The following was modified from a press release from Missouri State University

SPRINGFIELD – The cat (or the Bear) is out of the bag.

Missouri State University unveiled Onward, Upward, its biggest fundraising campaign in history, Oct. 26 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. The campaign’s goal is $250 million, all of which will benefit Missouri State students, faculty, programs and facilities.

To date, the Foundation has raised more than $150 million from nearly 50,000 donors.

Alumnus, actor and campaign chair John Goodman made the announcement, along with President Clif Smart and Missouri State Foundation Executive Director Brent Dunn.

“I stay connected to Missouri State because it’s one of my blessings,” said Goodman. “It’s great when I come back and discover campus all over again. I just love it here. It’s such a great place. It really is. I owe this school so very much.

“That’s why I am the chair of this campaign. I often wonder what’s next for Missouri State. How can we help today’s students reach their wildest dreams? How can we help them make a better world for tomorrow? How can we build the best future for this place that matters to all of us?

“I want to be a part of what’s next for Missouri State, and I encourage you to join me.”

The University says the campaign will affect all aspects of the university.

“This kind of private support will help us continue to provide a great educational experience,” Smart said. “Gifts to this campaign will ensure we have in-demand programs, top facilities and the ability to remove financial barriers for students and their families.”

The campaign will raise money to support four pillars:

  • Scholarships
  • Faculty
  • Programs
  • Facilities

Missouri State Goals:

This comprehensive campaign will touch all aspects of the university. Featured priorities include:

  • Increase facility and equipment support for the Darr College of Agriculture with three new buildings: a small animal education facility, a livestock show barn and a maintenance training education facility.
  • Construct a permanent Tent Theatre structure to enhance a beloved Missouri State tradition, as well as a Springfield community experience, while positively impacting students seeking performing arts experiences.
  • Create a student-managed investment fund to provide real-world financial market and investing experience for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and business leaders.
  • Uphold Missouri State’s roots in teacher education by providing more resources to attract, instruct and prepare students who wish to enter the teaching profession.
  • Renovate the Professional Building, including, a Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic in communication sciences and disorders (CSD); a new student advisement center; and student collaboration areas for health and human services students in the areas of nursing, biomedical sciences, CSD, and sports medicine and athletic training.
  • Enhance student study away opportunities with more individual financial support to encourage the next generation of global citizens.
  • Create a degree-completion fund to provide financial assistance for students facing unforeseen complications as they pursue the last few classes of their Missouri State education.
  • Expand IDEA Commons by adding a 30,000 square feet expansion to the Jordan Valley Innovation Center. Add a new parking garage, central green space, a private technology-focused office building, and an outdoor rooftop event space at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center.
  • Elevate the MSU-West Plains nursing program by expanding the number of nursing students admitted to the program from about 35 per year to more than 100 per year. This will help meet the growing employment demands of the nursing profession in the area. Scholarships, facility and program support are critical for this success.
  • Increase research support opportunities of graduate-level students as they make their Missouri Statement.
  • And many other new initiatives.

So far, the campaign has raised $151,738,352.

The Missouri State Foundation has created 222 new student scholarships. Those 222 new scholarships have brought the total of available scholarships offered by the Foundation to 1,381. In the past year those scholarships have provided $2.4 million in financial support to Missouri State students.

“We exist to serve students, and we’re beyond thankful for our alumni and friends who share that value with us,” Dunn said. “Every dollar will help a student access a life-changing education at Missouri State.”