Cloud L. Cray Foundation awards $410,000 to UMKC School of Education

Gift continues its support for the Center for Economic Education

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the UMKC Foundation are pleased to announce a new $410,000 gift commitment from the Cloud L. Cray Foundation. The grant will fund the Center for Economic Education (CEE) in the School of Education (SOE) over a period of two years, in a collaborative effort with the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Economics. The SOE’s mission is to recruit, prepare and support outstanding teachers, mental health professionals and administrators who will create lifelong opportunities through education for America’s diverse urban communities.

“The Cray family and Cloud L. Cray Foundation have long been very generous supporters of UMKC and economic education,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “This gift is a continuation of the significant commitment the Foundation has made to UMKC, to financial literacy and to our community.”

In a time of economic distress, challenging employment opportunities and student loan debts approaching $1 trillion, economic education and financial literacy are invaluable tools for adults and young people alike.

The UMKC CEE is one of a network of centers across the state and nation that promotes economic and financial education in schools. The CEE achieves its mission to serve the economic education needs of teachers and their students through development and delivery of undergraduate/pre-service teacher training, in-service teacher training, student and community programs and web-based resources and programs.

Since 1995, the CEE and its Operation Outreach program have provided training for more than 23,000 teachers, and developed and implemented numerous economic education programs to assist teachers, schools and districts in teaching students economics and personal finance.

“With rapid advances in technology, the Cloud L. Cray Foundation has asked us to look for new and innovative ways to reach larger numbers of teachers and students both in the classroom and in the community,” said Wanda J. Blanchett, Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair for Teacher Education. “Providing more direct financial literacy services to students, especially historically underserved children and youth, and putting them at the heart of the CEE strategy will be a high priority for UMKC over the next two years.”

The CEE will explore ways to reach more teachers and students through the development of community partnerships and greater utilization of online webinars, video conferencing and social network technologies. It will also interface with the SOE’s Institute for Urban Education New Teacher Assistance Program and other teacher education programs.

“We are very proud of the long and successful relationship between UMKC’s Center for Economic Education and the Cloud L. Cray Foundation,” said Thomas Cray, Lead Trustee for the Cray Foundation. “We are excited to support the CEE in its efforts to reach larger numbers of western Missouri teachers and students, and to increase the level of economic education and financial literacy throughout the region.”

“This gift will better position the CEE to expand and enhance its work with schools, community groups, before- and after-school programs and other organizations that provide direct services to young people in greater Kansas City and northwest Missouri,” said Murray Blackwelder, President, University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation.

About the Cloud L. Cray Foundation

The primary purpose of the Cloud L. Cray Foundation is to support teaching teachers economics, and by doing so, improving the economic acuity of the citizens of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri. In addition, the foundation will support other “self-help” programs in the region that encourage people to take responsibility for themselves.

About UMKC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), 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.

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