Sprint Foundation awards $1 million to UMKC School of Education

Gift supports endowed professorship for Urban Education Research Center

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the UMKC Foundation are pleased to announce a $1 million grant from the Sprint Foundation. The grant will fund an endowed professorship for the upcoming Urban Education Research Center in the School of Education (SOE). The grant will be paid over five years.

The Center will focus on conducting and disseminating research that addresses local issues, problems and questions in urban schools and communities with national applicability, and the Endowed Professor will be a vital part of the Center.

“UMKC recognizes the urgency of this national challenge and has made a long-term commitment in its 2010-2020 Strategic Plan to strengthen PK-12 student success in Kansas City’s urban schools,” said Wanda J. Blanchett, Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair for Teacher Education. “Through the generosity of the Sprint Foundation, we will seek an outstanding educator and an active scholar with an exceptional background in urban education or urban teacher education.”

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 research that address critical areas aimed at improving conditions in urban schools and communities.

“This gift – along with the recent gift from Marny and John Sherman – will provide the Center with two endowed positions and start-up funds,” said Murray Blackwelder, President, University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation.

“The Sprint Foundation has long been a supporter of UMKC and education,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “This gift is a continuation of the commitment the Foundation has made to UMKC, to education and to our community.”

“As longtime supporters of quality education, particularly education that reaches disadvantaged young people, Sprint and the Sprint Foundation recognize the importance of UMKC’s mission,” said Ralph Reid, president and executive director of the Sprint Foundation. “This grant allows us to further ensure that all children have the education they deserve while also allowing us to give back to our hometown of Kansas City, a community that has played an integral role in Sprint’s success.”

About the Sprint Foundation

Since its establishment in 1989, the Sprint Foundation has supported community organizations across the country with a special emphasis on K-12 education, positive youth development, arts and culture outreach, and Internet safety. Through direct grants and a robust matching-gifts program for employees and retirees, the Sprint Foundation creatively and thoughtfully delivers Sprint’s commitment to championing the communities where Sprint customers and employees live.

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 www.umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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