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MU Announces $1.3 Billion Fundraising Campaign, Largest Effort in School History

Campaign will support signature centers, new academic buildings and increase endowment

Oct. 08, 2015

Story Contact(s):
Nathan Hurst,, 573-882-6217

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Officials at the University of Missouri have announced the official kickoff of MU’s new comprehensive funding campaign, Mizzou: Our Time to Lead. The new comprehensive campaign will seek to raise $1.3 billion to support and advance the educational and research goals of Missouri’s flagship university. Mizzou: Our Time to Lead will help to elevate MU’s status in the Association of American Universities (AAU) as well as significantly increase the University’s capacity for education, research, and student and faculty recruitment.

Fundraising efforts for Mizzou: Our Time to Lead will focus on three priorities:

  • Increasing the Endowment 

An endowment is the conscious and deliberate decision by a donor to help build a reserve that creates the financial bedrock for the University. After a donor makes an endowed gift, the principal is deposited in an investment account and the annual income generated from that account is used for the donor’s intended purpose. This plan allows the donor’s initial gift to support the University in perpetuity, lasting long after the donation would have otherwise been exhausted. MU’s current endowment is $820 million and creates nearly $37 million per year used to support MU programs, scholarships and research. Campaign leaders hope to increase the endowment to well beyond $1 billion to allow MU to remain competitive with its peers in all areas regardless of the economy’s fluctuations.

  • Signature Centers and Institutes

MU currently houses several signature centers and institutes, which are the engines of research and service growth that enhance the lives of citizens of our state, nation and around the world. Examples of these centers and institutes include the newly announced $25 million Kinder Institute for Constitutional Democracy, the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center. Campaign leaders envision five to 10 new centers or institutes with endowments of $10 million or more.

  • Campus Renaissance

State funding has not supported a new academic building on the MU campus in 12 years. MU cannot achieve global leadership in research, teaching and education without a campus renaissance. Campaign leaders will seek public and private partnerships to fund new academic buildings including a new School of Music building, a new Fine Arts building, a teaching winery, and renovations to Lafferre Hall, which began this summer and were made possible in part by matching funds from the state. Many other new facilities and renovations also are in the planning stages.

“Private philanthropy is vital to the education and research missions of the University,” MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said. “Our generous donors help us support student scholarships and attract and retain top-notch teachers and researchers. Supporting and increasing the number of MU’s signature centers and institutes, advancing our academic mission through new buildings and facilities, and growing our endowment will help position MU to be a leader in education and research for Missouri, the nation and world now and far into the future.”

To date, Mizzou: Our Time to Lead has raised $650 million in the silent phase of the campaign. Tom Hiles, MU vice chancellor for advancement, says the momentum for the campaign has been building steadily for months.

“We are incredibly excited about the generosity and forward thinking we have experienced so far when speaking with passionate MU alumni and supporters of higher education around the state, nation and world,” Hiles said. “MU truly has a global impact, which is proven by the enthusiasm of everyone we talk with about Mizzou: Our Time to Lead. This campaign will elevate the University to new heights of excellence in education and research, and we are energized to advance and support MU’s mission for decades and centuries to come.”

Mizzou: Our Time to Lead is directed by the leadership of campaign tri-chairs Cathy Allen, José Gutiérrez and Richard Miller.

“José, Cathy and I feel honored to represent all donors to Mizzou as tri-chairs of the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign,” said Richard Miller, campaign tri-chair. “With this effort, we have the opportunity to propel MU to the top tier of public universities in the nation. Donors to Mizzou represent a number of constituencies, including proud alumni, grateful patients and passionate fans, but we all support Mizzou because we believe in its mission of academic and athletic excellence. This campaign will ensure Mizzou’s continued excellence for generations to come.”

MU is one of 23 universities around the country currently engaged in $1.3 billion-plus campaigns. This new campaign comes six years after MU wrapped up its first-ever $1 billion campaign, For All We Call Mizzou, in 2009.