MU at 93% of $1 billion fundraising goal

Sunday, May 18, 2008 | 5:37 p.m. CDT; updated 12:12 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — MU reported late last month that it has received 93 percent of its $1 billion fundraising campaign, For All We Call Mizzou.

Among MU’s 12 schools and colleges, the School of Medicine has raised the most so far, with $101,338,386 or 16 percent of the total amount raised for schools and colleges.

Campaign Progress Report

April 2008

Student support Goal: $223,000,000 Amount raised: $192,932,484 Percent raised: 87 percent Still needed: $30,067,516 Faculty support Goal: $168,000,000 Amount raised: $71,306,404 Percent raised: 42 percent Still needed: $96,693,596 Program support Goal: $227,000,000 Amount raised: $329,575,473 Percent raised: 145 percent Still needed: -$102,575,473 Facilities support Goal: $228,000,000 Amount raised: $125,423,933 Percent raised: 55 percent Still needed: $102,576,067 Private grant support Goal: $154,000,000 Amount raised: $213,575,780 Percent raised: 139 percent Still needed: -$59,575.780 Total Goal: $1,000,000,000 Amount raised: $932,814,074 Percent raised: 93 percent Still needed: $67,185,926

Next is the College of Business with 12 percent of the total, followed by the School of Journalism and the College of Engineering at 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Intercollegiate athletics trumps all schools and colleges in terms of amount raised, however, partly because of higher goals for supporting students, programs and facilities.

Athletics accounts for nearly 23 percent of all funds raised, with endowment and other donations totaling $143,313,739.

The money has come from estates, large corporations, property bequests, insurance policies and individual donations, large and small, since January 2000.

The donors have made contributions for reasons both personal and professional. Among them are alumni who have given money and scholarships, as well as funds to endow faculty chairs or fellowships.

Alumni have been key to the success of the campaign, said Beth Hammock, director of external relations for MU.

“Donors can choose to have their money go into an endowment, or they go into expend accounts, where we spend it right away,” Hammock said. “Our endowment at the end of last fiscal year was $591 million.”

The funds raised from the campaign are intended not only to add to the $591 million endowment but also to support students, faculty, programs and facilities in these cash-strapped fiscal times.

“We brought in $123 million last year,” Hammock said. As of late September, cash gifts for that fiscal year represented about half that amount — $62.2 million.

“Usually half of our productivity in a year is cash, and half is pledges and expectancies,” Hammock said.

Pledges are sophisticated IOU’s where donors give cash to MU over a five-year period. “Expectancies” are planned donations that include estate gifts, insurance policies and property.

“Property is considered an in-kind gift, primarily farm land in Missouri that donors have given to MU,” Hammock said. The bequeathed land is usually sold or used for agricultural research by the university.

Alumni donors include three graduates whose success prompted them to give back to the university:

— Kelvin Walls, a physician whose parents were sharecroppers, gave $10,000 to fund scholarships in their honor;

— Russell Smith, a journalism major who went on to head a chain of pharmacies in Oklahoma, gave $100,000 to celebrate an inspiring professor;

— Charles Brown, a former college football and track star who is now a school superintendent, has made annual contributions to foster higher education in the state.

Here are their stories.


Kelvin Walls’ mother had an eighth-grade education, and his father left school after the fourth grade. They were African-American farmers from Mississippi, now living in the Bootheel. The couple moved to southeast Missouri as sharecroppers, working on their own farm.

Their son, a 1987 graduate of the School of Medicine, is a physician in Lee’s Summit.

“My parents, Hal and Willie Walls, grew up in the South,” Kelvin Walls said. “My father was born in 1919, and my mother was born a few years after that.”

Hal and Willie Walls lived in an era when “work took the precedence over school.”

“Here’s a man and woman that couldn’t go to college and didn’t have any opportunity for it,” Walls said about his parents. “So they dedicated their lives for their kids to have an education.”

Walls’ family sent all 10 of their children to college, with six degrees conferred by MU. Eight of their children pursued professional degrees to become physicians and lawyers.

“There was an understanding that we needed to work hard, go to school and do the best,” Walls said. “That’s how we grew up.”

In an effort to share this passion for education, he wanted to do something to continue his parents’ legacy.

During a family reunion in Tennessee last year, he announced an endowed scholarship fund for African-American medical students.

The $10,000 fund that exists under the name of his father and late mother was a gesture that brought everyone present to tears.

“My goal is to grow it as big as it can with the help of my siblings,” Walls said.

“I’m just really excited that my family is in a position to provide a full scholarship for a number of students.”

The legacy of education continues today among the grandchildren. In the past year, five nieces and nephews completed doctorates and professional degrees.

“Education makes a difference in people’s lives,” Walls said. “By setting up this foundation, we can pass this gift on to others.”


After initially enrolling in a pre-med program at MU, Russell Smith felt a connection with advertising and became part of the School of Journalism. He graduated in 1967.

His interest in science, however, never disappeared. Smith continued at MU to earn a master’s degree under the mentorship of professor Joye Patterson, who was able to secure a graduate scholarship for him and fostered his initial interest in science writing.

“Joye was the first person with the idea that we should be training people to get into science writing,” Smith said.

Years later, he would establish the $100,000 Smith/Patterson Science Journalism Fellowship and Lecture Series.

“Science is something really exciting and gives you that desire to learn more and more,” Smith said. “As you hear more, you want to learn more.

“I decided it was fun to retranslate the technical stuff into something that people can read and understand.”

With his wife, Gail, Smith established the lecture series and fellowship in an effort to highlight the importance of science writing not only at the Journalism School but also across the country.

“When you make the decision that you want to help out as a donor, you have many grandiose ideas,” Smith said. “But to see it actually unfold in reality gives me and my wife great pleasure.”

The program came together within a three-month period, according to Smith, and is already yielding a fellow for next fall. The lecture series has been established to begin next fall, which also marks the centennial celebration of the Journalism School.

“It’s so heartwarming to look at something that was a figment of my imagination six months ago and now see that it’s happening,” said Smith, who has headed a chain of pharmacies in Oklahoma.

As former chairman of the Missouri Southern State College Board of Regents, he said he is familiar with the fiscal problems facing many institutions of higher education, especially in Missouri.

“All these schools are facing tremendous budgetary constraints,” Smith said. “They all have to be out finding new ways to generate money. One of the most effective ways is to go back to the alumni and say, ‘We need your help.’”

“I think there are many alumni who have the same kinds of feelings that I do, who have certainly lots more money than I do,” Smith said about the act of giving.

“They, too, have this desire to pay back the education community for what they learned and achieved in school.”


A 1995 inductee into the MU Athletics Hall of Fame in football and track, Charles Brown is still in his element, taking on new challenges.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in education in 1967 and a doctorate in 1983, he used his experience at MU as superintendent of the Wellston school district.

For the past several years, he has made ongoing contributions to MU. He and his wife, Shirley, are members in the fundraising campaign’s steering committee. They are also patrons of athletics, the College of Education and the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence.

Brown said his wife has stood beside him in most of his superintendent endeavors, as well as in matters concerning MU. She is an education major, too.

“She’s been there every step of the way with me,” Brown said. “She deserves more credit than I do.”

A Jefferson City native, Brown received scholarship offers to play football at both UCLA and MU.

“My dad had a third-grade education,” Brown said in an interview. “But when I wanted to go to UCLA, he sat me down and told me something that I will never forget.

“He told me, ‘If you want to come back and serve your community, then you have to go to school here in your own community.’”

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