What’s the best way to culminate a historic $25 million capital campaign?

With a balloon drop, a celebration dance, a champagne toast and the announcement of a new campaign.

During Homecoming weekend, Mississippi University for Women announced that it had exceeded its $25 million fundraising campaign goal. The official announcement was made on Shattuck Lawn at Magnolia Mingle.

The “Be the Light” campaign is the university’s largest fundraising campaign and has led to new scholarships, cutting-edge learning environments and much more.

W President Nora Miller said, “I am so proud of the contributions that have been made to invest in our campus and our students. These gifts will be the light for our future. I am grateful for the tireless work done by our Foundation Board and Development staff, and for the generosity of our donors.”

In 2017, the MUW Foundation Board voted to move forward with a recommended goal of $15 million over five years. Four years later, based on the momentum from donors, the university publicly announced that the campaign had exceeded $17 million, increasing the goal to $25 million and extending the campaign three more years.

The campaign focused on four priority areas: endowed scholarships; facilities, technologies and programs; endowments, including faculty endowments; and athletics.

While scholarships were identified as a top campaign priority, Andrea Stevens, executive director of alumni and I am so proud of the contributions that have been made to invest in our campus and our students.

development, highlighted a few gifts benefiting the university:

  • The Bill and Jo-Ann Vandergriff Simulation Learning Lab, a simulation hospital for nursing students
  • The Martha Jo Mims Digitization and Conservation Laboratory housed in the University Archives
  • The Nancy Knight Gilpin Music Lab and new Steinway baby grand piano in Poindexter Hall
  • The Nancy Yates Fellows Program provides students with opportunities for community engagement, research and internships

Stevens said, “Th e unwavering support from our alumni and friends demonstrates their loyalty to the university and the students we serve. Th e dollars raised are remarkable, and the impact of those dollars is transformational for our students. On behalf of the MUW Foundation, we are forever grateful to our donors for their generosity in this historic campaign.”

Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of the renovation of Shattuck Hall, which will be a new gathering place for alumni and friends of the university to connect and reconnect.

Shattuck Render

The $13 million campaign titled “A Home for the Future” will fund a complete renovation of the building. In addition to offices, Shattuck Hall will house:

  • A boardroom for MUW Foundation and Alumni
  • A gathering area just inside the front doors
  • An event space with dinner seating for 200
  • Spaces for faculty and staff to meet
  • Overnight accommodations for alumni and friends including 10 rooms, three suites and one executive suite
  • Parking for alumni and guests

Shattuck Hall was originally built in 1910 as a four-story dormitory. In 1953 it endured a devastating fi re. The first floor then became the dining hall, and the second floor was home to students.

“As a campus hub of activity during the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of alumni have incredibly fond memories of time spent in Shattuck,” Stevens said.

After the Culinary Arts Institute was established in 1996, Shattuck soon became the program’s home sharing a connection to Shattuck’s history as the dining hall.

Stevens added, “As we near completion of a new, state of-the-art building for culinary arts next door, we have an extraordinary vision for the future of this beloved space as a home for the Office of Development and Alumni, the Office of Professional Development and Career Services and The Inn at The W.”

Wyatt Waters paints the plein air print of “Th e Homecoming”

Jenny Katool, chair of the MUW Foundation Board of Directors, said, “Shattuck Hall has such a rich and storied past for our alumni. Th ere are so many special memories for alumni who dined and lived in Shattuck and our nursing and culinary arts students who studied in this historic building. We are excited it will be home to our alumni and a place where our students will have the best resources to plan for their careers.”

Guests were invited to help kick off the campaign by ordering a plein air print of “Th e Homecoming” by Wyatt Waters. For more information about “A Home for the Future” campaign, please call (662) 329-7148.