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Stylized type heading: Empower Extraordinary: Why a Capital Campaign is Essential to MSU’s Ability to Empower the Future. This graphic includes a photograph of the Spartan statue.

Michigan State University is poised to achieve the next milestone in fulfilling its legacy and achieving its destiny—to power and empower—through Empower Extraordinary: The Campaign for Michigan State University.

The $1.5 billion capital campaign will enable MSU to significantly increase its endowment and make substantial new strategic investments to:

  • Provide full scholarships to the best students, regardless of background and socioeconomic status;
  • Invest in faculty and academic excellence by establishing endowed chairs and professorships; and
  • Expand research capacity that enables MSU to solve the big problems of our time and to strengthen the economy and enrich quality of life across Michigan and around the world.

Why a Capital Campaign?

More than ever, philanthropic investment through private giving from MSU alumni and friends is essential to maintaining the university’s standard of excellence and to reducing the tuition burden on students and their families.

Michigan ranks last in the nation
for investment in higher education

A bar chart displays a comparison of higher education investment made in individual states. Michigan’s investment is highlighted as the lowest in the chart.

While most states have increased their investment in higher education in the last decade, the state of Michigan has decreased its investment by nearly 20 percent, making it dead last in the nation for investment in higher education.

students and families pay MORE

A line graph chart compares decreasing state support and increasing tuition and fees from 2001 to 2013.

Driven almost entirely by the dramatic disinvestment by the state of Michigan, the cost for higher education has been shifted to students and families. Today, just 13 percent of MSU’s total budget—or 22 percent of its general fund budget—comes from state appropriations. In 2001, 50 percent of MSU’s general fund budget came from state appropriations.

Investing in the Future

In this radically changed landscape, private investment in Michigan State University through the Empower Extraordinary capital campaign is essential to achieving MSU’s mission and sustaining and accelerating the university’s national and international standings.

Private giving through the campaign will enable the university to reach high-priority, strategic goals that move the university forward. It will make it possible for MSU to expand and enhance its impact on the lives of students and individuals in communities across Michigan and around the globe, helping ensure a better future for all.

The capital campaign for MSU aims to:

Infographic of a dollar symbol wearing a graduation cap.

new scholarships


Create 3,000 new scholarships and become a tipping point for many students who may not otherwise be able to afford a college education. One third of Michigan State’s 38,500 undergraduates are first-generation college students and 75 percent of MSU students come from households with an annual income less than $130,000. Most major research institutions have an average annual household income over $200,000.

Infographic of a person standing by a chalkboard. The caption for the image reads x2 endowed chairs.

Double the number of endowed chairs and named professorships, and create endowed positions for athletic coaches. Creating a talent pool of brilliant faculty, exceptional postgraduate fellows and gifted students will increase Michigan State’s long-term ability to compete for talent and for significant grant funding and to continue its pursuit of excellence in generating and disseminating knowledge.

An illustration of a bubbling chemistry beaker, a telescope with twinkling stars and a microscope.

Provide necessary financial resources to enhance MSU's research enterprise in ways that save lives, strengthen the economy and change the world. The impact of Michigan State’s research has long been felt on other continents, as well as across the state of Michigan.But thinking and working within global contexts is no longer isolated to a few fields of study—it’s a requirement for each college and discipline at Michigan State. With increased investment, Michigan State can dramatically expand its capacity to work across disciplines, stimulate deep understanding and provide meaningful transformation and a positive impact on society.

An illustration of a light bulb that represents inspiration and a crane helping to construct buildings/resources.

Create spaces that inspire the next generation of thinkers and leaders, enhance the arts and support leading athletic programs. New investment in MSU’s infrastructure will support a vibrant campus community that is built on collaboration and inclusiveness, while also providing resources for emerging opportunities.

A photograph of MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and the quote: “What sets MSU apart is not so much what we do, but how and why we do it. We deliver excellence while boldly living our values. We are equally committed to competing at the highest levels of research and scholarship and enrolling and supporting the success of a bright and diverse student population, including those from modest backgrounds. We are built to power and to empower.
An illustration of a wreath and the text: Learn more about investing in MSU’s future through the capital campaign: Spartans Will.