Campaign for UMKC exceeds goal, moves ahead

$250 million target reached one year ahead of schedule


Oct. 1, 2015

The Campaign for UMKC, a seven-year effort to raise $250 million in capital funding for the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has pushed past its initial goal one year ahead of schedule and is continuing to provide additional resources for Kansas City’s university.

At a celebration event in the Student Union building on UMKC’s Volker Campus, Chancellor Leo E. Morton and UMKC Foundation President Steven P. Norris were joined by dignitaries including Donald L. Cupps, chairman of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators; Tim Wolfe, president of the UM System; and campaign chairs Bob Regnier and Tom Hyde.

Hyde announced that the campaign had already bypassed the original $250 million goal by more than $20 million — and would continue for the full seven-year duration.

“The mission was to obtain the resources necessary to grow UMKC into the kind of first-rate urban research university that this community needs, and this community deserves,” Morton said. “A great city needs a great university to call its own. That is what this campaign has been all about.

“So, what do you do when you finish a job early? You know what the answer is around here. You roll up your sleeves and get back to work,” Morton continued. “We’re not done yet. As just one example, we’ve raised $32 million toward the $48 million in private sector support we need to launch our Downtown Campus for the Arts, and we are going to get that done.”

Several speakers pointed to the impressive impact the campaign has already produced. The more than 300,000 individual gifts to the campaign — including more than 30 of $1 million or more — have put more than $19 million toward endowed chairs and other forms of faculty support; and more than $50 million in scholarship funds.

New buildings financed in whole or in part by campaign donations include Durwood Stadium, the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall and the Miller Nichols Learning Center. The campaign also made possible the expansion of the UMKC Honors Program into a full-fledged Honors College; and the conversion of the former University Center into the Atterbury Student Success Center.

Regnier said the announcement was a statement about the special relationship between UMKC and the Kansas City community.  

“There is great significance to what we are announcing today. UMKC put out a call, and the Kansas City community answered that call. They answered it with passion and enthusiasm, as well as generosity,” Regnier said. “The message could not be more clear: This community supports its university. Under the leadership of Leo Morton, UMKC has reinforced its position as Kansas City’s university. Leo, Tom and I thank you, and the entire community thanks you, for your leadership.”

Hyde encouraged campaign staff and volunteers to redouble their efforts in light of the success achieved so far.

“There are still unmet needs on this campus,” Hyde said. “We need more space for the explosive growth of the School of Computing and Engineering, which plays such a vital role in our local economy. We need more endowed chairs to continue to attract the world’s top faculty to drive our engines of research, teaching and service.

“And unfortunately, there are still young people with great talent and energy who are forced to leave this campus without a diploma, simply because they can’t afford to continue their studies,” Hyde added. “What a loss. What a missed opportunity, not just for those young people, but for our community, our workforce, our future. Scholarships are a key that unlocks so many doors.”

The UMKC Foundation, launched in 2009, is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves as the official fundraising and fund management organization for UMKC.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.