STARKVILLE — Mississippi State University (MSU) is marking the third-highest giving year in its 131-year history.
The MSU Foundation reported July 14 that a total of nearly $61.5 million was raised during the just-ended fiscal year. The amount represents immediate and deferred financial gifts, as well as pledges payable over five years, received from thousands of individuals, corporations, foundations, trusts and estates.
“The generosity of our alumni and friends and their confidence in the university is evident from the fact that the level of private support has increased significantly from last year, despite the troubled economic climate,” said MSU president Mark E. Keenum.
Noting that the FY 09 amount represents a 19 percent increase over last year’s $51.6-million total, Keenum expressed a “deep gratitude to the thousands of individuals and organizations who continue to recognize and value the contributions MSU makes to Mississippi and the nation.”
Echoing Keenum’s remarks, MSU’s vice president for development and alumni John Rush observed that recent statistics highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education “indicate a decline of nearly 6 percent in giving to U.S. colleges and other charities.” Rush added that “another record year in private gifts is a testament to the loyalty of alumni and friends who believe in the institution and understand that fulfilling its mission means even more success for our state.”
According to Rush, new outright gifts accounted for $25.48 million, new pledges totaled $21.13 million and deferred gifts made up the remaining $14.89 million.
Rush gave credit for the record year, in part, to funds raised through a recently completed and highly successful capital campaign. “The momentum of the ‘State of the Future’ campaign, coupled with the enthusiasm of new university leadership, was evident in our fundraising this entire fiscal year,” he said.
Officially titled “State of the Future: The Mississippi State Campaign,” the seven-year drive concluded in December with more than $462 million in private gifts and pledges from nearly 60,000 MSU alumni and friends. Of that latter number, nearly half were first-time contributors.
Previously, MSU’s highest giving periods were during the 2002 and 2006 fiscal years.
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