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Donations to MSU again exceed $60M

STARKVILLE — For a second consecutive year, Mississippi State University (MSU) has topped the $60-million mark in the area of private gifts, with more than $65 million contributed during the just ended fiscal year.

Much of the FY 10 giving was through the specialized initiative StatePride, said John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni and CEO of the MSU Foundation.

Of the total funds raised for FY 10, new gifts accounted for more than $25.9 million, and new pledges totaled in excess of $30.9 million. Deferred gifts made up the remaining $8.2 million-plus.

An influx in contributions for the on-going StatePride initiative fueled the year. MSU is in the second year of the four-year effort to secure student scholarships and awards for meritorious faculty members in recognition of their teaching, research or service activities.

A surge in athletic giving also impacted fiscal year totals.

Funds immediately available from StatePride will provide $1 million in faculty awards and an additional $1 million in scholarships for the upcoming fall semester. This amount is a result of matching funds provided annually through a special partnership with MSU Athletics over the course of the initiative.

Since its launch in 2009, StatePride has raised nearly $40 million toward its $100-million goal. Mississippi State will continue to place an emphasis on StatePride priorities through calendar year 2012.

Additionally in FY 10, Mississippi State experienced a notable increase in the percentage of alumni who contributed to the university.

“The proportion of alumni who gave during FY 10 reached more than 19 percent, which is up from a 14 percent participation rate in FY 09. That figure is significant, since the number of alumni giving to their degree-granting institutions appears to be down nationally,” Rush said.

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