Mar 28, 2009    #035
Contact: John Austin

Alumnus gives $8.2 million gift to University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry Missouri couple bequeaths estate to provide dental school scholarships

In what is one of the largest individual gifts ever made to a school of dentistry in the United States, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Dentistry has announced the creation of an $8.2 million legacy estate gift provision. The announcement was made by UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton during the annual Alumni Recognition Breakfast at this year’s Midwest Dental Conference on March 28, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, MO.

The gift will be made in the form of a bequest provision in the estate plan of Dr. Robert and Mrs. Lucille Cowan, of Branson, Missouri. Acting on their desire to help young aspiring dentists, Dr. and Mrs. Cowan have designated the UMKC School of Dentistry to receive this future gift, which is currently valued at $8.2 million. The couple has directed that their legacy gift be used to establish an endowed scholarship fund to benefit students in good standing at the UMKC School of Dentistry.

“The University and the School of Dentistry are certainly humbled by the generosity of the Cowans,” Chancellor Morton said. “The Cowans’ extraordinary gift of education and opportunity will provide immeasurable returns. We thank them for their unending dedication and support, and for selecting UMKC to continue their legacy.”

Dr. Cowan is a 1949 graduate of what was then the University of Kansas City (UKC) School of Dentistry. The Cowans’ gift will double the size of the school’s endowment, which will double the amount of scholarships the school currently awards students, allowing the school to make a dental education more affordable to countless future students.

Dr. and Mrs. Cowan hope this gift will inspire others to give to the dental school. They also hope students who receive the Cowan Scholarship will try to help at least one other student as soon as they are financially able to do so.

In recognition of this significant gift to generations of future students, the UMKC School of Dentistry will name its public service and student training clinics (the entire first floor of the UMKC School of Dentistry), The Dr. Robert and Mrs. Lucille Cowan Center for Clinical Care.

Also during the Alumni Recognition Breakfast, the School of Dentistry recognized this year’s Rinehart Medallion recipients. The Rinehart Medallion is bestowed on alumni and friends of the school who have distinguished themselves through philanthropy or service.

About the Rinehart Medallion
The Rinehart Medallion honors the memory of Dr. Roy J. Rinehart, longtime dean of the dental institutions that evolved into the UMKC School of Dentistry. Each year Rinehart Medallions are given to recognize lifetime donors of $10,000 or more, the presidents of the Dental and Dental Hygienists’ Alumni Associations, and the Dental and Dental Hygiene Alumni of the Year. To date, Rinehart Medallions have been awarded to more than 200 donors in recognition of their philanthropy. Annual donations to the Rinehart Foundation provide support of UMKC School of Dentistry programs that improve the quality and expand the efforts of the school’s faculty, students, research and patient care.

About the UMKC School of Dentistry
The UMKC School of Dentistry originated in 1881 as the Kansas City Dental College. The name has changed and the school has grown and evolved into a multi-faceted institution, but it has maintained a tradition of excellence in education for over a century. The school offers a varied and complete range of educational experiences for students of dentistry and dental hygiene and for graduate and continuing education students.

About UMKC
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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