- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri has officially begun the public phase of the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history, with the goal of raising $1.3 billion by 2020.

At a gala event Thursday night, university Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and other officials said money raised in the campaign, called “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead,” will be to add new centers and institutes, increase the school’s endowment and fund building projects, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1Opn2eH ).

“This campaign will start a campus renaissance that transforms the campus skyline,” said Tom Hiles, vice chancellor for university advancement.

Another goal of the campaign is to raise Missouri’s status in the Association of American Universities, which ranks universities and emphasizes research.

Campaign supporters believe the fundraising could lead to five to 10 new centers or institutes with endowments of $10 million or more.

The Kinder Foundation helped launch the campaign with an announcement earlier Thursday of a $25 million gift to create the Kinder Institute for Constitutional Democracy on the Columbia campus.

Hiles said the campaign also wants to increase the university’s endowment to more than $1 billion. The endowment currently is $820 million and creates almost $37 million annually.

The campaign has already raised $650 million during its silent phase in previous months.

Campaign supporters also will seek public and private partnerships to pay for new academic buildings, including new School of Music and Fine Arts buildings. It also would fund a teaching winery, which would support the Grape and Wine Institute in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The university started renovations to Lafferre Hall, the main engineering building, this summer after receiving matching funds from the state.

Singer Sheryl Crow, a Missouri graduate, made a surprise appearance at the gala dinner. She will perform on campus during homecoming weekend, with all proceeds going to the School of Music building project.

“It’s exactly the same as when I went to school here,” Crow told dinner attendees. “The music school . needs some love and care.”


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

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