If you’ve traveled 11th Street South in Moorhead lately, you’ve likely noticed the sign proudly proclaiming the “Future Home of the MSUM Alumni Center.” Directly across from the campus gates, at the site of the former Newman Center, the sign marks a spot that will soon be under construction.
It’s apparent from its name that the Alumni Center will be a hub for the thousands of Dragons who call MSUM their alma mater. What might not be as obvious is that the Center will be built by alumni: the many generous donors who funded the project so that current and future Dragons will have a place to gather when they come home.
The building will also be home to the MSUM Foundation, which solicits and stewards charitable donations to support MSUM and its students. In addition to office space for the Foundation staff, the Center will include conference and meeting space for the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Together, the Foundation staff and Board led MSUM’s recent Vision 2020 campaign, which raised more than $59 million—including funding for the Alumni Center.
But the most important purpose of the Alumni Center will be the connections it fosters between MSUM’s alumni and current students. That’s where the magic happens. When students meet the donors who have so generously supported their education by funding scholarships. And when donors meet their scholarship recipients and see firsthand the difference a scholarship can make in a student’s life. That magic is powerful—and it’s often responsible for inspiring our current students to give back to the university once they become successful alumni themselves.
Creating that magic, and a culture of philanthropy, is the real purpose of the Alumni Center. Soon, the sign will be replaced by a beautiful building. Let the magic begin.
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