Shermans’ gift to create Urban Education Research Center

Gift supports research to help improve conditions in urban schools

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the UMKC Foundation are pleased to announce one of the largest gifts in the history of the School of Education (SOE) from Marny and John Sherman. The gift will support the creation of the Urban Education Research Center. The Center will focus on conducting and disseminating research that addresses local issues, problems and questions in urban schools and communities with national applicability.

The gift provides for the hiring of an Endowed Chair in Urban Education Research, who will serve as the executive director of the Center. The gift also will support Center start-up costs including equipment, marketing, travel and materials and will make initial funding available for research and other hard costs associated with a start-up operation.

“The vision for the School of Education is to become a leading urban-serving school of education in the nation,” said Wanda J. Blanchett, Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair for Teacher Education. “Because of the generosity of Marny and John Sherman, the School is one step closer to this vision, and the Center reflects both UMKC’s and the School’s commitment to prioritize the education of the least-served and most historically underserved students.”

The Center will utilize scientific methodology to accurately assess the effectiveness of the School’s teacher preparation and other professional education programs and provide the necessary tools and resources for scientific investigation of issues and problems for improving conditions in urban schools. Additionally, the Center will identify the needs and opportunities for the research that addresses critical areas to improve the quality of education provided in urban schools and communities.

“Marny and John Sherman are among the leading urban education advocates in Kansas City, dedicated community leaders and engaged volunteers,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “These are the types of leaders who support Kansas City’s university and the education of all its citizens. This gift is a continuation of their commitment to UMKC and its priorities to serve our community.”

John Sherman is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Inergy, LP. He currently serves on the UMKC Trustees and the UMKC Foundation Boards. Marny is a civic leader and Chair of the Board of Trustees of Cristo Rey Kansas City.

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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