Gateway for Greatness Campaign logo

The Champagne cork has popped two years early at the University of Missouri–St. Louis as the Gateway for Greatness Campaign has reached its target goal of $100 million. The university announced today that overall giving this year nearly matched last year’s record-setting fundraising total of just under $27 million. More than 25,000 donors have contributed to the Gateway for Greatness Campaign, pushing the total raised to $102 million for scholarships, professorships, programming and improvements to facilities.

“I’m amazed and most impressed by the generosity St. Louis has shown by supporting our programs and students,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George said. “These are not easy times. But our donors know that UMSL means so much to this region’s economy. Seventy-eight percent of our alumni live and work in the St. Louis area.”

The Gateway for Greatness Campaign, the first comprehensive campaign in UMSL’s history, began quietly in 2005 and is scheduled to run through 2012. Last September, it was unveiled to the public before a crowd of 650 friends and supporters attending the university’s annual Founders Dinner at the Ritz Carlton, St. Louis in Clayton, Mo.

Express Scripts Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman George Paz, who is also the campaign chairman and a UMSL alumnus (BSBA 1982), offered his congratulations and issued a new challenge.

“It’s incredible what UMSL has been able to achieve in this stormy economic climate,” he said. “But to rest on one’s laurels after such a success would not help the students. Now is the perfect time to build on the momentum of UMSL’s past two record-breaking years of fundraising. I’d love to see my alma mater reset its goal and strive to help more students from this world-class institution succeed in St. Louis.”

Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor of university advancement at UMSL, responded to the call to action.

“George is absolutely right,” Leifeld said. “When we first announced the campaign we stated that $100 million was a minimum goal; the aspirations and needs of the university are far greater. And I stand behind those words. That’s why we are now determining a new goal to be raised for UMSL by 2012.”

Leifeld also thanked all donors for their support to date. So far, contributions of $1 million or more made over the life of the campaign include the following:

* $4.2 million from the Express Scripts family (Express Scripts Inc., the Express Scripts Foundation and Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman George Paz and his wife, Melissa) to fund scholarships for outstanding students demonstrating a financial need, the construction of a new College of Business Administration building and other activities,

* $4.2 million from the Foundation for Credit Education for the Center for Excellence in Financial Counseling, a new multidisciplinary center that focuses on the financial well-being of consumers,

* $4.1 million from E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee for professorships in the Des Lee Collaborative Vision,

* $2.5 million from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation toward the construction of a new College of Business Administration building,

* $2.1 million from Whitney and Anna Harris for continued funding of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center,

* $2 million from UMSL Chancellor Tom George and his wife, Barbara Harbach, professor of music at UMSL, to support students and programs in the College of Fine Arts and Communication,

* $1.75 million from alumnus Peter Schick (BSBA 1974) and his wife, Maria, to fund a professorship of finance in the College of Business Administration,

* $1.6 million from Nick and Sophia Karakas and the Karakas Family Foundation to the Center for International Studies for the formation of the Greek Studies program,

* $1.2 million from alumni Stanley (MBA 1992) and Dr. Terry Freerks (BA history 1977 and Med 1979) for uses to be determined,

* $1 million from the Boeing Company toward the construction of a new College of Business Administration building,

* $1 million from the University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee and his wife, Sherry, to the four campuses to purchase and install a state-of-the-art video conferencing system for interaction among campuses,

* $1 million from Ken and Nancy Kranzberg to help fund the UMSL at Grand Center initiative and other programs,

* $1 million from Dr. Jay Pepose, Susan Feigenbaum and the Pepose Vision Institute in Chesterfield, Mo., to continue a refractive surgery initiative in cooperation with the College of Optometry,

* $1 million from Emily Rauh Pulitzer for the UMSL at Grand Center initiative and

* $1 million from alumnus Steven Schankman (BGS 1991) and Andi Powers-Schankman, to support the jazz studies program in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

More information:

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz