Large gifts boost MSU campaign


By Hugh Griffith
Special to the Advocate

Recent gifts and pledges to Pressing On raised the campaign total to over $550,000.

Pressing On is the capital improvements campaign for Wesley Foundation at Mississippi State University.

A $200,000 gift from Mr. and Mrs. James W. Bagley pushed the campaign total over the half-million dollar mark. In addition to the Bagleys’ gift, members of The Cornerstone Society have pledged $80,000 to support the effort to expand and renovate the current facility. The Cornerstone Society consists of current and former members of the Wesley Foundation Board of Directors.

Five years ago, the MSU Wesley Foundation’s Vision Team dreamed of an expanded ministry at MSU. The team’s work soon made it apparent that in order to increase ministry to MSU students, the facility at the current Wesley Foundation Center must be addressed. The dream grew and now includes the renovation and expansion of the current facility, which was built in 1963 to serve a student body of 7,000.

Following extensive work with Pryor and Morrow Architects, State Wesley Foundation has a design for a renovated and expanded student center that more than doubles its capacity to reach students with United Methodist campus ministry. The Board of Directors embarked on an ambitious goal of raising $1.6 million for the facility and another $1 million for a ministry endowment.

The first leadership gift came from the Johnny Crane Family of Fulton. The Cranes jump started the campaign with a donation of $100,000. Additional leadership gifts of $50,000 each by Mr. and Mrs. Bryce Griffis and Leo Seal Jr., pushed the building fund total upward. While still in the leadership phase of the campaign, Wesley has begun to receive unsolicited gifts in amounts from $10 to $5,000.  The board anticipates the launch of the public phase of the campaign in August.

During the 2005-06 school year, State Wesley’s ministry reached some 400 students with an average weekly attendance of 130. Highlights from the past year include growth in participation of African-American students and the hiring of State Wesley’s first associate campus ministry, Mandy Nabors.

In the capital campaign and in ministry to students, State Wesley presses on, straining to reach the goal of the upward call of God.

Griffith is the campus minister and director of Wesley Foundation at Mississippi State.

MSU Wesley

For more information of Wesley Foundation at Mississippi State, visit