MSU fundraising campaign exceeds $400 million goal

Contact: Sammy McDavid

STARKVILLE, Miss.--A flurry of year-end gifts and commitments to Mississippi State is taking the "State of the Future" capital campaign beyond its $400 million goal a full year ahead of schedule.

In December alone, almost $13 million in gifts and commitments brought the university campaign total to more than $406 million (as of Dec. 31). "State of the Future" continues through December of this year.

Among year-end gifts were several major outright and deferred commitments, including:

--A $1 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Dave Swalm of New Ulm, Texas, to supplement the Dave and Beth Swalm Chemical Engineering Scholarship;

--$500,000 commitment from Mr. and Mrs. John "Nutie" Dowdle of Columbus, to create the John "Nutie" and Edie Dowdle Professorship in Business;

--$500,000 commitment from Dr. and Mrs. Niles "Ranny" Moseley of Los Altos, Calif., for campus beautification projects and the MSU Medallion Scholarship Program;

--More than $200,000 commitment from Mr. and Mrs. Roderick A. Moore of Brandon, along with friends and family, to establish the Dr. Brad Roderick Moore Memorial Presidential Endowed Scholarship in honor of the couple's late son; and

--A gift of commercial property from Mr. and Mrs. Robert V.M. Harrison of Madison, for the university's School of Architecture.

"The early success of this campaign is further evidence of the value that thousands of individuals and organizations attach to Mississippi State's role in the state and nation, and we are deeply gratified by their confidence and their generosity," said university President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong. "Generations of Mississippians will benefit from the expanded scholarships, improved learning opportunities and new facilities that campaign giving will provide."

"State of the Future" is the largest fundraising effort in the land-grant institution's 130-year history. It began with a silent phase on July 1, 2001, and was publicly announced in October 2004 with $200 million in commitments already in hand.

To date, more than $72 million has been raised for endowed undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships. Also, 27 new endowed faculty chairs and professorships have been created, bringing the total to 45.

Campaign success also is evident in the significant growth of the university's endowment, which currently stands at about $280 million, up from $153 million at the start of the effort.

"This is an exciting time for Mississippi State as 'State of the Future' reaches its goal ahead of schedule, allowing us another year to shatter an already ambitious $400 million minimum mark," said John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni. "The credit for our success goes to the alumni, friends, faculty, administrators, and staff who have made contributions, as well as the leadership of members of the MSU Foundation board of directors.

"While our overall $400 million goal has been met and exceeded, our larger purpose is to create a better, more responsive and more engaged university," he added. "Even that goal is ever-expanding as our university strives to become the region's most respected land-grant institution.

"We will continue to seek the support of our alumni and friends in fulfilling many of the still unmet needs at our university," Rush said.

In addition to continuing "State of the Future," the MSU Foundation currently is engaged in raising private funds for a concurrent initiative called "Reach for Excellence." That effort seeks to help meet the goals set forth in the university's long-term strategic plan, FutureSTATE 2015, whose goal is at least $100 million in private support for four priority areas.

All gifts received through Dec. 31, 2008, will be part of "State of the Future." For more information or to make a donation, visit or telephone (toll-free) 1-877-MSSTATE [677-8283].

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Tue, 01/15/2008 - 06:00