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Despite the pandemic, Missouri State is closing in on its goal of raising $250 million to support students, faculty, programs and facilities.

The university went public one year ago with a multi-year campaign — quietly started in 2017 — to raise the record-setting amount by 2022.

The Onward, Upward campaign is the largest in the history of MSU. It is chaired by the actor John Goodman, an alum.

Brent Dunn, vice president for university advancement provided an update Friday to the MSU Board of Governors.

The university had quietly raised $151 million by the time the campaign went public in October 2019. The tally now stands at $206 million, and there is more than a year to go before the self-imposed deadline.

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“We are not quite there. We still have a ways to go,” Dunn said. “There are still things in the campaign that we are working on.”

Dunn highlighted a few of the recent gifts:

  • $6.5 million from the Darr Family Foundation to add two buildings at the Darr College of Agriculture — a small animal education facility and an agricultural magnet school that will be operated by Springfield Public Schools.
  • A $12 million gift from Larry and Linda K. Hale to benefit MSU students. The amount was split between the university and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
  • Eight-figure gift from the C.W. Titus Foundation to support scholarships at the MSU Reynolds College of Arts and Letters.
  • Seven-figure gift from Ann Kampeter, an alum, to upgrade the MSU Professional Building, which will be renamed the Ann Kampeter Health Sciences Hall.
  • $1 million for scholarships from an alum from Kansas City.

“We’ve had some incredible things happen since the announcement of the campaign,” he said.

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Dunn said the pandemic has forced the university to reach out to alumni and develop relationships through Zoom.

“Usually the end of the campaign is the hardest,” Dunn said.

Since the fundraising goal appears to be in reach during the allotted time, Dunn said the cabinet can decide to end the campaign as soon as the $250 million mark is reached. Other options include setting a higher goal or continuing the campaign through the end of 2022 without a specific goal.

“We will start, either way, looking at a celebration event in 2022 if we go that route,” he said. 

MSU board member Carrie Tergin applauded the update.

“It’s good to hear some very good news despite the challenging times we’re in,” she said.

Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to criley@news-leader.com.

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