CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 6, 2013 – The Southeast Missouri University Foundation has announced a $40 million comprehensive campaign, the most ambitious fund-raising effort in the University’s history, to directly support current and future students.
The campaign, named “Honoring Tradition, Inspiring Success,” is focused on increasing scholarships and supporting programs and renovations that benefit students.
Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, announced the public phase of the campaign during the Foundation’s Annual Copper Dome Reception held in conjunction with Homecoming and the grand re- opening of Academic Hall. The Copper Dome Reception drew a crowd of more than 350 Southeast friends and alumni who comprise the largest donor group of the Foundation.
“I am pleased and honored to announce that we have raised $30 million through donations and planned gifts towards our $40 million goal,” Dobbins announced. “By reaching the 75 percent mark of the campaign, we are now ready to reach out to our entire 70,000-person alumni base to raise the final $10 million we need to achieve our goal.”
Dobbins underscored the significant importance that financial aid has for today’s students.
“Southeast has a long tradition of making a college education as affordable as possible,” he said. “Throughout our history, we have maximized our revenues and minimized our expenses; utilized innovative and creative ways to use our assets; and worked to provide quality education at an affordable cost.”
Speaking at the Copper Dome event, Dobbins said, “In 1981, the state covered 83 percent of the cost of education and students, including many of you here, were responsible for only 17 percent of the cost of education,” he said. “Students today pay tuition of about $6,500 a year which equates to 60 percent of the cost of education, and the state covers 40 percent of the cost of education. This campaign is focused on helping students pay that 60 percent.”
“If you ever questioned the impact that a scholarship has on a student, all you have to do is to ask one who has received one,” Dobbins said.
The University Foundation currently provides more than $1.2 million in scholarships to students.
While scholarships assist individuals, endowed programs, such as a lecture series or support for international academic competitions, help hundreds of students.
“We live in a global marketplace,” Dobbins said. “Providing students a high-quality education that ensures students experience success in our global society is of critical importance. Southeast needs to continue to provide access to new opportunities, and endowed programs help make these initiatives possible.”
The campaign was authorized unanimously by the University Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2010. The quiet phase of the campaign was undertaken and lead by a Campaign Committee co-chaired by Stan Crader of Marble Hill, Mo., and Dwain Hahs of Jackson, Mo. Through their leadership, a national outreach approach was undertaken to help achieve the goal.
“Studies report that the happiest people are those who invest in others,” Crader said. “The Honoring Tradition and Inspiring Success campaign offers everyone a chance to provide critical assistance to those who aspire to a higher education degree. We are grateful to those who have already supported the campaign and urge others to consider doing so as well.”
Hahs echoed those comments, adding, “Student debt is real, and financing a college education can be a major obstacle towards earning a degree. The Foundation provides scholarships to about a thousand students each year. Supporting scholarships is the best way Southeast’s alumni and friends can impact today’s students.”
Those wishing to support this campaign can contact Vice President Bill Holland at the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at www.semofoundation.org.