Through the most ambitious comprehensive fundraising initiative in its 112-year history, Southern Arkansas University has far surpassed its goal of raising $22.275 million thanks to the generosity of Mulerider alumni and friends.
The Love and Loyalty Campaign, an effort to strengthen SAU’s commitment to affordability and innovation, began in October 2016 and concluded Oct. 9, 2021, having raised an extraordinary $29.7 million – exceeding the goal by 33 percent. The campaign benefitted student enrichment, academic programs, faculty and staff support, student life and community engagement, revitalized facilities, and Mulerider athletics.
“When Muleriders unite, we do wonderful things,” said Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU. “Together, we went faster and further than anyone could have imagined five years ago. Thanks to our dedicated alumni, friends, faculty, and staff who showed their amazing love and loyalty for our University. Your collective power has transformed SAU and your impact will be felt for generations to come.”
That vision includes the establishment of over 100 new endowments during the life of the campaign. SAU now has 17 endowed faculty positions to help recruit and retain top faculty. With the help of devoted Muleriders, the University also experienced its first endowed Dean’s Chair and first endowed Department Chair.
The campaign focused on several key areas to help keep SAU competitive in a rapidly-changing educational environment. Students will have access to additional scholarships and travel opportunities thanks to the more than $10 million raised for student enrichment. Faculty and students can continue striving for their highest potential thanks to over $6.3 million raised for academic programs. An additional $1.6 million was invested in the leaders of today and tomorrow through faculty and staff support. And, the tradition of excellence in Mulerider Athletics lives on with over $4.5 million raised on behalf of student-athletes, coaches and athletic facilities.
Campaign Quick facts:
- $29.7 million raised/$22.275 million goal
- 4,188 donors who gave 17,023 gifts
- Foundation endowment growth to more than $52 million
- Faculty/Staff Giving Percentage – over 82%
- Over $2 million raised to benefit Student Life and Community and Community Engagement, including the Lusby Hospitality Pavilion, Alexander-Warnock and Ozmer Historic Farmstead and Learning Center, and the Farmers Bank & Trust Trap Shooting Range.
- Over $2 million raised to ensure that such facilities as Harton Theatre and Bussey Hall remain viable for the future.