After eight years, an increased goal and a weak economy, Chancellor Brady Deaton announced Friday that MU's fundraising campaign For All We Call Mizzou surpassed its goal of $1 billion two months ahead of schedule.
"It's fair to say Mizzou is $1 billion better today because of all of you," Deaton said.
The accomplishment originated from a vision Chancellor Emeritus Richard Wallace had nearly a decade ago. The official campaign began in January 2000.
The initial goal of the campaign was set at $600 million. After years of uncertainty, that goal was surpassed in 2005, and the university set its sights on the $1 billion mark.
Recent donations by Robert and Sue Weiser for $4.6 million, Harry and Ann Cornell for $2 million and Ira and Gail Hubble for $1.5 million helped propel MU past its goal.
MU joined a crowd of 19 other programs in the nation to complete at least a $1 billion fundraising campaign.
David Housh, vice chancellor of development and alumni relations, said he witnessed many naysayers throughout the campaign.
"There were a lot of people that were doubters, but guess what, we did it," Housh said.
Deaton expressed his gratitude toward the three co-chairpeople who helped orchestrate the campaign. Cynthia Brinkley, Larry McMullen and William Thompson all spoke to the crowd at Jesse Hall expressing their sense of accomplishment for the university while outlining what that the campaign had accomplished.
Nearly 1,500 scholarships have been made available to students through the campaign, in addition to 86 new endowed faculty positions. McMullen believes the two components are the best investment despite the troubling economic struggles.
"Our investment in students is going to reap tremendous rewards," McMullen said.
Brinkley attributed the increase in students interested in MU to the money allocated from the campaign to help improve the MU’s facilities and programs.
"With record enrollment this year, we believe better facilities played a big role," Brinkley said.
Although the university has reached its goal, Deaton does not expect the campaign to end as planned in two months.
"We'll be going into a planning phase which we expect will result in a larger campaign," Deaton said.
Wallace said though he began the project, he does not believe there should be an end to the vision.
"Development is a bit like strategic planning," Wallace said. "It should have a planned beginning but no end."