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Catch Up On These 4 Big Campus Updates

New faces, construction, major gift announcements and name changes reflect growth
Bloch School of Management courtyard

UMKC is constantly evolving, even in the quiet months of summer. Here’s what you might have missed while you were away.

1. Building for Success: Campus Expansions and Major Gift Announcements

Hang on to your hardhats! Several buildings on campus have seen changes and more updates are on the horizon.

While the infrastructure for the basement of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center next to the School of Computing and Engineering’s Flarsheim Hall was visible last May, now the building is well above ground level. We look forward to watching construction throughout the year. Scheduled completion is 2020.

The Marion and Henry W. Bloch Foundation has committed $21 million to support the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. The gift will be used to support the Henry W. Bloch School of Management via programming enhancements, expansion and renovation of Bloch Heritage Hall, and support programs that will help students during pivotal times in their university careers.

Several buildings on both campuses will receive updates, thanks to a $15 million multi-school gift from the Sunderland Foundation.

  • Flarsheim Hall will add a virtual reality lab, a clean room and other state of the art technologies that will bring it in line with the Plaster Center. 
  • Henry W. Bloch School of Management will receive funds to renovate and update technology in Bloch Heritage Hall. 
  • University Libraries will renovate the Miller Nichols Library third floor for a digital humanities and digital scholarship center and in preparation for the planned relocation of the State Historical Society of Missouri. 
  • The School of Law will renovate classrooms to better accommodate the more interactive experiences between professors and students.
  • The School of Dentistry will renovate the pre-clinic laboratory and include replacing dated equipment with state-of-the-art technology.
2. Haven't We Met? New UMKC Athletics Identity

Swinney basketball court

New look, new Roo. UMKC Athletics announced a new brand identity that features a fierce “fighting Roo.” While Walt Disney’s smiling original is beloved, this new Roo reflects the strength, determination and pride of Kansas City. A bold, new basketball court design features the Roo and the Kansas City skyline, showing our unfailing hometown pride. Kansas City pride shines through in a new interlocking “KC” mark. Shirts and hats featuring the new logos are available online and the full collection will be in the bookstores soon.

3. What’s In A Name? Academic-Unit Mergers

The UMKC Department of Theatre, which attracts national talent and graduates outstanding theatre performers, designers and technicians, merged with the school formerly referred to as the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. The new name of these wildly successful and creative entities is the UMKC Conservatory. 

While the School of Biological Sciences and the department of chemistry had been neighbors and collaborators for years, they joined forces this summer as the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. 

4. Welcome To The Troop! Key Administrative Hires

UMKC was thrilled to welcome two outstanding new members to our executive team this summer. 

Lisa Baronio

Lisa B. Baronio, EMBA, has joined UMKC as the president of the UMKC Foundation and chief advancement officer. She will lead corporate and foundation relations, major gifts and gift planning programs, endowment, capital campaigns, stewardship and advancement services.

Yusheng (Chris) Liu, Ph.D.

Yusheng (Chris) Liu, Ph.D, is the new UMKC vice chancellor for research. Liu brings more than 20 years of experience in working for public research universities as an educator and chief research officer, and he also served as a program director at the National Science Foundation, based out of the Washington, D.C., area.