It's taken seven years, but Minnesota State University, Mankato has surpassed its goal for a $75 million fundraising campaign. The university announced Friday that it raised $77.8 million for its "Big Ideas Campaign," which formally ended Aug. 31.

The campaign, which had been underway since 2006, was designed to raise money for student scholarships, research and training opportunities and other projects.

Richard Davenport, the university's president, issued a statement thanking donors for their generosity.

The university raised the bulk of the funds, $57 million, in what it called the "silent phase" of the campaign before it was publicly announced in October 2011. Since then, it has raised $20.8 million for dozens of programs.

Among the projects receiving funds: research in renewable and alternative energy sources, flight training for aviation students, start-up funding for a global business solutions center, archaeological digs near Red Wing and expanded training programs for students in health science and other fields.

Maura Lerner