Missouri Western receives record-breaking $10 million donation

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On Saturday, Jan. 17, Western announced that three major gifts, including a $10 million donation by an anonymous alumnus, have been given to the university for its centennial.

The announcement was made at the Centennial Kickoff, in front of a large group of faculty, staff, students and alumni.

After a banquette in the Remington atrium, the guests were taken to Potter Hall theater via shuttle, where they were told of the first two gifts.

The first 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.”

Quixotic of Kansas City performs during the Centennial Kickoff.
Quixotic of Kansas City performs during the Centennial Kickoff.

The third gift was announced after a music and light presentation presented by Quixotic of Kansas City.

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, just $3.2 million short of the campaign’s $20 million dollar goal.

With five years left in the campaign, it is projected that the original goal will be greatly surpassed.

Additional donations made during the “quiet phase” of the campaign have also surpassed expectations.

Western has received ten donations of $25,000-$99,000, nine of $100,000 to $249,000, two of $250,000 to $499,000, three of $500,000 to $999,000 and one donation of $100,000 or over during the “quiet phase.”

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.

Missouri Western President Robert Vartebedian delivers a speech regarding Missouri Western's Centennial celebration.
Missouri Western President Robert Vartebedian delivers a speech regarding Missouri Western’s Centennial celebration.

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