Our Centennial Campaign continues to maintain great momentum and is generating lots of enthusiasm among supporters. At the end of the calendar year, the campaign had achieved more than $62 million in commitments toward its $80 million goal.
A couple of key highlights from the past year include
- bequest from the late Ken Shipp (’50) valued at more than $3.5 million, dedicated for need-based scholarships;
- an anonymous $1 million commitment supporting a number of initiatives on campus; and
- several new scholarship endowments and faculty awards.
We’re also seeing greater interest from our alumni and friends as the number of donors continues to increase each year. As of December, more than 15,000 donors have contributed to the campaign. Most impressively, our graduating seniors have embraced the Senior Gift Challenge; 17 percent of the December graduating class made their first gifts to MTSU through the program.
While the dollars are obviously important, this campaign is also about engaging our friends and alumni in more meaningful ways. In talking with many of our donors, the one thing most apparent to me is that their gifts were the result of a lifelong relationship with MTSU. Many still speak fondly of the important role certain faculty members had in their lives. They say they give so that future students might enjoy that same connection with members of our MTSU community.
Joe Bales, vice president for development and university relations, often reminds us that we begin developing a relationship with our students the day they first apply for admission. How we treat them and the effort we make to help them achieve their goals are the most important influences that can turn them into alumni who want to give back to their alma mater.
The results of our Senior Gift Challenge show that we are doing the right things for many of our students, but it also shows that there are opportunities remaining. How each of us chooses to interact with students in and out of the classroom is crucial to our efforts to build a stronger community.