Campus crisis: How decreased alumni donations impact university futures

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- The number of people giving back to their alma maters has been declining. But John Rush, President and CEO of the Mississippi State University Foundation, is working to get those numbers back up.

“We are actively engaged in numerous activities to get more of our alums, we have 161,000 living alums, and we want we want them to get more involved in the university in some shape, form, or capacity. We want them to volunteer in the community and offer their time and we want them to invest financially into the university,” said Rush.

Rush said these students from the past play a large role in shaping the university’s future.

“Bringing great students helps improve our student body. But also our donors help invest in scholarships to help make it financially affordable for our students and to help attract some of the top scholars. But they also invest in faculty which makes sure that we have some of the best faculty in the country right here at Mississippi State working with our young students. And they also invest in the research of the economy of the state of Mississippi” said Rush.

And not only is it important for graduates to donate back to the school to help maintain the campus. Giving helps bring students to MSU and allows them to graduate, so they can continue the tradition of giving back.

“Scholarships are our number one fundraising priority. It is the largest bucket of money that comes to the university. We have scholarships for our low-income Mississippi students, and we have scholarships for our high-achieving students. But the one that I am most excited about is that George and Kathy Bishop gave $1 million on top of the $10 million that they already gave supporting Mississippi kids to be able to get an education at Mississippi State,” said Rush.

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