Forever LSU

Chair Henson Moore and the Forever LSU Campaign Cabinet (Atlanta's own Sarah Clayton is 6th from the right on front row)

LSU Community Unites to Celebrate Success of Forever LSU Campaign

"When the Tiger Athletic Foundation, the LSU Foundation and the LSU Alumni Association came together to launch the Forever LSU Campaign, we did so with the expectation that a coordinated effort would be the best way to serve LSU. And it was, which speaks to the fact that our donors, thousands of alumni and friends who truly care about LSU, are willing to unite to invest in this great university. Their commitment to LSU, even in the toughest economic times, is remarkable."

In a historic show of support for LSU, hundreds of alumni, friends and corporations from across the country have generously donated more than $750 million to Forever LSU: The Campaign for Louisiana State University, it was announced Friday, Nov. 12.


A contingent of donors, alumni, current and former university leaders, students, legislators, and members of the business community gathered Friday to recognize the success of the campaign.


"Many very generous people who believe in LSU have invested in LSU with the expectation that this university will continue to excel and grow as one of the great institutions of higher education in this country," said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. "Like the covenant we have with our students to provide them with a superior education, we have a covenant with these donors to invest their money wisely. It will take a similar commitment from the state of Louisiana to ensure LSU's continued success for future generations, and this is certainly a resounding statement of that expectation."


Private donor contributions to the Forever LSU campaign total approximately $753 million, while approximately $34 million in state matching funds has also been contributed to the effort. The historic campaign, publicly launched in 2006 to benefit LSU, the LSU AgCenter and the Paul M. Hebert Law Center and concluding Dec. 31, is a joint effort of the LSU Foundation, the LSU Alumni Association and the Tiger Athletic Foundation.


The money that has been contributed to the campaign is mostly in donor-specified funds and is largely invested in ongoing building projects, endowed scholarships for students and endowed chairs and professorships.


"This is an unprecedented show of support from LSU alumni and supports at a time when we face the prospect of unprecedented budget cuts," said Congressman Henson Moore, chairman of the Forever LSU Campaign. "These generous donors have recognized that an investment in LSU is an investment in the future of Louisiana. But their contributions are not a substitute for the basic budget support LSU needs from the state. By law, contributions can only be used for the purpose for which they were intended by the donor."


LSU supporters celebrated the kickoff of the most ambitious fundraising campaign in school history at an announcement event held in New York in June of 2006, an event at which LSU alumnus and political commentator James Carville said, "There is no other state university more important to their state than LSU is to Louisiana." Moore has since led a cabinet of more than 50 LSU alumni and friends in nationwide efforts to engage LSU supporters in furthering LSU's pursuit of excellence and academic distinction among universities worldwide.


Forever LSU surpassed one-third of its $750 million goal by Dec. 31, 2006, with $33 million being raised in six months and the remaining amount having been raised during the silent phase of the campaign, which began in 2001. Forever LSU reached the two-thirds mark just 15 months later, with more than $500 million raised as of March 31, 2008.


Forever LSU's four pillars are student support, faculty support, university-wide support and campus infrastructure. Since its launch, contributions to Forever LSU have enabled the establishment of 426 professorships, 38 chairs and 794 endowed scholarships. These awards allow LSU to attract and retain outstanding students, professors and researchers.


The campaign has allowed LSU to invest in major capital projects that will prove beneficial for generations to come, including the Shaw Center for the Arts, the Equine ICU at the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Rural Life Museum Visitors Center and the University Lab School Gymnasium. Other projects in progress include the new business education complex, a new band hall and a new chemical engineering building. In addition, donations to athletics have contributed to the construction of a new football operations center, new baseball and softball stadiums, a new basketball practice facility and the renovation of the west side of Tiger Stadium.


In the final weeks of Forever LSU, the campaign's highest priority will continue to be support for students. Specifically, Forever LSU is focused on increasing funds for need- and merit-based student scholarships. One such scholarship fund is Pelican Promise, a need-based award that pays the equivalent of tuition. This scholarship makes attending LSU possible for nearly 1,500 students in need of financial aid.


As the Forever LSU campaign nears its end, support of the university through private dollars remains critically important to ensuring that LSU continues to be one of the best public universities in the country.


"As we mark the tremendous achievement of raising $750 million in private donations, LSU's need for private financial support has never been greater," Moore said. "We must be diligent in moving LSU forward. While this campaign is nearly finished, our work is not."


Martin praised Moore's leadership in guiding the campaign to a successful conclusion.


"Plain and simple, this campaign would not have been a success without the vision and leadership of Henson Moore," Martin said. "In my many years of involvement in higher education, I have never been so fortunate to work with a more passionate and dedicated volunteer than Henson Moore."


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