How the university has grown through the support and deliberate advocacy and partnership of the business community
During the Depression, KC Chamber of Commerce leaders wanted to position Kansas City as a sophisticated and progressive city, and they were determined that a public university would build an educated citizenry and influence the intellectual life of the community. In 1929, a charter to establish the University of Kansas City was granted and the university opened its doors in 1933.
Civic partnership has played a key role with the university’s growth and development throughout history. The university’s original Board of Trustees was led by a group of businessmen who raised the capital and endowment funding. Trustees were also originally accountable for all university operations and held fiduciary responsibility for the organization until mergers with other existing private schools – Kansas City School of Law, KC Western Dental College, KC College of Pharmacy and Kansas City Conservatory of Music – joined University of Kansas City.
In 1963, UKC joined the University of Missouri System and changed its name to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Through an agreement with the UM System, UKC Trustees remained in control of all trustee-held endowments, and they continued in operation as a high-level advisory board.
How Trustees Partner with UMKC Today
Great cities require the influence and stimulation of a great university. UMKC Trustees encourages this thinking and understanding in the community. We steward the investment of their monies, share their expertise, and mobilize their networks to benefit university programs, such as.
- Annual award and recognition stipends for Trustees Faculty Fellowships
- Real Estate program begun by Miller Nichols has purchased more than 200 properties within the university’s master plan area. The net income from 54 homes in this portfolio now supports the Trustees’ Scholars program
- UMKC Trustees’ Scholars – A maximum of 28 scholars are at UMKC in any given year with full-ride — tuition, housing, book allowance — scholarships provided by trustees and their community partners
- UMKC branding campaign aimed at community and business influencers who are currently not engaged with the university.
- Working to advocate public support from state, local and federal sources.
- Aligning our priorities to support the strategic initiatives of the university.
Meet a Trustees Board Member
Attorney, McLarney Law Firm
Over the years, the role of trustees has changed to reflect the fact that the school gets less state money and has to rely on outside income. The trustees have to be involved in generating that revenue. We’re always trying to figure out new ways to generate money for scholarships and programs.