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New Scholarship Announced at Alumni Awards

La Familia Promise and Opportunity Scholarship Fund receives first donation from Chancellor Mauli and Sue Agrawal
The 2019 UMKC Alumni Award winners pose for a group photo at the March 15 celebration event.

Students attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City now have access to additional scholarship funds thanks to a generous donation by UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal and his wife, Sue. The new scholarship, called the “La Familia Promise and Opportunity Scholarship Fund,” was announced at the 2019 UMKC Alumni Awards Celebration on March 15.

The La Familia Promise and Opportunity Scholarship Fund will provide additional scholarship funds to students with high financial need. With matches from the Alumni Association, the UMKC campus and the UM System, the fund’s initial impact will be 10 students, receiving $5,000 each.

“Our eyes are always on what we can do to support our students,” said Tamra Hoffman, UMKC Alumni Awards Celebration co-chair and vice president of events for the UMKC Alumni Governing Board. “Many of our students have dire financial need. They have what we call a ‘financial hold’ on their accounts, which means they owe tuition money that needs to be paid in order for them to continue as a student, or to obtain their transcripts.”

Tamra Hoffman holding a UMKC pennant talking about the scholarship benefit to students
Tamra Hoffman talks about the benefit students receive from the scholarship funds.

Thanks to the La Familia Promise and Opportunity Scholarship Fund, students have more resources, and alumni and friends have another opportunity to help students.

To highlight the impact of these types of scholarships, Jim Hogan, Alumni Awards Celebration co-chair and former alumni awardee introduced alumnus Brian Boman (B.S.C.E. ’17) who received financial holds funds as a student, allowing him to stay in school.

“The feeling of relief that I felt was immediately followed by the humbling truth that the UMKC Alumni Association and its supporters had paid my remaining balance,” Boman said. “The generosity shown to me felt like an affirmation of all the choices I made to be part of UMKC. While earning my degree I found community with my classmates and faculty. But, most importantly I found a way to have the life that was important to me; a life that gives back to the people and places that have already given me so much.”

Boman now works as a graduate engineer for the City of Kansas City and volunteers his time at UMKC as a member of the School of Computing and Engineering Alumni Board.

“The feeling of relief that I felt was immediately followed by the humbling truth that the UMKC Alumni Association and its supporters had paid my remaining balance.” – Brian Boman (B.S.C.E. ’17)

“UMKC helped me discover my passion, and I made my mind up that I would achieve my goal no matter how long or how hard my path would be,” Boman said.

Over the past several years the annual Alumni Awards Celebration has raised more than one million dollars in support of student scholarships including a full ride scholarship to an outstanding student supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees. The event also celebrated the outstanding achievements of UMKC graduates by presenting 17 awards.

In addition to school-based achievement awards, the UMKC Alumni Association presented university-wide honors to Dwight Scott (B.L.A. ’94), Alumnus of the Year; Steven St. John (B.A. ’96), Spotlight Award; Dick Gibson (B.M.E. ’67, MBA ’02), Bill French Alumni Service Award; José Faus (B.A. ’87), Defying the Odds Award; and The Strickland–Hembree Family, Legacy Award.

Dwight Scott poses for picture
UMKC Alumnus of the Year Dwight Scott at the event.

Among the awardees were four veterans and doctors who work with veterans; a researcher, two conservationists and two preservationists. Awardees included educators, and people who share their knowledge, time and treasure. Honorees were people in STEM fields and people shattering glass ceilings.

All of the alumni awardees had one thing in common – excellence. In addition to raising scholarship funds, the Alumni Awards Celebration allowed UMKC to express pride in alumni accomplishments and to tell their stories.

Published: Mar 20, 2019

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