Important collaborations are happening every day, and some of them need to be recognized for their significant impact and for being partnership models. The awards are given to a program and/or project developed in collaboration by individuals at the university or in the community that helps further the goals of both organizations.

The awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the UMKC Trustees on June 12.

The Community Partnership Award recognizes a business or organization for its ongoing partnership that strengthens UMKC. The recipient’s support is essential to the university’s success, a critical component in fulfilling its urban-serving mission of education and research and enhances the quality of life in the region. Commerce Bank is being recognized for its consistent and broad-based support from both the bank and its Charitable Trusts and Foundations office. Through its financial support and associates’ engagement, the bank has enriched UMKC’s work in a variety of fields including scholarship and student support, building renovation funding, faculty research, events sponsorship and academic programming.

The Leo E. Morton Community Service Award recognizes university contributions to the community through innovative services, programs and/or projects that strengthen the relationship between the university and the community. The recipients receive a $2,500 cash award. The UMKC Institute for Urban Education supports the aspiring urban educator over the course of their career pathway, from their introduction to the field through their time as professional teachers. Along with providing academic, financial and social support to individual students, the IUE has also created collaborative and long-standing partnerships with local school districts and other organizations that support the development of a diverse teacher workforce.

The Vision Forward Award recognizes a new or emerging initiative that demonstrates the spirit of discovery and innovation with promising outcomes that enhance the quality of life in Kansas City and/or supports the university’s urban-serving mission. The From Seed to Table Project, a partnership between UMKC and the non-profit Veterans Community Project, is a 100% veteran-serving program to enrich Kansas City and the lives of its veterans. This effort focuses on urban agriculture and controlled environment agriculture (CEA) solutions because most homeless military veterans live in urban areas. The project supports veteran beginning farmers through employment, education, training and entrepreneurship initiatives.