Launching the public phase of its Forever Green campaign, the Northwest Foundation turned to the Northwest community beyond foundation members to help raise the final $3 million of the $45 million goal.
“I think about the number 45,” University President John Jaskinski said. “It was 145 years ago this year that … the first bill to create a normal school for northwest Missouri was introduced in the Missouri General Assembly.”
Jasinski said Foundation board Member Mike Faust proposed the goal amount of $45 million. Jaskinski said he should have known what it would be, since Faust graduated in 1974, which was 45 years ago.
The Forever Green campaign is the second Northwest Foundation campaign, with funds supporting several construction projects on campus.
Donors contributed $14 million of the $20 million used to build the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse. The campaign has also funded the new Teaching and Learning Center, which is under construction, and an Agricultural Learning Center, which is being planned.
At the public campaign launch Oct. 24, Jasinski said the campaign began July 11, 2014, with a unanimous vote from the Northwest Foundation board.
Forever Green campaign Co-Chair Melvin G. Booth, namesake of the Booth School of Business, said the campaign has been a collaborative effort between the foundation and the administration, with Jasinksi taking charge in recent years.
Booth said the biggest unknown variable in entering the campaign was how long it would take to raise money, but Jasiniski said the Booths always had faith the goal would be reached.
“(Melvin and Valerie Booth) said, ‘We don’t join entities and causes that are not going to be successful,’” Jasinski said.
The four pillars of the campaign are forever achieving, forever strong, forever educating and forever transformed.
The highlight of the forever achieving pillar was the construction of the Hughes Fieldhouse.
The Agricultural Learning Center, the highlight of the forever transformed pillar, is budgeted to cost $8.5 million, $6.5 million of which will come from the Northwest Foundation. The 29,000-square-foot facility will reside at the front of the R.T. Wright Farm. Naming rights for the facility are available to a $5 million donor.
Forever educating is the academic pillar with a goal of $4 million. The forever strong pillar encompasses all other giving and has a goal of $10 million.
Chair of the Board of Regents Marilou Joyner said she served on the Northwest Foundation board for a year and was overwhelmed by the goal amount for the campaign.
“Seemingly, it didn’t appear as though the rest of you were all that concerned,” Joyner said. “I think you all just set aside any worries and forged forward.”
Foundation board members contributed 21% of the amount raised during the private phase of the campaign.
The total raised by the foundation as of Oct. 24 is $42,927,221.