MSU Foundation raises $100 million for fifth year

Charlie Benton
Staff Writer

Mississippi State University alumni continue to give back to their alma mater.

On Tuesday, the MSU Foundation announced its fundraising had surpassed $100 million for the fifth year in a row.

The total donations for the 2018 fiscal year amounted to $102.5 million. More than 20,000 alumni and friends donated to MSU during the last year, with 16 large gifts making up $30 million of the donations. The donations bring the foundation’s Infinite Impact campaign to $855 million. Infinite Impact is the foundation’s campaign to reach $1 billion in fundraising for the university by 2020.

“It’s a great opportunity for the foundation to help the university in its mission of not only educating the young men and women who are students here at the university, but also continuing to provide services to our state, whether that be through extension or economic development efforts that we do,” said MSU Foundation President and CEO and MSU Vice President for Development and Alumni John Rush.

Rush said the donations put the foundation ahead of schedule for Infinite Impact. He said many alumni gave back to the university because of the influence it had over their lives and careers.

“It’s because our alums, by and large came to this university out of working-class families, and Mississippi State gave them an opportunity to have success in their careers, and our alums have had great success,” Rush said.

Gifts to the foundation are used for several purposes including more than 3,000 scholarships and 41 new endowed faculty positions. They have also been used to support campus construction, including the Partnership School and renovations to Polk DeMent Stadium and Dudy Noble Field. Foundation funds have also helped support MSU research, including work with unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

“It shows that there’s momentum with our alumni and our friends to support this institution, that they believe that their investments in this university have been wise investments, and that they’re truly making a difference,” Rush said. “I think that’s why people are continuing to give at that level.”

Those interested in donating to the university can call 662-325-7000, or visit the foundation’s website. The foundation has overseen most MSU fundraising since 1962. The university’s endowment is currently $472 million.

“Obviously, we hope to repeat these types of levels of success, and if we do that, we have a realistic opportunity to exceed our $1 billion goal ahead of schedule,” Rush said.