Top 10 Stories of 2023

A groundbreaking year filled with excitement and many firsts for the university
Roo Statue

The year 2023 saw rapid growth for Kansas City and its university. UMKC continues to reach new heights as an institution of higher education. With our students, faculty and staff at the forefront of our accomplishments in deep partnership with the community, it has never been a more exciting time to be a Roo.

Here are the Top 10 stories of 2023 at UMKC.

Roos in Flight: UMKC Community Involved in Creation of New Airport Terminal

In February, the new KCI Airport terminal opened to travelers and UMKC students, alumni and faculty helped make it happen. Together, Roos from communication, design, engineering, consulting and art backgrounds were involved throughout the largest infrastructure project in the history of the city.

Welcome sign in airport featuring UMKC.

UMKC Student Opportunities with the Kansas City Chiefs

UMKC announced that it is an official higher education partner of the Kansas City Chiefs, the 2022 World Champions. The five-year partnership between UMKC and the Kansas City Chiefs focuses on student success and recruitment efforts. Opportunities for UMKC students include scholarships as well as leadership, mentorship and career-shadowing within the Chiefs organization. Events for prospective students include stadium tours and other programs.

 A large group of people, KC Wolf and KC Roo stand in front of the Student Union and cheer enthusiastically as red and gold confetti floats down onto them.

Revealing the Future of the UMKC Health Sciences District 

The university revealed the design of its largest capital investment to date: the $120 million Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building. With key funding from the state of Missouri and visionary Kansas City donors, the building will enable the university to provide state-of-the-art education, find newer and better ways to serve patients in need, strengthen collaborations with surrounding neighborhoods and facilitate greater interdisciplinary partnerships to fuel innovation and research.

Rendering of Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building

UMKC Announces $10 Million Transportation Grant During Pete Buttigieg Visit

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visited UMKC to discuss a new $10 million federal grant awarded to the School of Science and Engineering to develop innovative approaches to improve the sustainability and equity of transportation infrastructure. UMKC was among 20 selected from 169 universities to lead Tier 1 University Transportation Centers for underserved and disadvantaged populations.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg tours the Plaster Center

Greater Kansas City and Missouri Named Tech Hubs 

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has named the KC region and Missouri “Tech Hubs” as part of a historic investment to strengthen the U.S. economy and national security - and UMKC played a significant role in this recognition. "The new Tech Hubs designation provides great scope for innovation in Kansas City – and I can envision all the groundbreaking advancements to come as our UMKC students, faculty and staff work in collaboration with the many fantastic organizations in the greater Kansas City area," said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. "We at UMKC could not be more excited."

Maria Meyers, Chancellor Mauli Agrawal and Tony Caruso

UMKC is Now a First Scholars Institution!

This new designation from the NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success recognizes our efforts in supporting students with programs such as First Gen Roo Scholars. About half our students are first-generation students, and those who participate in the program have higher GPAs and are more likely to complete their degree than those who don't take part. 

First Gen Roo

New UMKC School of Medicine Building Will Transform Health-Care Access in Missouri

UMKC broke ground on a new $14.5 million medical building for the School of Medicine campus in St. Joseph. With nearly half of rural counties in Missouri lacking adequate health-care access, this 22,000-square-foot building will transform access by training future health care providers who are committed to rural medicine, supporting research and providing care to people in St. Joseph and the surrounding area.

Chancellor Agrawal and approximately 15 medical students participate in a groundbreaking ceremony

UMKC Divine Nine Garden Deepens Community Connections

UMKC paid tribute to the contributions and presence of the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities with a ceremonial unveiling in the heart of campus. Hundreds of people from across the Kansas City region representing the Divine Nine Black Greek organizations that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council gathered to celebrate.

Representatives of the Divine Nine Black Greek organizations stand next to there fraternity's or sorority's plaque.

What Do UMKC and the Kansas City Zoo Have in Common? Kangaroos

UMKC and the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium announced a five-year partnership centered around their shared love of kangaroos. The relationship between the two Kansas City institutions dates back almost 90 years. Next time you find yourself at the zoo, venture into the Australia section to learn how the Roo came to be the mascot of UMKC.

KC Roo at the Kansas City Zoo


Taylor Swift Eras Tour is Part of This UMKC Dance Alum's Resume

It's definitely been the year of T Swift, and Conservatory alumnus Kameron Saunders has enjoyed the excitement. He had the chance to "make the whole place shimmer" in Kansas City as a backup dancer on the Eras tour with Taylor Swift. Although originally from St. Louis, Saunders considers Kansas City a second home.

Three photos of Kam Saunders. One with Taylor Swift.

Published: Dec 16, 2023

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