Successful fundraising campaign builds home for new Emeritus College

$160,000 in donations supports the construction of an office suite on the second floor of Miller Nichols Library


Feb. 19, 2015

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of a campaign to raise funds to build a home for UMKC’s new Emeritus College.

Steven P. Norris, president of the foundation, said an effort to raise $160,000 to build out an office suite in the Miller Nichols Library was successful thanks to many generous donors — the majority of them retired UMKC faculty.

“Raising funds to build a home for the new Emeritus College is an important first step in the university’s efforts to establish this important institution,” Norris said. “We have many generous donors to thank for the success of this early campaign.”

Norris said fundraising is continuing to raise money to endow the Emeritus College. The retiree portion of the university’s ongoing capital campaign has a goal to raise $2.5 million toward the effort, including $2 million to endow the college and $500,000 to pay additional start-up costs.

In 2010 a working group began looking at the possibility of establishing an emeritus college at UMKC. The group endorsed the idea as a way of maintaining ties with retired emeritus faculty and their valuable knowledge and experience. In May 2013, the university selected Dr. Bibie Cronwall, retired vice provost, as the college’s first dean.

Nancy M. Mills, retired dean of the School of Nursing and former Interim Dean of the School of Dentistry, led the Emeritus College working group and has been actively involved in raising funds for the college — including as a donor.

She said having a physical location for the college is a huge step.

“By having a space for them, it feels like they have a home,” she said.

Mills said efforts to recruit emeritus faculty to join the college are just beginning. The Emeritus College will help keep the rich base of scholarship and creative works associated with retired emeritus faculty connected to the university, she said.

The Emeritus College suite is located on the second floor of the library. It includes a dean’s office, two small working conference rooms and a common area with additional working space.

Mills said the college offers an opportunity for retired faculty from across disciplines to continue their work and to have a chance to work across disciplines.

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