Despite recession, MSU boasts strong fundraising year

July 16, 2009



STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University received the third-highest number of fundraising dollars in a single year this fiscal year, despite the onset of a global economic recession.  


The 2002 and 2006 fiscal years saw the highest donations. 


According to a news release the university posted to its Web site, the MSU Foundation reported raising $61.5 million in pledges payable over five years and immediate and deferred donations.  


The seven-year drive "State of the Future: The Mississippi State Campaign" wrapped up in December. About 60,000 MSU alumni and others donated more than $462 million, and about half of those donors were giving to the university for the first time, according to the news release.  


"It''s exciting," said John Rush, MSU''s vice president for development and alumni. "Obviously, our team, our staff, have been working very hard at maintaining relationships for a long time with our donors." 


How could the university have accomplished such a feat at such a tough moment in the world of economics? 


"Tremendous loyalty to the situation," Rush said, "and faith that we are good stewards of their money and that their investments ... are making an impact in our students and our faculty. And they see it as a wise investment to help future generations." 


The current fiscal year''s donation total increased since the last one''s total -- which was $51.6 million -- by 19 percent, President Mark Keenum pointed out. 


And yet, statistics published in the Chronicle of Higher Education suggest donations to American colleges and charities are down by 6 percent, Rush offered. 


According to the news release, Keenum said he has "deep gratitude to the thousands of individuals and organizations who continue to recognize and value the contributions MSU makes to Mississippi and the nation."