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For All We Call Mizzou campaign surpasses $1 billion goal

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  • Story by Karen Pojmann
  • Photos by Shane Epping
  • Published: Nov. 7, 2008
Celebrate good times, c'mon! Celebrate!

A celebration erupts in Jesse Hall after Chancellor Brady Deaton announces the For All We Call Mizzou campaign has surpassed the $1 billion goal.

At the turn of the millennium, the University of Missouri’s leaders might not have foreseen the economic recession that now grips the nation.

But they did have a vision.

Administrators imagined a development campaign that would help fund scholarships and salaries, as well as programs and facilities, to keep Mizzou at the top of its game. Launched silently in 2000, For All We Call Mizzou raked in $300 million in three years. Formally announced in 2003, the campaign had met its $600 million goal by 2005, and organizers decided to go for $1 billion.

This week Chancellor Brady Deaton announced the campaign now has exceeded that goal by more than $300,000, placing Mizzou in the ranks of only 18 public universities nationwide to reach the $1 billion mark in fund-raising.

“Wow”

The announcement literally wowed campaign organizers. Campaign co-chair Bill Thompson, campaign founder Chancellor Emeritus Richard Wallace, and David Housh, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations, all kicked off their remarks with that small, stunned word during Friday’s balloon-laden ceremony.

Over the past eight years, the campaign has broken new ground. Donors have made 138 separate gifts of $1 million or more. While the nation has grappled with tough economic times, Mizzou has thrived. Supporters bumped up the fund by $28 million in September and October 2008 alone.

So what does this mean for the people of Mizzou?

Impact on students

Donors have provided more than $210 million in scholarship funds, which translates into 1,500 new merit-based and need-based scholarships since the campaign began.

“Students need scholarships now more than ever, particularly to ride out these economic times,” says Larry McMullen, campaign co-chair. The result, he says, is an educated populace better able to weather the financial storm. “Our investment in students is reaping tremendous reward.”

The funds have helped students through the Flagship Scholarship, which provides a four-year full ride to at least one student in every Missouri county, and student-athlete scholarships, which help Tigers such as Maxwell Award semifinalist Jeremy Maclin.

Other funds provide stipends for undergraduate research and scholarships for students studying abroad.

Impact on faculty

The For All We Call Mizzou campaign has raised $79 million to create 86 new endowed faculty positions at Mizzou.

“Endowing permanent financial resources to attract and retain the world’s most highly regarded academic talent is crucial to our success,” says campaign co-chair Bill Thompson. “We invest in our future by investing in faculty.”

The funds have helped create 13 positions for research related to cancer and cardiovascular health, thanks to a $6 million estate gift from Margaret Proctor Mulligan. A gift from Paul and Diane Shumaker endowed a professorship in informatics at the MU College of Engineering. The campaign-supported Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence enabled Mizzou to recruit Fred Hawthorne, head of the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine, who next year will receive the 2009 Priestly Medal.

Chancellor Brady Deaton and Chancellor Richard Wallace share a warm embrace

Chancellor Brady Deaton (right) and Chancellor Emeritus Richard Wallace, who founded the campaign, share a congratulatory hug.

Impact on the campus

The campaign has raised more than $448 million for programs and facilities. The largest amount of funding — $348 million — has gone to programs in academic units and centers such as the School of Health Professions, The Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Division of Plant Sciences.

Mizzou has invested facilities funds in projects including:

The impact goes beyond aesthetics.

 “A beautiful, modern campus is important in attracting students,” says campaign co-chair Cindy Brinkley, “and it certainly has succeeded in doing that with this year’s record enrollment.”

The future

While calling the campaign the "highlight of my career," Wallace says the work isn't over. "Development is a little like strategic planning," he says. "It has a beginning but should have no end."

By the time Mizzou holds its official celebration at Mizzou Arena April 25, the campaign may have grown even more.

Meanwhile, says Housh, "We will begin 2009 full of optimism." 

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Last updated: Feb. 22, 2012