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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Big Ideas Campaign seeks to raise $75 million

Minnesota State Mankato is hoping to raise a total of $75 million as part of its Big Ideas Campaign.

By Tanner Kent, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 10/28/2011]

Free Press photo by John CrossSurrounded in all the comforts $4.5 mil­lion can purchase, Minnesota State Mankato officials announced the largest­-ever fundraising cam­paign in the history of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system on Thursday.

While those in the audience were the first to glimpse the newly renovated Centennial Student Ballroom, President Richard Davenport kicked off a $75 million campaign — of which $57 million has already been raised through a silent phase that began in 2006.

“ With your help,” Davenport said, “we will transform ourselves — and the world.”

The Big Ideas Campaign is designed to raise funds for five project areas: student scholarships, classroom and campus technology, global partnership and study abroad programs, student-faculty research opportunities and campus sustainability programs.

The centerpiece of the campaign will be the College of Business Global Solution Center. Eventually located in Morris Hall, the center will feature solution labs and state-of-the-art auditoriums for students in a wide variety of disciplines to address global problems such as water quality and health care.

The campaign will also create the Purple-and-Gold-into-Green Fund to encourage projects and research that transform Minnesota State Mankato into a leader in campus sustainability.

Doug Mayo, Minnesota State Mankato's vice president for advancement, called the campaign a “historic event” that would make Minnesota State Mankato a “ hub” for global conversation. Randy Zellmer, a Minnesota State Mankato graduate and president of the Foundation Board, said the university is “poised to take a truly transformational step.”

In a press conference after the event, Davenport pointed out the funding trend that has seen the state’s contribution decline from nearly 70 percent of a student’s college costs to just under 40 percent.

Officials hope to raise the remaining $18 million for the campaign by June of 2013. More than a decade ago, Minnesota State Mankato launched a fundraising campaign that raised about $38 million.

For the complete story, see Friday's print edition or The Free Press e-edition at

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