Thomas D. Hyde and Vina W. Hyde pledge $6 million to UMKC

Gift supports the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the UMKC Foundation are pleased to announce a $6 million pledge from Thomas D. Hyde and Vina W. Hyde to support the Chancellor’s vision for the University. This is the fourth largest gift to the University.

The future funds are unrestricted and can be used for the University’s most compelling needs or for hiring, retaining or rewarding stellar faculty – among other uses. According to Chancellor Leo E. Morton, the funds will be held with the UMKC Foundation, which was formed in July 2009 to raise money above and beyond public tax dollars received from the state.

“I am overwhelmed by the receipt of this gift specifically designated for the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence,” said UMKC Chancellor Morton. “We are grateful for the generosity and vision of people like Tom and Vina Hyde who are helping UMKC achieve its fullest potential.”

“Foundation funds are to enhance new and existing programs,” said Alan Atterbury, Chairman, UMKC Foundation. “This gift also allows our University to continue its momentum toward becoming Kansas City’s model research university, as mentioned in the “Time to Get It Right” report.”

Commissioned by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation to look at higher education, the 2005 “Time to Get It Right” report offered recommendations for UMKC to become a model research university, including expanding its governance to include the community; strengthening its academic and civic leadership; and developing an institutional strategy.

Tom Hyde is an alumnus of the UMKC School of Law (1975) and 2004 UMKC Alumni Awards recipient. He also is a member of the UMKC Board of Trustees and the UMKC Foundation, where he is Chair of the Audit Committee, as well as a member of the Executive Committee. Tom is the retired Executive Vice President, Legal, Ethics, and Corporate Secretary of the Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and, prior to that, he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Raytheon Company, a Boston-based defense contractor.

Vina Hyde has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in special education from Kansas State University. She was a teacher and most recently involved in the Board of Walton Arts Center of Fayetteville and the Girls on the Run of Benton County, Ark., a nonprofit prevention program established for third to fifth grade girls to instill self-esteem through “health education, life skills development, mentoring and physical training.”

“Vina and I hope this gift will help ensure that Chancellor Morton and future chancellors are able to implement and fund projects that they deem to be vital to the continuing success of UMKC,” said Tom Hyde.

This pledge to the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence contributes significantly to the $250 million launch of “The Campaign for UMKC.”

“This gift provides future chancellors of UMKC many opportunities for success,” said Murray Blackwelder, President, UMKC Foundation. “To have an endowed fund from which the chancellor can distribute funds for the good of the University will have a profound impact on UMKC for years to come.”

About the UMKC Foundation

The UMKC Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization serving as the official fundraising and fundraising management organization for UMKC. For more information about the UMKC Foundation, visit

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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