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MSU fundraising initiative tops goal

October 25, 2012


Mississippi State University announced Oct. 19 that its StatePride fundraising initiative has exceeded its $100 million goal two months ahead of schedule.

StatePride: An Initiative for Student and Faculty Support began in 2009 when MSU President Mark Keenum was inaugurated, and as of mid-October, the initiative has garnered more than $104 million.

“This goal was an ambitious one, yet we reached it ahead of schedule,” Keenum said in a 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.”

John P. Rush, MSU vice president for development and alumni, said the momentum from Keenum’s administration has done much to keep StatePride strong, and so has MSU’s athletics program.

“We believed the initiative would achieve great results because it is the first time the MSU Foundation has partnered with MSU Athletics to pursue a common goal with our supporters,” Rush said. “Only through the generosity of supporters, and the dedication of our fundraising team, was the goal reached ahead of schedule. Our constituents want to help MSU gain a reputation as a top-tier, nationally ranked university.”

Jack McCarty, MSU Foundation executive director of development, said a portion of StatePride was also matched with athletic funds, which served as a catalyst for success. He said he was pleased to meet the $100 million goal ahead of schedule.

“We will continue to push forward with gifts for scholarships and faculty support through the rest of the year,” McCarty said. “We expect to exceed this goal even further. More good things are in the works as we speak.”

The StatePride Initiative will continue through the end of 2012, Rush said, and all gifts for scholarships and faculty positions will apply to the initiative’s overall total. The next steps for MSU’s fundraising will maintain StatePride’s focus on student scholarships and endowed faculty positions, he said.

“Our fundraising efforts will seek to secure funds that will assist Mississippi State University as it pursues its long-term strategic plan,” Rush said. “Through the StatePride initiative, many of our donors have opened doors for students through scholarships and provided support for esteemed faculty. These scholarships will help educate our future leaders, and these endowed positions for faculty will have a positive impact on the world through teaching and research endeavors.”

McCarty said StatePride’s successors are in the planning stages currently. He said not only does StatePride’s success set up future success for other fundraising initiatives, but it also sets up the university and its students for future success.

“As a result of this initiative, we are able to recruit bright students and support them with quality faculty,” McCarty said. “Scholarships and faculty support remain a priority.”

An MSU press release on StatePride meeting its goal says the initiative’s funds divide into more than $71 million for undergraduate and graduate scholarships and just under $33 million for faculty support.

The latter category includes funds to establish more endowed positions, the release says, and MSU’s total number of privately endowed positions has reached 65, with 12 of those planned through gifts not yet realized.

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