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MSU Sets Record for Giving

Posted by Steve Rogers | July 17, 2012 / 02:21pm | Local News, Business, Education
In the midst of its 50-year celebration, the Mississippi State University Foundation is marking the largest private giving year in the land-grant institution's history.

Campus officials announced today [July 17] that more than $86 million was raised during the just-ended 2012 fiscal year, an increase of more than $6 million from the previously held record of FY 11's over $80.3 million total.

"We are tremendously pleased that these fundraising efforts have enabled us to experience an unprecedented $86.4 million in support from loyal contributors who understand a legacy of giving is essential to advancing the mission of our beloved university," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.

"Alumni and friends remain confident in the direction of MSU as the state's largest university as we strive for further enrollment growth and extend our reach both nationally and globally through teaching, research and service endeavors," Keenum said.

A major infusion from "StatePride: An Initiative for Student and Faculty Support" helped make the record year possible. To date, $98 million has been raised as StatePride moves toward a minimum $100 million goal by Dec. 31.

John P. Rush, the university's vice president for development and alumni, said, "We are building toward a strong finish for StatePride, and alumni and friends have the opportunity to push us well beyond our goal.

"Gifts can assist more students with much-needed scholarships and establish faculty chairs and professorships to improve the university's overall teaching and research efforts," he observed.

Rush said "specialized initiatives, such as StatePride, and 'Today. Tomorrow. Forever.' for athletics facilities, as well as comprehensive fundraising campaigns conducted over the foundation's five decades of service have allowed us to raise funds for the university's greatest needs and communicate those needs to donors who see the potential in MSU's strategic goals."

Chartered in 1962 to help attract private support, the MSU Foundation has raised more than $1 billion over the decades. Its largest fundraising year occurred in FY 11, with $80.3 million recorded. Previously, $60 million had been raised in consecutive years, 2009 and 2010.

Now celebrating its 134th anniversary, Mississippi State University has more than 123,000 living graduates. During the just-ended year, the percentage of alumni who contributed held steady at 18 percent.

Alumni participation numbers have continued an upward trend and giving has increased dramatically since Keenum assumed the MSU presidency in 2009, surpassing $293 million over the past four years.

"Our alumni understand the value of their MSU degrees and in increased numbers they are taking an active role in helping their alma mater succeed in producing graduates who will become future leaders across the nation," Keenum said.

Rush also cited the importance of alumni participation in fundraising efforts.

"As the university awards more degrees, MSU must engage more alumni to maintain our current percentage of donors," Rush said. "We are working to attract recent graduates and educate them on the strengths they can provide to the university by giving consistently each year."

Also in FY 12, MSU posted a record high in deferred gifts from individuals "who understand the importance of gift planning and the benefits that accompany it," Rush said.

The MSU Foundation administers most of the campus-based fundraising activities and endowment funds.
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