The Grand Scheme of Things:  Southern Foundation Fundraises $18.5 Million

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During this year’s homecoming game, the Southern University Foundation presented an $18.5-million-dollar check. SUSF fundraises 365 days out of the year for the Southern University System. This check provides financial support to students, faculty and staff, and facilities of the Southern University and A&M College System.

Foremost, the Southern Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation established to secure financial support for each of the five campuses of the Southern University System. The Million Dollar March is an annual fundraising campaign. This year 243 captains raised funds individually, helping secure philanthropic contributions.

The impact of the campaign substantially benefits the systems as it financially secures the future of SU. As the check was presented students expressed how they were confused on where the funds we received were actually going towards. Often students don’t see the entire perspective, just the present downsides. “Our institution provides opportunities for individuals to get an education and utilize that in future endeavors,” stated Robert Harrison director of Development for the Southern University System Foundation.

Though SUSF works endlessly to fundraise, students feel that they aren’t sure where the funds are going towards. DeAnna Moncriffe, the Student Philanthropy Council President explained how it’s because of a lack of communication. “Some individuals feel that they don’t have to communicate with students about where funds are going and that is something the Valdry Center is doing. That’s why we’re trying to highlight the Student Philanthropy Council and Valdry Center as a whole. Come in and ask questions, they will give you transparent answers.”

Nonetheless, the campus-wide master plan and campaign will launch at the beginning of next year. It is currently in the silent phase. Providing academic programs and services, campus infrastructure, increasing enrollment and expanding academic and research programming, and significantly more. By raising $770 million dollars in a five-year campaign to build a new Southern.

The Southern University SPC constructed a student fundraising campaign where students raise funds for themselves. In case of emergencies, insufficient funds, or providing funds for students that wish to go home for breaks but can’t afford it. SPC will allocate funding to help them. Along with creating opportunities for students in all majors to receive funds.

“This campaign will help graduates see the importance of giving back to Southern,” stated Harrison. Given that an area of improvement is alums under 40 giving to SUSF. “Not receiving anything materialistic when you give … when you give you may be keeping a senior in school or helping someone graduate,” stated Moncriffe.

Moncriffe, president of the Student Philanthropy council, shared how as a student organization the council raised $45,000 towards the 18.5 million raised. On track to raising 6 figures in their first active year. “We plan to go to different heads of departments and see what the department needs. Talk to students and see what improvements you want to see in your department,” stated Moncriffe.

Last year there were 5,544 gifts from 3,209 donors from Southern University. President-Chancellor Dennis Shields expressed how their, “contributions are helping today’s generation students lay the foundation for their future and their contributions to society and business.”

On Give Day there were 1,067 donors alone. In 2021 philanthropic gifts provided more than $14.5 million dollars this year extending to $18.5 million this year. These funds directly support the university.

With anticipation that students will soon see a better SU. SUSF is progressing majorly to plan for a greater university; going from master plan to reality.

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