CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 3, 2014 – The Southeast Missouri University Foundation’s “Honoring Tradition, Inspiring Success” comprehensive campaign with its prime focus on financially supporting students has reached a record level in the most ambitious fund-raising campaign in the University’s history.
Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, announced that $45,045,650 has been raised in support of scholarships, programs and renovations to benefit students. Dobbins made the announcement at the annual Copper Dome Society dinner Oct. 3 before more than 500 donors and friends in the Show Me Center.
“The generosity of donors has been overwhelming,” Dobbins said. “We received a $3 million bequest from the estate of the late Ann Matthews of Sikeston, Mo., and a $4.5 million bequest from the estate of the late Dr. Jim Drickey of Cape Girardeau. During the campaign, 195 new scholarships have been established. The Foundation now has 700 endowed scholarships that provide $1.5 million in financial support to students in their quest for a college degree. This is also an all-time record.”
The University Foundation announced the public phase of the campaign a year ago during the Foundation’s annual Copper Dome reception held in conjunction with Homecoming 2013 and the grand reopening of Academic Hall. At that time, $30 million had been raised through donations and planned gifts.
Last fall, Dobbins issued a challenge to alumni and friends to help raise the final $10 million of the campaign. Since then, more than $15 million has been raised. The campaign will continue through June 30, 2015, as the Foundation continues seeking scholarship funds.
“Many of our alumni and donors realized that their success in life was in large part driven by the education they received at Southeast Missouri State University,” Dobbins said. “When we announced the public phase of the campaign, our generous donors came forth with enthusiasm.
“We are blessed with an active, supportive alumni base,” he said. “Our success to date with the campaign is a direct result of donors and alumni responding to our call to help students. This is and continues to be a hallmark of Southeast Missouri State University – people helping people – making a difference in people’s lives.”
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, adding that throughout the University’s history, Southeast has maximized its revenues and minimized its expenses; utilized innovative and creative ways to use its assets; and worked to provide quality education at an affordable cost.
“As studies have shown, a college degree is essential for success,” Dobbins said. “Endowed scholarships like the 700 at Southeast are crucial to being able to provide financial assistance for those who need it the most. Being able to provide access to higher education is the cornerstone of the ‘Honoring Tradition, Inspiring Success’ campaign. We are proud that our donors support our vision.”
Molly Eggleston, a senior nursing major from St. Louis, Mo., is the recipient of the Patricia A. Huttegger Memorial Scholarship.
“My scholarship has made it possible for me to achieve my dream of being a nurse. Southeast is important to me and my family,” she said. “My grandparents created an endowed scholarship many years ago. I had always heard of the stories from students of how the scholarship that Ma and Pa established helped them. I am so blessed to have earned one myself.
“It means a lot to me that the University is focused on raising scholarships for students,” Eggleston said.
The “Honoring Tradition, Inspiring Success” 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.
“We are very appreciative of the time and commitment of Stan and Dwain as well as the Foundation Board,” said Bill Holland, vice president of advancement and executive director of the Foundation.
Hahs said, “We are grateful to all of our alumni and friends who have supported the ‘Honoring Tradition, Inspiring Success’ campaign to benefit our current Southeast students and those who will pursue a college degree here for many years to come.”
Crader added, “I cannot say enough about the financial support we have received from hundreds of University alumni and friends who have stepped up over the course of this campaign. We will continue to push forward and seek further donations over the next eight months. While our efforts will continue, I am so proud of what we have accomplished for the benefit of students here at Southeast.”