In the summer of 2011, Michigan State University started a fundraising campaign called Empower Extraordinary. The goal was $1.5-billion dollars by the end of 2018. Today, more than a year ahead of schedule, MSU announced that the goal has been met.
Still, the campaign continues. Funds for expansions at the Broad College of Business and the College of Music are still being sought.
MSU’s Vice President for University Advancement Robert Groves says reaching the goal early is good news for students because there will be more money for scholarships. He adds that MSU-based research benefits, too. "Oftentimes, that's money from foundations and corporations, and sometimes individuals. That helps faculty start research projects or begin new investigations," Groves states.
Over the next 16 months of the campaign, Groves says that rather than focus on a number, MSU will focus on projects like the Broad College and Music Building expansions that aren't yet fully funded. Ground is being broken today on the new Broad College Business Pavillion.
Groves concedes that there's a challenge in asking people to continue giving to the university when they hear that the goal has been met. "People who give money of any size, but particularly larger gifts, want to have an impact," he explains. "If they believe that your needs are met and that you're done, then it's very hard to say 'yeah, here's more'."
"The challenge," Groves concludes, "is helping them understand that there's still an important role to play."