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MSU to Celebrate Annual Gifts with ‘Biggest Little’ Parade

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MSU to Celebrate Annual Gifts with ‘Biggest Little’ Parade

Starting at approximately 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, Michigan State University will host a parade to celebrate the significance of annual gifts to the university, centered around one simple message: Loyal Spartans make a difference at MSU every day.

The “biggest little” parade will start at the Music Building, 333 W. Circle Drive, and will follow the MSU Spartan Marching Band’s traditional game day “March to the Stadium” for the MSU vs. Central Michigan University football game. The parade’s lineup includes: Sparty, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, the MSU Pompon team, a 10-foot balloon, custom signage with stories celebrating the impact of annual gifts and a “Grand Giver” riding in a Mini Cooper.

MSU alumnus Sean Williams (’10, Business), one of the founders of the Detroit vs. Everybody brand, will serve as the “Grand Giver.” Williams recently made his first gift of $100 to MSU to support actuarial science and the Charles Drew Science Scholars Program.

Spartans along the parade route will be encouraged to cheer and to post socially using the hashtag #SpartanLoyal. The parade will be filmed and later shared with nearly 43,000 annual giving donors. It’s intended to not only reflect the university’s gratitude for annual gifts, but also to unveil new giving recognition levels, including Spartan Loyal.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of annual givers who help support every part of Michigan State,” said Kathleen Deneau, senior director of annual giving at MSU. “These gifts address students’ needs and allow MSU to take advantage of unexpected opportunities when they arise. The parade is meant to show how all these gifts come together to make an extraordinary difference.”

Throughout the past year, annual gifts to the university have provided student scholarships and funding for research and academic programs. With a total of more than $7 million raised from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, it was one of the most successful single years, and represents a 33 percent increase from last year.

MSU’s annual giving success comes on the heels of the university’s recent announcement of its Empower Extraordinary capital campaign hitting a $1 billion milestone.

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Author: Sarah Wardell