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'Next Level' Campaign eclipses original $86M goal

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

With an original fundraising goal of $86 million by June 30, 2006, Cowboy fans have already surpassed that initial goal. They are stepping up to the “Next Level” in Oklahoma State University’s largest single campaign to date with the renovation of Boone Pickens Stadium.

“Many positive things are happening across all our campuses,” OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly said. “The successful stadium renovation project is a special point of pride. In addition to our donor’s important support of OSU academics and scholarships, the stadium campaign remains an institutional priority. We appreciate the incredible response of our fans to date and are now extending our stadium campaign to thousands more.”

To remain competitive among the nation’s top football venues, "The Next Level" campaign kicked off in fall 2002 to raise $86 million to renovate and reinvent OSU’s 85-year-old stadium, a cherished tradition with a spectacular new setting.

From the beginning, OSU leadership sought to finance the project through private philanthropy rather than burdening the athletic department budget with debt that would linger decades into the future. With $86 million raised, identification of 300 newly committed major gift donors, and well into Phase II (north side) completion, the Cowboy faithful have amazed those on the sidelines by surpassing the original goal with almost a year of fundraising to go in creating the front porch to OSU.

“This is truly one of the most successful, well-run athletic campaigns I’ve ever seen in 30 years of consultations for more than 100 universities,” remarked Bruce Flessner, principal with Bentz, Whaley, Flessner, a nationally renowned development consulting firm.

While there has been a phenomenal response to date, OSU is still $16 million away from covering all the construction costs associated with the south and north renovation.

“We are sincerely grateful for the thousands of supporters who have become involved through gifts, five-year pledges and new premium seating. To help raise final campaign funds, we will execute the ‘grassroots effort,’ soliciting more than 100,000 alumni and friends of the university,” said Craig Clemons, associate vice president of development for Athletics.

As a special thank you, a glass panel Wall of Honor is currently under bid for the south stadium plaza; it will feature the names of supporters in lights that contribute $1,000 or more. This permanent structure will welcome thousands of Cowboy football fans to one of the nation’s prime collegiate athletic facilities: Boone Pickens Stadium.

Today, OSU continues to field its teams with a budget that ranks 10th in the Big 12 Conference while the university ranks fourth overall in NCAA championships among all universities. Funding for "The Next Level" ensures additional revenue for all athletic programs and showcases a world-class image to the Big 12 and the entire country.

To learn more about "The Next Level" campaign for Cowboy football, call 405-744-1234 or toll-free 877-OSU ATHL. Donations are tax-deductible.

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