The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Campaign raises $1.5 million for athletics

SMU’s annual athletic department fundraising campaign closed Monday night after soliciting more than $1.5 million in pledges.

Named after former SMU coach and recruiting guru Herman “Sleepy” Morgan, the annual campaign by the Mustang Club has earned $1,503,124 from 1,640 donors since January.

This year’s effort was the most successful since 2000, and the Mustang Club surpassed last year’s total by more than $100,000.

“The Fund Drive’s success can be attributed to two groups of people, our volunteers and our donors,” said Chris Walker, SMU’s Associate Athletic Director for Development.

The volunteers were led by chairman Gerry York, who also oversaw the 2005 campaign.

“It’s predominantly done by hard work, and we ask every year if people will raise their pledge by ten percent,” York said of how his teams raise money. He added that the relative success or failure of any individual sport had little success on fundraising overall.

“We have become better organized in the last few years,” York said.

The 10 percent increase strategy has worked well for the Mustang Club, as each of the last two years the amount pledged has increased by at least $100,000. Most of that money comes in small doses.

“Some people give ten or twenty thousand, but most give much less than that,” York said. The minimum donation for membership in the Mustang Club is $50, which many members give.

The process of raising the money, which goes into the athletic department’s general fund and is most commonly used for scholarships for student athletes, begins early.

‘It’s an ongoing process,” York said of the campaign, which officially kicked off in January. “We’ll start working on next year’s drive within a few weeks.”

During the Drive, Mustang Club fundraisers are divided into five different teams. Each team has respsonsibilties to call and solicit donations from Mustang Club members.

All five teams exceeded their goals for the campaign, with the team led Steve Stovall raising almost 10 percent more than its original goal.

Individually, former SMU swimming coach George McMillion led all volunteers by collecting $139,130 in pledges.

Much of the actual fundraising work was done at a series of fundraising phoneathons held at the press boxes on the top floor of Ford Stadium.

At these events, volunteers would call Mustang Club members and ask for renewals.

Coaches and student athletes would also call members, not to ask for donations, but to say thank you to Club members and talk up SMU.

“People really enjoyed it,” said former SMU quarterback Jared Romo, who made several calls. “One dad put his son on the phone to talk about football.”

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