More than 600 people have accepted invitations for the kickoff this weekend of the public phase of MU’s massive fund-raising campaign.
Most are alumni — including Jann Carl of “Entertainment Tonight” and actor Mike Villani, both graduates of the School of Journalism. Other guests are donors considered to be “real loyal friends of the university” and campaign volunteers, said Mary Jo Banken, director of the MU News Bureau.
Future goal set at $1 billion for UM system
Campaign festivities begin at 6 p.m. Friday in Jesse Auditorium, with an announcement of how much money has been raised during the campaign’s silent phase and the overall future goal.
Previous unofficial estimates have set the goal at $600 million for the MU campus. Gov. Bob Holden has encouraged the entire UM system to raise $1 billion by 2010.
MU Chancellor Richard Wallace, UM President Elson Floyd and Bill Thompson, co-chairman of the campaign’s national steering committee, will participate in the announcements. Katy Farr, a junior in the MU College of Business, will discuss the campaign’s effect on students.
“I plan to tell the alumni how important it is to donate money for student scholarships,” Farr said. “I will share how it’s helped my life and my college career, being a scholarship recipient.”
Following the announcement, a dinner will be held on Francis Quadrangle under a tent made to hold 1,100 people. Tickets for the event were sold to alumni and other guests in advance. Both the Marching Mizzou Drumline and For All We Call Mizzou, a swing choir, will perform.
Swing choir created for campaign
The 12-member choir was created specifically for the campaign and will tour the nation throughout the campaign. At its premiere performance Friday, the choir will sing “For All We Call Mizzou,” the theme song of the campaign. The piece was arranged by Walter Staley, an MU School of Music instructor. The choir will also perform a medley of songs put together for the group in addition to the well-known “Route 66,” said choir member Elizabeth Fricks.
“There will be a lot of nostalgia at the dinner,” Banken said. “We’re bringing people back home.”
A campaign video produced by Carl’s video firm will also be shown during the dinner.
Saturday morning tours of the campus will be given by student ambassadors, as will tours of open houses at many of MU’s colleges and schools. “We want to show them what their money will be going toward,” Banken said.
More than 200 alumni to participate
A tailgate will also be held under the tent on the quadrangle before the home football game. The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau will provide shuttles for guests among the open houses and to and from the game.
University retirees will staff the information desk at Reynolds Alumni Center over the weekend, and more than 200 alumni from across the nation have volunteered to plan the campaign and help their respective colleges plan how to use the money.
“It’s an involvement of the entire university family,” Banken said.