With a student body of approximately 14,500 and continuously increasing enrollment, students have outgrown the UMKC University Center. To support increasing enrollment and UMKC’s transformation into a residential campus, the new Student Union opened Friday, August 20, 2010. In the mid-2000s, Nick Clark—now a School of Medicine student—noticed this lack of space and worked with other students and the administration to plan a new Student Union. The first plan for a new Student Union did not pass a campus-wide vote, but the second plan passed in 2007.

The Student Union project was funded through $1 million in private funds, $500,000 in campus reserves and $36.8 million in revenue bonds. The debt will be serviced through student fees approved by students in a November 2007 referendum.

Using the design-build approach, McCownGordon worked with architecture firm Gould Evans to design and build a four-story student union. UMKC College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design alumni contributed to the design of the New Student Union, as well.

Located near UMKC’s residential halls at 51st and Cherry Streets, the $38.3 million Student Union features a green roof terrace and wide floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Country Club Plaza, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and UMKC’s Stanley H. Durwood Soccer Stadium and Recreational Field.


UMKC adheres to new building energy standards developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the same standards practiced by the state of Missouri. Standards include efficient insulation and glazing, heat recovery, occupancy sensors for light and temperature control, and improved electric motors.

Through their association, UMKC students asked the university, by resolution, to strive for LEED accreditation on all new buildings. Anticipated to obtain LEED Silver certification, the facility features public transportation access, stormwater control, natural lighting, skylights, high ceilings, a central stairway and a 6,300-square-foot multi-purpose area that is divisible into four rooms.


Jody Jeffries
Phone: 816-235-1086        Email

Roland Hemmings
Operations Manager, SU
Phone: 816-235-6243        Email

Gerald Blanton
Associate Director
Phone: 816-235-1429        Email

Janet Dexter
Operations Manager, ASSC
Phone: 816-235-6034       Email 

Rosa Nataraj
Event and Scheduling Manager
Phone: 816-235-1412        Email

David Babcock
Business Manager, One Card
Phone: 816-235-1429        Email

Metzilyn Garlington
Student Union Administrative Assistant
Phone: 816-235-1406        Email


At the UMKC Student Union, our professional and student staff members play a vital role in offering the best services and programs available to the students of UMKC and to our campus community. Our commitment to quality customer service provides a welcome and sustainable “living room” environment to our campus that values the diversity of all members of our community. Environment, service, and opportunity. That is what we are all about—working with a team of student affairs professionals in providing exceptional service plus networking.

The UMKC Student Union employs 25 to 30 students each year in a wide variety of part-time positions. Areas in which students may gain experience in include:

  • Event services and event production
  • Welcome desk
  • Maintenance/set-up crew
  • Facility management
  • Theater management

Benefits include:

  • Flexible work schedules
  • Relevant work experience
  • Team mentoring
  • Front seats to exciting campus events and experience

Become a part of something big during your time at UMKC. Experience the best of what UMKC has to offer while providing invaluable service to your peers, the campus community, and the Greater Kansas City community.