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More Missouri State University students will graduate with less debt. They will also learn in updated facilities using enhanced technology.

It’s all thanks to the donors who gave to the largest fundraising campaign in Missouri State’s history – Onward Upward.

The university community, friends and donors gathered Saturday  to celebrate raising about $274 million. The original campaign goal was $250 million.

Onward Upward focused on four key areas – supporting students, faculty, programs and facilities.

More than 60,000 individual donors made gifts to the campaign.

“Campaigns usually need a lot of ‘big help’ when it comes to financial support,” said actor, alumnus and campaign chair John Goodman.

“But something made this campaign truly special. It wasn’t just big gifts that carried us onward and upward. It was thousands and thousands of small gifts that gave the campaign its momentum.”


Many gifts donated during the Onward Upward campaign have already resulted in new scholarships, faculty support, new and updated facilities, program enhancements and more.

“As an institution, we couldn’t be more excited about the future unfolding today, right now, because of the Onward Upward campaign,” said Missouri State President Clif Smart. “We’re grateful for every person who made a gift – large or small.”

Brent Dunn, vice president for university advancement and executive director of the Missouri State University Foundation, expressed his gratitude to everyone who worked on the campaign or gave a gift.

“This campaign has been quite an achievement,” Dunn said. “We set lofty goals and worked tirelessly toward them. As we reached campaign milestones, we put those resources to work immediately. This has been an absolutely stunning achievement.”


The total amount raised for the campaign only tells part of the story. The campaign raised:

•Nearly $80 million in new scholarships.

•More than $70 million in funding for new buildings and facility improvements.

•More than $118 million to support academic programs.

•$5 million in faculty support.

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