What is a comprehensive fundraising campaign?
A campaign is an organized fundraising effort with an announced financial goal and timeline. It focuses on obtaining support for the University’s highest, most strategic priorities by identifying and soliciting prospects in a planned, systematic manner. Campaigns also engage organized volunteer leadership to represent the campaign and help make the University a top philanthropic priority during the life of the campaign and beyond. We call the campaign “comprehensive” because it will benefit almost every facet of SEMO. In measuring success, we count gifts, pledges, and estate gifts.

Why is SEMO launching a campaign now?
Transforming Lives will inspire extraordinary support for SEMO’s focused impact areas: Academics, Technology, Facilities, and Athletics.

Higher education, and with it SEMO, is at a historic and important inflection point. With its focus on innovation and transformation, Transforming Lives, is where our big vision meets our Will to Do. This is a public-facing comprehensive fundraising campaign supporting the University’s transformation to support the students whose lives are transformed here.

What is the goal for Transforming Lives?
$60 million raised is the overarching campaign goal, but not the key message. This campaign is about transformation. Funding is the vehicle to achieve the vision of a modern campus, which will enhance our brand, help increase enrollment and extend SEMO’s positive impact on the region. 

What are the pillars of Transforming Lives?
Key strategic initiatives include enhancing learning spaces, powering technological advancements, expanding academic programs critical to building tomorrow’s careers today, and further investing in athletics to build community and championships.

How were strategic initiative priorities identified?
Identifying campaign priorities was the result of nearly three years of collaboration between University leadership, academic leadership, Foundation and community leaders.

When did the campaign begin?
The preparation for the campaign began in July 2019. Gifts from this point until now are counted in the total amount secured. These dollars secured are in action already around the campus with scholarships, program enhancement and technology and capital improvements. The campaign launched publicly on Oct. 13, 2023.

Why should people support SEMO?
This campaign is not only about technology and new facilities. As with everything we do at SEMO, it is about our students. As the world changes, we will be ready so we can continue providing access and opportunity for our students to forge their futures, reach their potential, and transform their lives.

Who is participating in this campaign?
We are extending our invitation to join far and wide to inspire support from alumni, friends, corporations, foundations and faculty and staff.

Who is leading the campaign?
In addition to support from University leadership, Transforming Lives is led by campaign co-chairs Drs. Janet and Pat Ruopp and Susan and Bill Shaffer. They have led through their own philanthropy as well as by directing a network of regional and affinity-based volunteers.

How much has SEMO raised so far?
$39.5 million

How can I make a difference?
Transforming Lives is truly a campaign for all. In measuring success, we count gifts, pledges, and estate gifts That’s why a gift of any amount will help us reach our financial target of $60 million and create transformation for our students.

Where can I learn more about giving opportunities and impact?
SEMO’s University Foundation is spearheading the Transforming Lives campaign to focus donor investments on the programs, ideas, and priorities that will transform SEMO, so its students can transform the world. For more information, visit SEMO transforms or contact the University Founcation at (573) 651-2332.