Robert F. Kennedy Symposium takes place on April 11 and 14

Dr. David Walton and Chris Gardner share their life stories

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Student Government Association’s 42nd Annual Robert F. Kennedy Symposium is bringing internationally-recognized physician, Dr. David Walton – will discuss “Living a Purpose Driven Life” and Christopher Gardner – the inspiration for the Hollywood blockbuster, “Pursuit of Happyness”.

Walton will speak about a global health initiative at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 11 in the Medical School Theater. Gardner will give his inspirational speech at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 14 in the Student Union Theater. A book signing will follow Gardner’s address.

Admission is free, and students, faculty, staff and the community are encouraged to attend. Tickets are required and will be available on Monday, April 4 through the UMKC Central Ticket Office, 4949 Cherry Street or online at or by calling 816-235-6222.

By featuring these two speakers, UMKC continues to set the bar high and is quickly becoming known for bringing prominent, national talent to campus for the Robert F. Kennedy Symposium.

Walton – Harvard educated physician – is spearheading the construction of the largest hospital in central Haiti – a 60-bed acute care hospital and a 30-bed women’s hospital. Emphasizing healthcare as a basic human right, he helps to provide care for the more than 500,000 impoverished people living in the region. His responsibilities in Haiti include directing and supervising a team of healthcare professionals and community health workers; leading HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention programs; consulting with patients who have been diagnosed with HIV, TB and other chronic diseases; and going on home visits, administrative activities and conducting operational research. Walton also supervises Haitian resident physicians. He focuses on case-based teaching and providing both informal and formal evaluation and feedback to the residents.

Gardner – owner and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC, a successful brokerage firm – is living his dream life. His path to success took a series of extraordinary turns. Approximately 20 years ago, Gardner was homeless, trying to support his son as a single parent. He now reaches out to many programs serving the homeless, donating time and assistance. He also serves as a board member of the National Fatherhood Initiative, whose mission is to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible and committed fathers. Gardner was the recipient of the group’s Father of the Year Award in 2002.

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.

Tags: , , , .
  • Recent UMKC News

    $20 Million Scholarship Article in The Kansas City Star

    KC Scholars partnership also in U.S. News and World Report … Read more

    Geosciences Professor’s Research Cited in New York Times

    Fengpeng Sun co-authored study on California wildfire seasons The 2015 … Read more

    Bloch Faculty Interviewed on NBC Nightly News

    Brent Never teaches about Kansas City’s racial dividing line Never … Read more