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Chancellor’s lunches draw students, staff and faculty

Photos by Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

 UMKC faculty, staff and students left their brown bags at home Thursday and Friday, as Chancellor Leo Morton again served Campus Lunches as part of Homecoming Week festivities.

At Hospital Hill on October 4, picnickers were treated to hamburgers or veggie burgers, hot dogs and their favorite side salads, chips and cookies. The cool weather and the good food contributed to a happy crowd.

Year 5 Med School student Michael Boin said, “I think there should be free food every day! I really like it, and we appreciate the Chancellor being here to serve lunch.”

That theme seemed to run through the conversation, as staff, faculty and students praised the administration for giving them a break in their routine. They liked getting out together and enjoying the camaraderie.

Weather drove the next day’s celebration indoors, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm or the numbers of the Volker Campus lunch crowd. People were on hand to direct guests to the lines for food, drink and a commemorative water bottle.

“Events like this make us a part of the campus, and helps us make connections with students and faculty,” said Kim West, UMKC Marketing Manager. “It’s great that the Chancellor gives his time to serve lunch and make everyone feel welcome.”

Everywhere, evidence of the amazing transformation from University Center to the Atterbury Student Success Center was on display. The interior is barely recognizable. There is more open space, with glass replacing solid walls, providing lots of exterior light. Wall graphics are composed of words such as “achievement,” “success” and “discovery” that inspire confidence.

The crowd dined on the same fare that was served on Hospital Hill. Being indoors had the unexpected bonus of sitting at long tables wherever a spot opened up. This random seating led to strangers becoming acquaintances and friendships blossoming. The warm sociability was just another sign of UMKC Roo spirit on display.

One alum who came to lunch, Reneé Hewitt, was impressed by all she had seen that morning, starting with the official opening of the Atterbury Student Success Center.

“It takes vision and planning to meet the needs of all students, including the non-traditional students. With these services, UMKC has a fantastic opportunity to help students stay in school when they are struggling, showing them alternatives and letting them know they matter,” she said. “I’m so impressed by the changes.”

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