School of Business earns AACSB accreditation

Clayton State University School of Business earns AACSB accreditation.


March 22, 2007

Clayton State Women’s Basketball advances to NCAA Division II Final Four
Clayton State Women’s Basketball Team

Clayton State Women’s Basketball advances to NCAA Division II Final Four with 60-55 win over Texas A&M Commerce in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in Kearney, Neb.


August 23, 2007

Clayton State holds groundbreaking ceremony
Student Housing Groundbreaking Ceremony

Clayton State holds groundbreaking ceremony for student housing and student activities center projects.


December 4, 2007

Clayton State dedicates Clayton State University
Fayette facility in Peachtree City Dedication

Clayton State dedicates Clayton State University – Fayette facility in Peachtree City.


Mar. 17, 2008

Men’s basketball team reaches NCAA Division II
Men’s basketball team

Men’s basketball team reaches NCAA Division II “Sweet Sixteen” for the first time.


Sept. 12, 2008

Clayton State’s new Student Activities Center opens.
Student Activities Center opening

Clayton State’s new Student Activities Center opens.


Nov. 6, 2008

Clayton State holds naming ceremony for new open-air amphitheater
New Open-air Amphitheater

Clayton State holds naming ceremony for new open-air amphitheater… the Judge Eugene Lawson Amphitheater and the L. Jerry Eskew Stage.


February 9, 2010

The Board of Regents approved the permanent appointment of Dr. Thomas J. (Tim) Hynes, Jr.
Dr. Thomas J. (Tim) Hynes, Jr.

The Board of Regents approved the permanent appointment of Dr. Thomas J. (Tim) Hynes, Jr. as president of Clayton State University.


March 2011

The women’s basketball program claimed the first NCAA Division II National Championship
Women’s Basketball Program

The women’s basketball program claimed the first NCAA Division II National Championship in program history, doing so with a commanding 69-50 victory over Michigan Tech on March 25, 2011 in St. Joseph, Missouri. 


June 2011

Clayton State purchases Clayton Station Apartments
Clayton Station Apartments

Clayton State purchases Clayton Station Apartments to expand student housing


September 2015

Lakeview Discover and Science Center opens
Lakeview Discover and Science Center

Lakeview Discover and Science Center opens


October 2015

Clayton State University unveils mural
Mural painted by acclaimed artist Athos Menaboni

Clayton State University unveils mural painted by acclaimed artist Athos Menaboni displayed in the James M. Baker University Center


January 2016

Clayton State University acquired the Trammell property
The Trammell property

Clayton State University acquired the Trammell property and began renovation to provide public road access between the main campus and CSU East campus. The purchase included a small reservoir — the sixth lake at Clayton State.


November 2016

Clayton State University launched Strategic Plan 2020
Dr. Tim Hynes, President

Clayton State University launched Strategic Plan 2020, marking its commitment to becoming a national model for community engagement and student enrichment in higher education 


April 2017

Launched its first comprehensive campaign
First Comprehensive Campaign Ceremony

Launched its first comprehensive campaign, Greater In Mind, a four-year, $12 million campaign to offer greater financial support to students who may otherwise not be able to complete their degree without some form of aid.


October 2016

Clayton State University received a $4.8 million, 5-year grant

Clayton State University received a $4.8 million, 5-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support the retention and graduation rates for the institution’s African-American student population through the Laker Bridge to Completion Program.


November 2016

Clayton State University completed its five-year process

Clayton State University completed its five-year process to become a more sustainable institution by implementing a single stream recycling system, which increases the amount of recycling on campus.


November 2016

Clayton State is one only three universities selected to partner with Quality Care for Children
Children in Classroom

Clayton State is one only three universities selected to partner with Quality Care for Children to receive $1.6 million to launch BOOST, a child care assistance program to lessen the financial burden of child care costs for juniors and seniors.


December 2017

AT&T gifted Clayton State University with $12,000

AT&T gifted Clayton State University with $12,000 toward the University's Early Start program. The funds will allow 24 freshman students to participate in the summer program that offers academic coaching, support and other student services to help them integrate into college life easily.


December 2017

Clayton State University received a gift of two supply chain software programs

Clayton State University received a gift of two supply chain software programs from JDA Software, a leader in global supply chain solutions for large and enterprise companies. The gift, valued at $670,000, consist of Warehouse Management System and Supply Chain Pro software systems.


January 2018

The Coca-Cola Foundation generously gave Clayton State $500,000
Studemnt receiving award

The Coca-Cola Foundation generously gave Clayton State $500,000 to support scholarships for first-generation students, as well as students interest in STEM and Supply Chain.


January 2018

Clayton State recently launched its first-ever brand campaign
Brand Campaign Billbord

Led by the Marketing and Communications office, Clayton State recently launched its first-ever brand campaign consisting of billboard, television, social media, and other digital advertising. The University also completed a two-year project to update its website to be more user-friendly and ADA accessible. Both projects fulfill the Strategic Plan 2022 goals of promoting and strengthening the brand, as well as supporting increased enrollment and retention.


January 2018

Spivey Hall acquired a second Steinway & Sons D-274 concert grand piano
Steinway & Sons D-274 concert grand piano

Spivey Hall acquired a second Steinway & Sons D-274 concert grand piano made in Hamburg, Germany in December, which has been named “Robert.” The acquisition of “Robert” marks the successful conclusion of the Spivey Hall Friends "Clara Seeks Robert" Piano Campaign, chaired by Spivey Hall Friends Council Advisor, Dr. Michael Koch.


February 2018

Clayton State’s men’s basketball
Clayton State’s men’s basketball game

Clayton State’s men’s basketball clinched the Peach Belt Conference Regular Season Championship with an 84-67 victory over Columbus State.This is the second straight time they claimed the championship. Finishing at 24-7, the Lakers would return to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in a decade.


October 2018

MailChimp partnered with Clayton State University
MailChimp Office

MailChimp partnered with Clayton State University to invest $300,000 to establish Launchpad, a leadership academy designed to prepare students to meet the needs of the rapidly changing digital economy.


March 2019

Clayton State University unveiled a complete renovation of its performing arts theatre
The Crescent Theatre

Clayton State University unveiled a complete renovation of its performing arts theatre in March, along with a new name. The Crescent Theatre has is a state-of-the-art performance venue for students in the Visual and Performing Arts department. The facility has new seating, staging, lighting and audio equipment, and a lobby featuring student artwork.


April 2019

Completed phase 2 of its $14 million state-funded Academic Core renovation project
The Crescent Theatre

The University has completed phase 2 of its $14 million state-funded Academic Core renovation project. Several building on campus received major facility improvements including the Athletics & Health Center, the Clayton State Theatre in the Arts & Sciences Building, Magnolia Hall, Lecture Hall, and the University Library.


September 2019

Clayton State University celebrates it's 50th Anniversary

Clayton State University celebrates it's 50th Anniversary