University again tops $100 million in private support

Mississippi State University has concluded another fundraising year for the record books -- raising an impressive $103.2 million for Fiscal Year 2016. This outpouring of generous support also marked the third highest fundraising year in school history, as well as three years running in which institutional fundraising surpassed $100 million.

“Because of loyal and generous donors, Mississippi State University continues its greatest era, and a decisive margin of excellence from private gifts helps our university produce future leaders and advance endeavors in education and research to help people everywhere,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.

Keenum continued, “The investments in student scholarships and endowed faculty positions, in particular, are making MSU a stronger university and enabling us to keep pace with enrollment growth.”

Of the total funds raised in FY 16:

-- New outright gifts accounted for more than $54.7 million.

-- New pledges totaled almost $22.2 million.

-- Deferred gifts made up the remaining nearly $26.3 million.

In all, more than 22,600 donors -- individuals, corporations, foundations, trusts and estates -- made contributions during FY16.

MSU’s highest giving periods were fiscal years 2014 and 2015, with over $106.2 million and $109.6 million respectively. These successive record years in fundraising have placed the university’s ongoing “Infinite Impact” capital campaign on the fast track.

Earlier this year, “Infinite Impact” crossed its initial goal of $600 million and university leadership announced in April the endeavor would move toward $1 billion by 2020. To date, more than $645 million in gifts and pledges of future support are growing the overall total that assists the university with its long-range strategic plan.

Before boasting three straight fundraising years in excess of $100 million, MSU earlier tallied three successive years (FY 11, FY 12, and FY 13) in excess of $80 million per year.

John P. Rush, vice president for alumni and development and MSU Foundation president and CEO, cites the institution’s growing reputation as cause for this substantial rise in giving.

“The success of ‘Infinite Impact’ indicates contributors are willing to help our university make strides to positively impact education, healthcare, crop production, and pioneering technology, among many other areas affecting our world,” said Rush.

“Alumni and friends place their confidence in Mississippi State because they understand the value of their MSU degrees and recognize an education at our university is a great starting point for any student.”

Alumni participation at MSU has hit at least 17 percent for the past seven years. In FY 16, MSU topped 17 percent, placing it strongly above many peer institutions and ahead of the national average in the number of former graduates who support their university.

In FY 17, Rush said, the MSU Foundation will renew its focus in assisting MSU’s strategic goals by fundraising for student scholarships and securing endowments to create distinguished faculty positions for crucial areas. Private gifts for university research endeavors also are a priority, as is support for new and renovated facilities for academics and athletics.

The MSU Foundation administers most of the institution’s fundraising activities and endowment funds. The university’s current endowment stands in excess of $450 million.

Visit for more information on the work of the MSU Foundation and for specifics on the capital campaign.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Amy Cagle | MSU Foundation

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