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President's Perspective

  • Author:
    Lou Anna K. Simon
  • Published:
    Fall 2006

            So many wonderful things are happening right now at Michigan State. I want to highlight one accomplishment that is the result of an ambitious goal and a tremendous team effort.

            In October, The Campaign for MSU reached its goal of $1.2 billion—a goal set in 2002—nearly one year earlier than planned. This achievement is a testament to the generosity, and the values, of numerous organizations and individuals, including many of you. I extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who has been a part of this success.

            State and federal support for public higher education has been declining for more than 30 years, and there is no foreseeable change to this trend. Yet today, MSU is better prepared than ever to meet the bold and distinctive goal we have set for ourselves—to take the knowledge and transformative power of the nation’s oldest land-grant university and make a significant difference on a global scale.

            But even though we have reached our overall fundraising goal a year ahead of schedule, we still have work to do.

            Our goal within this campaign for MSU endowments is $450 million, but we stand at only $362 million raised. Endowed funds are critical because they help ensure the future excellence of core academic programs.  We must place the highest priority in the coming year on raising the remaining $88 million—more than we’ve ever raised for our endowment in a single year before.

            I believe we can do it. I believe Team MSU is up to that challenge.  And when we meet that challenge, the benefits and opportunities available to faculty and students today, and generations from now, will be amazing.

            I also want to mention two other items related to building Michigan State’s future.

            MSU’s 16th president, Cecil Mackey, and his wife, Clare, have made a significant contribution to establish the Clare S. Mackey Endowed Fund in Music. Clare Mackey earned her master’s degree in music from MSU and is an accomplished vocalist and flutist. She and Cecil have been tireless supporters of vocal arts here.

            We have also established a new donor society at MSU named after another esteemed past president of Michigan State University: Clif Wharton. The Clifton R. Wharton Society, which has some 50 charter members, recognizes donors who have contributed cash gifts of $2.5 to $5 million or planned gifts of at least $3.75 million.

            MSU is already ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. As we continue our transformation from land-grant to world-grant, our responsibilities will broaden and the complexity of our activities and our commitments will increase. But with your support, we will continue to bring the best of the world to Michigan and share the best of Michigan with the world.

            Thank you again for your support and all you do as part of Team MSU.


            Lou Anna K. Simon, Ph.D.

            President, Michigan State University