MSU fundraising tops $100M for fifth straight year

Contact: Amy Cagle

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STARKVILLE, Miss.—Alumni and friends helped Mississippi State University mark its fifth consecutive year of over $100 million raised in gifts and pledges of future support – reaching more than $102.5 million for the just-ended fiscal year 2018 from individuals, corporations, foundations, trusts and estates.

The fiscal year also catapulted the university’s ongoing Infinite Impact campaign to reach $855 million. The campaign began quietly in mid-2010 and has yielded record giving years for the university since that time, reaching its initial $600 million ahead of schedule and moving forward with a $1 billion target.

“Because of continued awareness of Infinite Impact and the growing generosity of supporters, our university is continuing a steady path toward our campaign goal,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “Loyal alumni and friends are the difference makers for our university and their shared belief in our goals becomes the catalyst for our future endeavors.”

Infinite Impact places Mississippi State on a trajectory for rising among the ranks of the best universities in the nation. In its 140th year, MSU is known of late for steady enrollment growth, increasing the number of endowed positions and private scholarships, raising the bar for groundbreaking research, and stimulating economic impact in its community and home state. 

“As we build on momentum and begin eyeing the eventual end of the Infinite Impact campaign, we must intensify our fundraising efforts and work to pair potential contributors with strategic investment opportunities that will benefit them and the university,” said John P. Rush, vice president for Development and Alumni who serves as president and CEO of the MSU Foundation. “Mississippi State has nearly 142,000 living alumni and countless friends, and reaching out to them and having them respond passionately each year with commitments is essential for the campaign’s successful conclusion.”

As Infinite Impact moves toward its goal, the benefits of the campaign are being felt throughout campus. Among many other achievements, campaign gifts have been or continue to be instrumental in the following endeavors:

More than 3,000 students were awarded privately funded scholarships collectively totaling $6.2 million for academic year 2017-2018;

Forty-one newly established endowed faculty positions bring the university’s total to 91, which includes the first endowed positions for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education;

Construction of the Starkville Oktibbeha School District Partnership School will make MSU the site of the only school on a university campus in the U.S. that serves all students from the surrounding community. The school will provide a learning and enrichment experience like no other for 6-7th grade students, along with opportunities for MSU students and faculty;

Many of the university’s academic colleges are part of the growing trend of effectively conducting research through unmanned aircraft systems. In particular, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering, and the College of Forest Resources are involved with an array of data collection and beneficial analysis that ranges from assessing crops and evaluating woodlands to severe weather forecasting and evaluating homeland security.

The donation of the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana to MSU Libraries pairs the largest privately owned Abraham Lincoln collection in America with the Ulysses S. Grant Collection, bringing state-of-the-art museum exhibits on the 16th and 18th U.S. presidents to MSU, which is now one of only six universities in the nation housing a presidential library;

Athletic facility improvements include, among others, a new baseball stadium for the Diamond Dawgs with an anticipated completion for the 2019 season; and

Some 26,800 first-time donors are now actively supporting MSU through the campaign.

Specifically, for fiscal year 2018, Rush also noted MSU experienced an annual giving rate of 18 percent, ranking higher than the majority of its peer institutions in this indicator of satisfaction among the institution’s graduates. The MSU Foundation has posted around this percentage for nine consecutive years.

Founded in 1962, the MSU Foundation administers the majority of the university’s fundraising activities. MSU’s current endowment totals $472 million.

More on MSU fundraising is available at and specifics on the Infinite Impact campaign are available at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 8:58 am