October 29, 2012 9:38:05 AM
STARKVILLE -- As of mid-October, Mississippi State's "StatePride: An Initiative for Student and Faculty Support," has brought in more than $104 million, surpassing its $100 million goal two months ahead of schedule.
Part of the MSU Foundation, the initiative began in 2009 when newly-appointed university president Mark Keenum announced that StatePride would establish a goal to bring in $100 million in private funds for scholarships and endowed positions by 2013.
"This goal was an ambitious one, yet we reached it ahead of schedule,'' Keenum said in a press release. "Credit for this tremendous success goes to the many alumni and friends who committed resources to be part of this effort to advance higher education in our state. These funds are helping Mississippi State attract the best and brightest students and are enabling us to provide support to world-class faculty members who are the backbone of our institution."
Since the implementation of the StatePride initiative, the alumni giving percentage has increased from 14 percent to 18 percent, six percentage points above the national average for public universities.
But John P. Rush, vice president of development and alumni at the MSU Foundation, said there will be a continued push to find support for the ever-growing financial needs of MSU.
"While our overall $100 million goal has been exceeded, our larger purpose is to create a better, more responsive and more engaged university," Rush said. "We will continue to seek the support of our alumni and friends in fulfilling many of the university's ongoing needs and goals, and fundraising for scholarships and faculty positions will remain a priority beyond StatePride."
Of the $104 million already accumulated, $71 million is earmarked for undergraduate and graduate scholarships, while just under $33 million has been set aside for faculty support, specifically to add to the 65 privately-endowed positions currently at the university.
The MSU Foundation received some recognition earlier this year as well when, in July, the Foundation set a new record for fundraising with more than $86 million in donations. These funds go to either some specific area requested by the donor, or to the general fund, where money is allotted to departments by need.
All gifts to MSU for scholarships and endowed positions received through Dec. 31 will count toward the StatePride initiative. For more information on how to make a donation, or any other questions, visit msufoundation.com.