Missouri State University exceeded its $250 million Onward Upward capital campaign goal, officials announced at an event celebrating the conclusion of the initiative.
Visitors to the Great Southern Bank Arena on Saturday were first to see the roughly $274 million campaign total.
“As an institution, we couldn’t be more excited about the future unfolding today, right now, because of the Onward Upward campaign,” MSU President Clif Smart said in a news release. “We’re grateful for every person who made a gift – large or small.”
Actor and alumnus John Goodman, the Onward Upward campaign chair, was in attendance at the event, which also featured a live performance by singer and songwriter Tori Kelly and other acts.
Bearing the actor’s name, the John Goodman Amphitheatre and Judith Enyeart Reynolds Arts Park held an open house earlier this month. Goodman was among donors to the Onward Upward campaign.
“Campaigns usually need a lot of big help when it comes to financial support,” Goodman said in the release. "But something made this campaign truly special. It wasn’t just big gifts that carried us onward and upward. It was thousands and thousands of small gifts that gave the campaign its momentum.”
The campaign included more than $118 million to support academic programs, nearly $80 million in new scholarships and more than $70 million in funding for new buildings and facility improvements.
Onward Upward was announced in 2019, when Goodman also visited the Springfield campus.
Whataburger launched its second local store; Branson shop Revive Juice and Coffee Bar LLC moved; and a new Monett branch of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library District opened.