Nearly 40 individual donors tripled their investment in Mississippi State's future through a gift-match program at ExxonMobil.
Paula Jean Runge recently came back to campus to present a $288,437.25 check to Jerry A. Gilbert on behalf of the ExxonMobil Foundation. The donation delivered by the 2004 mechanical engineering alumna represents a $3-for-$1 match of financial contributions during the past year by Exxon employees, retirees and surviving spouses who are graduates or have some other affiliation with the university.
Gilbert, the land-grant institution's provost and executive vice president, expressed appreciation "to the ExxonMobil Foundation for matching the gifts of their employees to multiply the impact.
"It will assist us in our role of helping train the next generation of scientists and engineers who will solve the technical challenges of the 21st century," he added.
An accompanying letter requested that a portion of the amount be directed specifically toward mathematics and science programs, including professional development for classroom educators, as well as efforts to encourage young people, women and minorities to pursue careers in those fields.
The MSU-designated funds are among more than $44 million being provided to nearly 900 colleges and universities nationwide through the 2013 Educational Matching Gift Program. This is a company-wide increase of more than 10 percent increase over the previous year.
ExxonMobil's gift-matching program is among thousands of its kind sponsored by companies across the country. Because of the three-to-one match of donations up to $7,500, however, it is considered one of the most generous.
Since it was established in 1962, the program has provided more than $536 million to American institutions of higher learning.
The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of ExxonMobil Corp. It supports a range of activities that advance education with a focus on math and science, promote women as a catalyst for economic development, and combat malaria.
For more about this and other matching gift programs that benefit Mississippi State University, visit http://msufoundation.com or contact Lynn Durr at email@example.com or 662-325-8918.
Complete details about MSU are found at www.msstate.edu.