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Capital Campaign kicks off the centennial

On Saturday, Jan. 17, Missouri Western kicked off the centennial with several major announcements and a live music and light show.

In the Potter Hall Theater an audience of faculty, students, staff and alumni were told of a $20 million fundraising campaign – the largest that Western has ever pursued – were treated to a live performance by Quixotic of Kansas City and were told of three major gifts that the university has received.

The first gift was given by internationally known artist Brent Collins, who created the hanging sculpture in Remington Hall’s atrium (Evolving Trefoil).

Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the MWSU Foundation Jerry Pickman announced that Collins’ artist’s estate was being permanently loaned to Western, where it will now be housed.  University President Robert Vartabedian expressed his gratitude for this donation.

“This is a monumental gift to the university,” Vartabedian said.

The second gift announced was a $1.5 million donation from Mosaic Life Care, which will allow the first endowed professorship in Western’s history in the new field of Population Health.

CEO of Mosaic Lifecare Mark Laney believes this gift is just a way to give back to an institution that has helped his business.

“For many years, Mosaic and Missouri Western have been partners,” Laney said. “I don’t know what we would do without the wonderful nursing students that we receive and help train.”

The third gift was announced after a music and light presentation presented by Quixotic of Kansas City.  A transparent projection screen played a brief film about Western’s history.  Meanwhile, a performer behind the screen danced and moved with some of the projected effects, awing the audience.

With a projection display and a drum roll, Pickman announced a $10 million donation.  This donation is the largest that Western has ever received, and brings the total funds raised by the Centennial Capital Campaign to $16.8 million.

Additional donations made during the “quiet phase” of the campaign have also surpassed expectations. Aside from the three major gifts announced, western as received the following:

  • Ten gifts of $25,000 to $99,000
  • Nine gifts of $100,000 to $249,000
  • Two gifts of $250,000 to $499,000
  • Three gifts of $500,000 to $999,000
  • One gift of $1,000,000 and over

At the Centennial Kickoff, Campaign Co-Chair Dan Boulware expressed his gratitude for these donations.

“We are all Griffons, and we will always be Griffons,” Boulware said. “For those of you who have already pledged, I greatly appreciate it.”

Last year, Vartabedian and his wife, Laurel, started the President’s Centennial Circle.  This elite circle contains members who have donated at least $100,000 to the university.

The donations that Western has received from this campaign will be used in renovations to Spratt Stadium and Potter Hall, endowments to provide scholarships and support for Western and academic and co-curricular programming.

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