Seven year comprehensive campaign makes progress

Tyler Manning

Suzanne Shipley, university president, and Anthony Vidmar, vice president of university advancement and student affairs, presented the results the university’s comprehensive campaign at last weeks Board meeting.

The seven year campaign aims to raise $50 million to encourage involvement on campus through enhancing students experiences.

This campaign marks the first comprehensive campaign ran at MSU.

“This is MSU’s first comprehensive campaign,” Vidmar said. “Comprehensive campaigns are for all the areas you need money for: student support, scholarships, programming. The campaigns that MSU has had in the past have never been a fully comprehensive one.”

Vidmar said despite a major emphasis of the campaign being financial, the ultimate goal is to make students more aware and engaged on campus.

“If you had to put down three things [that summed up advancement programming], they would be increasing the awareness of, engagement in, and giving to MSU,” Vidmar said. “So campaigns are not just about giving money. Ultimately, money has to be delivered, but you also have to increase awareness. Not everyone can give money, or large amounts of money. But as a student, you can give your talent and your time.”

Shipley said she aims to ensure donors that their money is being utilized well no matter the size of the donation.

“Most of these donors have given to Midwestern before and they were pleased with the way Midwestern State handled their gift. They believe in us, they trust us to be good stewards of their generosity and that’s what you have to do with every single gift,” Shipley said. “No matter how large or small, you have to be a good steward of it.”

Of the $50 million, the campaign has garnered around $30 million, about 60 percent of the desired outcome.

“We were surprised. In December, gifts kept just coming in and so what Tony and I did was labor in obscurity,” Shipley said. “We were meeting with people for months and they were thinking about it. It was so exciting that they thought about it and decided, ‘yes.’ In fundraising, you plant the seed and then you walk. Then you let them think about it and tell you how they feel.”

Vidmar said he has enjoyed working with Shipley on the comprehensive campaign and respects her work toward the campaign.

“To work with Dr. Shipley is amazing. She is incredible and the best fundraising president I have ever seen because she is good at the people, the process and the product,” Vidmar said. “It is really an honor to work her and support her and strategize and to unleash her. She is a force to be reckoned with. There is a chemistry between the fundraising advancement person and the president. You build off each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

The progress on the campaign has given the campus an opportunity to mature and grow, according to Vidmar.

“They did a great job raising a lot of money and they paved the way for the maturation of an institution. We were ready for a comprehensive campaign,” said Vidmar.

Without the money made from this campaign, faculty would not be able to garner more resources for students.

Vidmar said, “If we don’t deliver on money, we don’t bring the resources to help the students and faculty.”


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