Missouri State University's Pride Band plays at Onward, Upward's celebration.

During the Onward, Upward celebration on Saturday, Oct. 29, which marked the end of the Onward, Upward campaign to raise $250 million to support students, faculty, programs and facilities, it was announced that $274 million was raised to support the university. The event was held at Great Southern Bank Arena Saturday evening, following the day’s Homecoming festivities. 

The celebration began before the doors opened with Missouri State’s Student Government Association hosting a party at the waiting line. There was a DJ and dance party outside along with free giveaways. The doors opened at 7 p.m. and the first 2,500 people inside received free goody bags.

The celebration was hosted by campaign chair and Missouri State alum John Goodman. The celebration included live music featuring MSU’s pride band, grand chorus, Grammy award-winning artist Tori Kelly, and band KC FLO. There were also appearances from faculty members, including President Clif Smart. 

“This campaign has had a major impact in ways that sometimes can not be seen,” said Vice President for University Advancement, Brent Dunn. “The campaign has brought hundreds of new opportunities for students to receive financial assistance. We have raised money for chairs and professorships and that is to attract and retain the best faculty we can get.”

Senior Director of Relations and Special Events Stephanie Smith expected the event to be even bigger than the initial announcement in 2019.

“It’s different, it is a much larger scale event for sure. It is more like a concert and will be held in the arena instead of Juanita K. Hammons Hall.” 

According to Dunn, the campaign does not end here. “There are capital projects that still need to be completed and naming of colleges that are still yet to be done,” Dunn said. “We will take the campaign committee and foundation board on a retreat in January with the final steps of what will be presented in February.”

For more information about the Onward, Upward campaign, visit https://www.missouristate.edu/OnwardUpward/default.htm.

Follow Maddy Rice on Twitter, @MaddyRice14

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