University launches historic $600-million campaign


Mississippi State University launched the public phase of its $600-million comprehensive capital campaign last weekend during homecoming festivities for the 135-year-old institution.

"As our institution unveils Infinite Impact: The Mississippi State University Campaign, it does so with a greater purpose of shaping not only the university, but the future of the world in which we live," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "This campaign is like no other in our history and its success will be measured over time as private gifts allow us to make a positive difference on a global scale."

The Infinite Impact theme was selected because it conveys the extent of the change Mississippi State University hopes to evoke through the effort as it secures gifts for its long-range strategic plan. The campaign will seek gifts, in particular, for the university's eight academic colleges, the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, MSU-Meridian, the University Libraries and MSU Athletics.

"In launching this campaign, we mark a milestone--reaching the halfway mark and surpassing it with nearly $345 million raised as we move toward our $600 million goal," said John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni who also serves as MSU Foundation CEO.

Campaign counting quietly began on July 1, 2010, as the MSU Foundation worked to secure leadership-level gifts. With growing momentum, the university's fundraising team continues its work in the public phase.

"The continued enthusiasm and generosity of our alumni and friends is absolutely critical to the success of this most ambitious endeavor in our history," Rush said. "We are proud of all we have accomplished, and we remain focused on the fundraising ahead of us."

Keenum expressed his appreciation for the early success of the campaign and encourages supporters to consider the impact their gifts can have as the university extends its reach well beyond its home state.

"Alumni and friends can help MSU prepare a rising generation of leaders who will understand society's most complex problems and mastermind solutions to combat life-altering issues," said Keenum. "In this capital campaign, we can be united as a people by our vision for the future and our willingness to face the challenges that lie before us."

During the course of this campaign, MSU will pursue its mission of teaching, research and service in areas where alumni and friends can make a positive difference on real life and improve the quality of life for mankind -- from impacting early childhood education to combating world hunger to finding alternative fuels.

Mississippi State's two previous capital campaigns, conducted during the MSU Foundation's 50-year history, were overwhelmingly successful -- the first raising more than $143 million in the 1990s; the second coming a decade later and raising more than $462 million. Thousands of alumni and friends were part of these campaigns, which had lasting results for the university's endowment and campus infrastructure, among other areas.

Any contribution to MSU from now through 2018, regardless of the designation, is a commitment to Infinite Impact: The Mississippi State University Campaign. All gifts to the Bulldog Club and other athletic programs will also count toward the overall goal.

Visit for more details on the campaign or contact Rush at 662-325-7000 or

Amy Cagle | MSU Foundation

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