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Money to UM sports a boost

The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation announced last week that it has surpassed its $150 million goal for the Forward Together campaign, and hopes to reach $200 million to fund other athletic related campus improvements.

The Forward Together campaign started in August 2011. Since its inception, it has raised a total of $155 million and has funded multiple projects including The Manning Center and upgrades at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. It is also responsible for bringing the concept of The Pavilion at Ole Miss, which is set to open its doors Jan. 7, to fruition.

The 3,425 donors who have given the $155 million have helped make Ole Miss fans’ game day experiences better. We commend those who have donated and encourage others to give to the foundation that has improved Ole Miss athletic facilities.

The Forward Together campaign is responsible for renovating Vaught’s west skyboxes before the 2015 season and beginning the construction of 30 luxury suites and 870 club seats in the south end zone. Now that the $155 million goal has been reached, the north side of the stadium will be transformed into an exciting new “front door,” complete with a plaza and bell tower.

The Walk of Champions will be extended from the Grove to the plaza, which will include the new Jake Gibbs Letterwinner Walk, and new video boards and improved audio systems will be installed at the stadium.

Closing in the north end zone will bring stadium seating above 64,000, allowing more fans to watch the Ole Miss football team take on SEC rivals and create lasting experiences at Ole Miss.

The extra $50 million that the foundation has set as its new goal will fund renovations of the FedEx Student-Athlete Success Center, Gillom Sports Center, Ole Miss Track and Field Complex, Starnes Athletic Training Center, football practice fields, a new indoor tennis facility and additional enhancements to Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

As the regular football season comes to a close next weekend, we encourage the community to think about the fun you’ve had at Vaught this year and consider making a donation to the Forward Together campaign.

You can be sure your donation, no matter how large or small, will help improve your game-day experience next year, as well as your experience at other Ole Miss athletic events.