Bloch School Celebrates Henry Bloch’s Legacy on 100th Anniversary of his Birth

Special event also marks grand reopening of renovated Bloch Heritage Hall
Heritage Hall on UMKC campus, a large red brick building

A century after his birth in 1922, Henry Bloch continues to have a powerful impact on Kansas City’s entrepreneurial landscape and in shaping future generations of business leaders. 

“Henry was a real presence at the Bloch School and remains a presence,” said Brian Klaas, Dean of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. “I loved watching Henry with our students. He demonstrated such humility and kindness. He was so supportive and tried to give them a message that really would help them in life.”

 This year, the Bloch School celebrates the 100th anniversary of Henry’s birth with yet another incredible milestone of his legacy, the grand reopening of Bloch Heritage Hall. The historic hall, located on UMKC’s Volker Campus, has been closed since early 2021 while undergoing a massive $17 million renovation. On July 30, the school will commemorate Henry’s 100th by unveiling their work and the new era of Bloch Heritage Hall.

“The grand reopening is a fitting way to honor Henry,” Associate Dean Sidne Ward said. “Like Henry himself, the redesign will be transformational. It will improve the student experience, enhance learning and student achievement, help students engage with the school and each other and launch their careers.” 

Students, alumni, community partners, faculty and staff are all encouraged to join the celebration and tour the new facilities on Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The event is casual, family friendly, and as Henry would have wanted, there will be birthday cake, ice cream, food and activities for all ages. 

The celebration will also feature special events throughout the Bloch campus to allow members of the Bloch School community to look back on many of Henry’s accomplishments and reflect on the ways his impact continues to be felt in the community.

Portrait of Henry W. Bloch
Henry W. Bloch


“Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Henry’s birth gives us an opportunity to celebrate his special brand of entrepreneurship, which focused on achieving success and making the world a better place,” said Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal.

“Henry’s generous gifts to UMKC and the Kansas City community at large have helped shape the landscape of the city and how business is done here,” Klaas said. “More than just financially, the way Henry chose to give back provides an example for others to follow. The lesson Henry offered was ‘work to be successful,’  but always work in a way that’s consistent with your values and in a way that makes a positive contribution to your community and to society.”

These values continue to inform the way the Bloch School prepares its students for success after graduation.

“Some of the things Henry demonstrated throughout his career were things like humility, modesty, integrity,” added Klaas. “He also demonstrated courage and a willingness to be bold. What we try to do throughout our programs is emphasize these kinds of virtues.”

For example, special scholarship programs such as Bloch Launchpad include elements of community service and community building, alongside conventional internship opportunities. Trevor Davis, a senior accounting major, said the program not only made college affordable, but also defined his entire student experience.

“It really took me out of the classroom and helped me know what’s to come after college,” Davis said.

Davis said he looked forward to meeting Henry — possibly running into him on one of his frequent campus visits — to personally thank him for his scholarship funded by the Bloch Family Foundation. Unfortunately, Davis never had the opportunity. Henry passed away in 2019 at age 96.

Still, Henry’s esteemed virtues live on in students like Davis as they transition into the business leaders of tomorrow.

“At a school surrounded by his legacy, you soak up some of what the professors speak about him,” Davis said. “The main thing I’ve learned is just to be genuine in your relationships with people, and that will carry you a long way in your career.”

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