Dec 19, 2008    #122
Contact: Laura Byerley

The Sunderland Foundation Contributes $1 Million to Miller Nichols Library ExpansionUMKC and Kansas City Communities to benefit from Foundation's continued philanthropy for new and improved facilities

The Sunderland Foundation has announced a $1 million gift toward the Miller Nichols Library Expansion at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), expanding classroom and community space, as well as technical resources. The Miller Nichols Library Expansion project is a key foundational element for UMKC to realize its goal as a model university for the 21st century and to meet the challenges outlined in the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation’s “Time to Get it Right” report on higher education.

“The Sunderland Foundation has a long history of supporting capital projects at UMKC. We believe the renovation of the Miller Nichols Library will be a wonderful addition to the University, and will serve the needs of the students for many years,” said Kent Sunderland, President of the Sunderland Foundation.

Lester T. Sunderland, who served as president of Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years, established the Sunderland Foundation in 1945. The Foundation provides funding for “places where families in distress find help and healing, where young minds grow and thrive and where communities come together for celebration and inspiration.” The Miller Nichols Library expansion reflects this commitment to educational opportunities and community.

The Sunderland Foundation has an honored history of investing in key projects on the UMKC campus beginning in 1967, and providing sustained benefits to the UMKC and the Kansas City communities. The Foundation’s investments include: the new Pharmacy/Nursing building on Hospital Hill; the construction of the fourth floor of Miller Nichols Library; the UMKC Performing Arts Center campaign; and the renovation of UMKC’s administrative center. Kent Sunderland, grandson of Sunderland, continues to lead the Sunderland Foundation and joined the UMKC Board of Trustees in 2008.

“The Sunderland family’s long-standing investment in the future of UMKC and Kansas City continues with this generous gift to the Miller Nichols Library, and we are grateful,” said Leo Morton, chancellor of UMKC. “For decades, the Sunderland Foundation has embraced key projects that provide broad-based community impact. This unfailing ‘commitment to community’ strengthens UMKC’s role in meeting 21st Century learning styles and needs with inspiration and rich technology.”

The $1 million is designated for Phase II of the expansion, creating classrooms, seminar rooms, a 300-seat lecture hall and an open space to accommodate community members, faculty and a growing student body of more than 14,000. The $30 million Phase II is the focus of UMKC’s fundraising needs, and has garnered financial support from Jeannette Nichols in honor of her late husband, the extended Nichols family and the library that is named for him. Phase II renovations will begin in the spring of 2010 and are set to conclude in January of 2011.

Other expansion phases include Phase I, which will install a high-density automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) at the south side of the library. All the private funds for the $20 million Phase I project have been secured, and the project is expected to conclude in the spring of 2010.

In the winter of 2010, the $20 million university-funded Phase III is set to begin with the addition of 40 new group study rooms, an expanded information commons, computing areas and a tiered parking structure. The parking structure will create more parking spaces and allow for a broader, green expanse to greet visitors.

“We are honored to have the Sunderland Foundation as a partner in the exciting reinvention of the Miller Nichols Library,” said Sharon Bostick, Dean of Libraries. “It is very gratifying to have citizens with vision continue their focus on, and support of, quality projects with long-lasting impact. This new library will enhance all learning opportunities for our students and the Kansas City community, and we are grateful for the Foundation’s critical and generous support.”

The Miller Nichols Library Expansion has received major financial commitments from the Nichols Charitable Foundation, Julia Irene Kauffman, J.E. Dunn Construction Co., Nichols Company, the William T. Kemper Foundation and the Herman & Helen Sutherland Foundation. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation also recently awarded the Miller Nichols Library a $502,000 grant for the internationally-acclaimed Marr Sound Archives.

Additional Library information and renderings are available at:

About the Miller Nichols Library:
The Miller Nichols Library is the largest academic research library in the metropolitan area, housing more than one million books, serials and electronic journals, and an array of specialized databases that provide quick access to scholarly information. It is estimated that more than 160,000 patrons use the library annually, 25 percent of whom are members of the Kansas City community. Once completed, the expansion project will strengthen the library’s ability to promote lifelong learning and enhance the campus’ northeast corridor.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City:
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.
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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice)


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