Now in its final year, Mississippi College’s “Growing the Vision” campaign to support scholarships, academic programs, fund capital improvements, and grow the MC endowment is less than $4 million away from its $80 million goal.
“We are encouraged by the generous support we’ve received and the progress we’ve made thus far, but we will need the participation of other alumni and friends to reach our $80 million goal by Homecoming 2011,” says Dr. Don Phillips ’54, who chairs the campaign’s steering committee. “As we move into the final months of the campaign, it’s critical that support for ‘Growing the Vision’ remain strong.”
From $65 million to $80 million
What began as a $65 million campaign announced during Homecoming 2006 has since exceeded all expectations. The MC community so generously supported the campaign that in 2008, despite a challenging economy, President Lee Royce and the university’s board of trustees raised the “Growing the Vision” goal to $80 million.
“MC has loyal alumni and friends. It’s that simple,” says Leland Speed, “Growing the Vision” campaign chair. “As a Christian university, Mississippi College plays an important role in our society. This campaign is the best vehicle to strengthen MC, whether it’s in academics, athletics, buildings, or the endowment.”
“Growing the Vision” has already led to the completion of significant capital projects at MC, including renovations at the food court at the B.C. Rogers Student Center, enhancements at the Alumni Conference Center, and the renovation of the recital hall in Aven Hall, just to name a few. “Growing the Vision” has also funded improvements at Robinson-Hale Stadium and A.E. Wood Coliseum.
The campaign provided a renovated auditorium, modernized classrooms, and state-of-the art equipment for Self Hall, the home of the MC School of Business, as well as a makeover for the Leland Speed Library that included upgraded seating areas, small group study rooms, and a new coffee shop. “Growing the Vision” also funded improvements to the downtown Jackson campus of the Mississippi College School of Law.
Visions Yet to be Fulfilled
In the years since launching “Growing the Vision,” Mississippi College has experienced increases in enrollment and launched new programs, resulting in new items added to the list of enhancements to be funded through the campaign.
The university has expanded its boundaries with the purchase of the old Clinton Junior High School property fronting Clinton Parkway and College Street in downtown Clinton. Purchased for $3,501,000, the property now known as the “East Campus” will provide much-needed room for MC to physically expand. Potential uses for the spacioushome for the Department of Communication.
“Growing the Vision” also contributed to facilities under construction for MC’s new physician assistant program, the only one of its kind in Mississippi.
“We are building a state of the art learning and assessment facility where we’ll be able to record simulated patient encounters, podcast lectures, and demonstrate technical procedures,” says Dr. Bob Philpot, executive director of the physician assistant program, which will enroll its first students in 2011. “These facilities include opportunities for donors at all levels, including exam rooms, a conference room, audiovisual control room, and faculty offices, all waiting to be named after individual or corporate donors.”
“Growing the Vision” will also provide enhancements to Cockcroft Hall, home of the School of Nursing and Department of Kinesiology. Plans include new classrooms, offices, and spaces in which students can practice their hands-on nursing skills.
“We’re gratified by the splendid levels of support we’ve seen over the past four years. This reflects enormous faith in Mississippi College on the part of so many of our alumni and friends,” says MC President Dr. Lee Royce. “The campaign was launched with John 15:8 on the hearts of its supporters. That scripture reads, ‘This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.’ Today, we are asking our faithful MC alumni and friends to keep pressing ahead and to keep in mind that when we reach our goal next fall, God will receive all of the glory.”
Five Who Dare
To keep awareness and enthusiasm for “Growing the Vision” high, one generous Mississippi College alumnus has announced a challenge dubbed “Five Who Dare.” This alumnus, who prefers to remain anonymous, will make a pledge or planned gift of $500,000 if at least five other key MC supporters pledge the same amount.
Naming opportunities connected to several projects are still available for individual and corporate donors. Some of these opportunities include enhancements at the School of Business, the Mississippi College School of Law, and at new facilities currently under construction for the physician assistant program. For information on supporting MC or help in planning your gift to the “Growing the Vision” campaign, please contact Dr. Bill Townsend at 601.925.3257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Growing the Vision” Named Projects to Date