MSU, Northeast also seek private dollars

By ANDY KANENGISER

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Northeast Mississippi Community College, Mississippi State University and other institutions in the region are in high gear to raise private dollars for campus projects.

Two-year schools, like Booneville-based NMCC, which has a campaign exceeding $4.2 million, join big schools asking for private support. Northeast's drive is pumping up student scholarships and construction, said President Johnny Allen. “We are quite gratified by the response,” he said.

TUPELO – Northeast Mississippi Community College, Mississippi State University and other institutions in the region are in high gear to raise private dollars for campus projects.Two-year schools, like Booneville-based NMCC, which has a campaign exceeding $4.2 million, join big schools asking for private support. Northeast's drive is pumping up student scholarships and construction, said President Johnny Allen. “We are quite gratified by the response,” he said.

Pledging $1 million was Birmingham lawyer Archie Lamb, one of Allen's Northeast classmates in 1975. “We are thrilled,'' Allen said Monday.

At Mississippi State, “we are all facing the same issues,'' said Dennis Prescott, vice president for external affairs. “We are refocusing on the importance of private giving and our people are responding.''

With President Charles Lee nearing retirement, MSU is in the midst of a $400 million fund drive that's reached the $280 million mark and is well ahead of schedule with three years left. Lee said he hopes to see a big gift for the Honors College before he steps down in May.

At MSU, private donors also have helped with a $16 million gift to expand McCool Hall that houses the College of Business and Industry. It's part of a campaign dubbed the “State of the Future.'' Other funds are for endowed faculty positions and scholarships.

Itawamba Community College, with campuses in Fulton and Tupelo, is also raising private money through an annual drive with more than $200,000 coming in each year, said Will Bunch, director of institutional advancement. Most of it is for scholarships. Donors are typically alumni, faculty and staff, businesses and foundations. With state dollars shrinking “every little bit helps,'' Bunch said.

Contact Andy Kanengiser at 678-1590 or andy.kanengiser@djournal.com