Bloch Family Foundation Makes $21-million Investment in the Bloch School

A portion of the generous gift will go toward the renovation and expansion of Bloch Heritage Hall.

Gift will be divided among three major initiatives

The Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation is donating $21 million to the University of Missouri-Kansas City to provide additional support to the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. This latest gift from the Foundation created by the school’s late namesake and benefactor will be used for enhancements to undergraduate and graduate education programs, expansion and renovation of Bloch Heritage Hall, and support programs that will help students during pivotal times in their university careers.

This $21 million gift will be shared by three major initiatives: $11.8 million for programming within the Henry W. Bloch School of Management; $8 million for infrastructure improvements to and expansion of the Bloch Heritage Hall building; and $1.2 million to support RooStrong, the university’s new program for increasing student retention, six-year graduation rates and career outcomes.

This new gift comes less than a year after the announcement of a new $20 million scholarship program funded by the Bloch Family Foundation, the H & R Block Foundation, UMKC and the University of Missouri System. About 800 students will benefit over the next nine years from the earlier scholarship gift. In 2011, Henry Bloch made the largest philanthropic gift in UMKC history, $32 million, to fund construction of the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“The commitment of the Bloch Family to Kansas City and to Kansas City’s university has been steadfast, highly impactful and beyond generous,” said Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D., chancellor of UMKC. “This gift honors the memory of Marion and Henry Bloch by building upon the legacy they created with the Henry W. Bloch School of Management as the provider of premier business education that Kansas City needs and deserves.”

Tom Bloch, chairman of the Bloch Family Foundation, said the gift demonstrates the continuing legacy of Marion and Henry Bloch.

“My parents believed in Kansas City, and they believed in UMKC as a key engine for progress in the community they loved. The Bloch Family Foundation has consistently supported growth through access to high quality business education in greater Kansas City, and we are confident that the initiatives supported by this gift will advance that goal,” Bloch said.

Brian Klaas, Ph.D., dean of the Bloch School, said the gift will make a profound difference in educational programming.

“This incredible investment will drive creation of exciting new programs, empowering Kansas City’s Business School to meet the needs of employers and organizations in our region, provide opportunities for working professionals and executives and provide outstanding opportunities for undergraduates,” Klaas said.  “Exciting things are happening here, and the enthusiasm is contagious and energizing.”

The entrepreneurial engine of the Kansas City region is fueled by graduates of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Kansas City’s Business School is inspired by the innovative and civic mindset of its namesake. Henry W. Bloch co-founded the tax empire H & R Block and is considered one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs. He embodied the philosophy of working hard, generating success and completing the continuum by giving back to the community through philanthropy and social entrepreneurship.

Sunderland Foundation Commits $5 Million for Heritage Hall Updates

Original home of the Bloch School will receive classroom and technology improvements

By Patricia O’Dell, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Students on UMKC campus

Students talk outside Bloch Heritage Hall. Photo by Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

The Henry W. Bloch School of Management Heritage Hall will receive $5 million of a $15 million gift to the University of Missouri-Kansas City for capital improvements from the Sunderland Foundation. The gift is a critical part of a capital campaign that will allow the school to add and improve classrooms to accommodate anticipated enrollment growth, incorporate state-of-the-art technology and create a hub for student engagement.

“We treasure Heritage Hall as the original home of the Bloch School,” said Tom Bloch, UMKC Trustee and UMKC Foundation board member. “The Sunderland Foundation’s tremendous gift will expand student opportunity by adding classrooms and upgrading our ability to incorporate technology in these older classrooms to meet the needs of our growing enrollment.”

Heritage Hall is comprised of two parts. The original Tudor Revival-style Shields Mansion was built in 1909 and an addition was completed in 1986. While the state-of-the-art Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation opened in 2013, Heritage Hall has not received an upgrade since the addition was completed in 1986.

“Our experience after the opening of the world-class Bloch Executive Hall showed us very clearly how the physical environment can transform the way students learn and engage and also our ability to partner with employers and community organizations,” said Brian Klaas, Ph.D., dean of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. “Thanks to the Sunderland Foundation’s gift, we will be able to provide a much improved experience for our students, enhancing their skills and providing them with expanded opportunities. The improved space and technology will allow us to innovate in how we teach, how deliver our programs and how we partner with our stakeholders.”