Montana State University launches campaign to raise $300 million

During its annual homecoming celebration Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25-26, Montana State University will launch the public phase of a comprehensive campaign to raise $300 million in private support.

“So many of our alumni, our friends and the public at large have been very generous to Montana State recently,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado. “These generous gifts inspire us and they have helped fuel so many successes. Yet, we still have much to accomplish. This campaign will allow us to marshal the enormous generosity of our supporters in a grand effort to transform MSU in ways not thought possible.”

The campaign launch signals the transition from what fundraisers call the quiet phase to a public phase. The MSU Alumni Foundation has been instrumental in helping the university secure $180 million in private donations during the quiet phase and will continue the effort to raise another $120 million to reach the $300 million goal. The campaign will provide support for for student scholarships, professorships and chairs, academic programs, classrooms, laboratories, research and other projects.

“This is the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, and it couldn’t come at a better time. We are building on unprecedented success, and our opportunity to capitalize on that momentum is now,” said Chris Murray, president and CEO of the MSU Alumni Foundation. 

“The campaign is key to the university’s ability to deliver on its mission and to continue to serve the sons and daughters of Montana and beyond,” Murray said. “Campaigns like this one allow MSU to ask our alumni and friends who care about the institution to financially invest in the university’s future, our students and the communities we serve.”  

The theme of the campaign is “What it takes.”

“We believe Montana State has what it takes to transform the lives of our students, to make the discoveries that will change the world, and to help build a better Montana,” Cruzado said. “We also believe that our dedicated alumni and many friends can help us in this mission.”  

The campaign will focus on three areas: people, places and programs.

The “people” part of the campaign will seek funds for scholarships and fellowships to increase access to a wider and more diverse range of students. It will also provide resources to help students academically once they arrive with tutoring, mentoring, internships and other programs.

 “The promise of the public, land-grant university is to give every American the opportunity to make a better future for themselves through education,” Cruzado said. “This campaign will help us fulfill that promise by providing scholarships to those who are the first in their families to attend college; to those whose finances have made college out of reach; and to those from communities where college may simply be thought of as an impossible dream.”

Additionally, the campaign will seek support to help MSU recruit and retain the best faculty for its students and for its research and outreach mission.

The “places” part of the campaign will focus on funds for classroom, laboratory and student support spaces needed to address the university’s record enrollment, as well as funds to support new teaching methods and technologies. 

The “programs” part of the campaign will focus on funds to help students have more service-learning experiences, and more community engagement and international education opportunities with the aim of building leadership skills in the students while benefiting state, national and international communities.

Funds raised for Great Falls College-MSU and the Museum of the Rockies will be included in the overall campaign goal.

“What It Takes: The Campaign for Montana State University allows MSU to ask our alumni and friends who care about the institution to financially invest in our future, our students and the communities we serve,” Murray said. “These private dollars, separate and apart from state funding and tuition, will provide the margin of excellence for the people, places and programs of Montana State. Every gift matters.”