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Mizzou Breaks Single-Year Fundraising Record, Raises $170 Million

Despite recent challenges, donors support Mizzou at record-setting levels

July 13th, 2016

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Officials today announced that the University of Missouri has set a new fundraising record in fiscal year 2016, raising nearly $171 million in donations. This amount surpasses the previous record of $164.5 million set in 2014 and is $5 million more than MU’s fundraising goal for the year. It also represents a 15 percent increase over last year’s total.

“The University of Missouri has faced unprecedented challenges in the last year,” said Interim Chancellor Hank Foley. “However, it should come as no surprise that the Mizzou family has responded with extraordinary generosity. We cannot thank our loyal alumni and friends enough for their support as we continue our mission of educating students and improving the quality of life for people around the world through our faculty’s research.”

Recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education as one of the five most-improved fundraising programs in the nation in 2015, the university continued a three-year trend by receiving 20 or more gifts of at least $1 million. Nearly 44,000 different donors made donations, pledges or estate gifts to MU from June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016. Gifts ranged from donations of one dollar to a $25 million gift from the Kinder Foundation to create the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. The university also raised more than $100 million in cash gifts for the fourth consecutive year. Tom Hiles, vice chancellor for advancement at MU, sees the campaign and fundraising in general as a way to match donor passions with university priorities.

“Our success this year attests to the strength of the university’s connection with our alumni and friends,” Hiles said. “That’s something that grows over years and it endures through tough times. After November, our Advancement team made a commitment to our community of donors and continued to listen to their feedback and ask for their support. Additionally, Hank Foley stepped in and has been a part of our 18 regional kickoff events across the country. I am very proud of Hank and our Advancement team and I am appreciative of our generous donors. I would not trade our donors with anyone in the country!”

The university’s record-setting year brings the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign total to $762 million—more than halfway to the $1.3 billion goal announced at the campaign’s launch in October 2015. The campaign focuses on raising money for the university’s endowment, signature centers and institutes and a renaissance of the campus.

“The Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign comes at a crucial time in the university’s history,” said MU alumnus Richard Miller, CEO of Miller’s Professional Imaging/Mpix and a tri-chair for the campaign. “We can’t rely solely on a combination of state funding and tuition. Private support is the key to enhancing excellence at Mizzou.”

“As a Mizzou graduate, I take an incredible amount of pride in our university,” said Samuel Hamacher, retired president of Harbour Group and a member of the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead Campaign Cabinet. “I’m grateful for the opportunities that I have enjoyed thanks to my education at MU. Obviously, a lot of people share my pride and gratitude and that drives them to give back.”

With an overall fundraising goal of $1.3 billion, the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign helps to secure the University of Missouri’s status among the nation’s elite public universities by focusing on three priorities: endowment — building the university’s endowment to compete with other institutions will strengthen the ability to attract and retain stellar students and faculty; signature centers and institutes — interdisciplinary centers and institutes will be the engine of research growth that will enhance MU’s AAU status and add to the university’s distinctiveness; and a campus renaissance — new and renovated facilities will propel Mizzou to global leadership in education and research and will help attract and retain students and faculty.