MU announces new fundraising campaign

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri announced its newest fundraising goal at this week's Homecoming Kick Off event.

The fundraising campaign, Mizzou: Our Time to Lead, hopes to raise $1.3 billion to support the university's education and research goals. One of the campaign's priorities is to increase the current endowment from $850 million.

"We want to significantly increase our endowment to over $1 billion," said Tom Hiles, vice chancellor of university advancement. "Right now it's approximately $850 million, which is a lot of money where I'm from, but compared to other institutions it's relatively small."

MU said that the current endowment creates $37 million a year for scholarships, programs and research. If successful, the new campaign will help raise that amount to keep MU competitive with other universities.

Along with increasing the endowment, the new campaign will focus on developing signature reseach centers such as the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Bond Life Sciences Center.

The campaign's third priority is to continue additions and renovations to campus buildings. Hiles said the state funds nearly 10 percent of MU's yearly budget and that private donations are needed if the campus wants to continue to make improvements. 

"I would put Mizzou alumni in terms of their ability, their success and their generosity up against anyone in the country," Hiles said. "We have a very dedicated alumni base."

Hiles aaid he believes the alumni's dedication will make the campaigns goals achievable. So far, the silent phase of the campaign has raised $650 million.