Mississippi State University has announced that it received more than $80 million in gifts and pledges during the 2010-11 fiscal year — a 23 percent increase over the previous year.
Gifts and pledges counted in 2010-11 represent the largest single-year giving total in the university's 133-year history. John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni at the university and CEO of the MSU Foundation, credited StatePride, an ongoing campaign to generate funds for student scholarships and faculty support, as "a catalyst."
Indeed, the university saw the percentage of alumni who gave jump to 18 percent, ranking it above several of its peer institutions in terms of alumni support. According to the Associated Press, gifts for efforts related to athletics increased to $37.6 million, more than doubling the previous fiscal year's record. The total included $20.3 million, including $12 million from the Seal family, for the new Leo Seal, Jr. football complex.
"I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of our loyal alumni and friends," said MSU president Mark E. Keenum. "Their enthusiastic support is helping propel Mississippi State to even greater heights. [The university's] enrollment has surged to record numbers and these private gifts are a response to the university's vision of producing more college graduates to meet the increasing demands in our state. We are proud to serve our state as its largest university by educating the leaders of tomorrow."