MU announces record-breaking year in donations

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COLUMBIA - University of Missouri leaders announced a record-breaking year in total funds raised, including the largest gift in Law School history. 

Officials announced the university received more than $200 million in total gifts over the 2018-2019 academic year. That's up 18% from the previous record set in 2016, when donors raised $170 million, officials said in a news conference on Wednesday. 

Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said $21.3 million of this year's amount came from small gifts, setting another new record. 

"Those funds support everything from scholarships to research," he said. "All of this illustrates how united we are in our vision of excellence at Missouri's flagship institution."

Cartwright said part of the money includes a $4.5 million gift to the MU School of Law. Alumnus Chuck Wall's family foundation donated the funds, he said. 

Of the $4.5 million, Cartwright said, about half will go toward funding unrestricted scholarships for law students. 

"Currently, about 7% of our students receive scholarship assistance, and that will allow us to broaden that number even farther," MU Law School Dean Lyrissa Lidsky said. 

The rest of the funds will support family chairs in corporate law and governance and U.S. constitutional law, MU spokesperson Sheena Rice said in a news release. 

Cartwright said, "It will build upon our strength in the study of U.S. constitutional law, a strength well established in our signature Kinder Institute of Constitutional Democracy." 

MU Law student Kristopher Johnson-DeLoatch, a recipient of a previous scholarship from the Wall family, said he will remember those who allowed him to pursue his dream of getting a law degree.

"I am forever indebted," Johnson-DeLoatch said. "I will also pay it forward and make sure that, when my time comes, that I am also able to give some money to this institution."

Wednesday's announcement came as part of Mizzou: Our Time to Lead, the university's larger effort to raise $1.3 billion.