UMKC Foundation Receives First Major Gift of $1.7 Million for Renewable Energy and Environmental Research

Gift accompanied by $14.1 million Board of Trustees endowment transfer

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Foundation is pleased to acknowledge its first major leadership gift commitment, which benefits renewable energy and environmental research at the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, in consultation with the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Chemistry. Valued at $1.7 million, the gift is from Andress Kernick – an engineer whose career spanned more than 43 years.

Also, today, the UMKC Board of Trustees’ $14.1 million endowment was transferred to the UMKC Foundation. These are the first assets to flow to the new UMKC Foundation since it assumed responsibility as primary fundraiser for UMKC on Aug. 1. Murray Blackwelder, who recently completed a successful $1.7 billion campaign at Purdue University, serves as president of the foundation.

“The UMKC Foundation is tremendously grateful to Mr. Kernick’s generous pledge of support,” Blackwelder said. “Mr. Kernick’s commitment leads the way as the first major gift made to the UMKC Foundation, and it will allow UMKC to be a leader in renewable energy and environmental research.”

Kernick and his late wife, Marjorie, will be acknowledged as members of UMKC’s Robert H. Flarsheim Society, which recognizes alumni and friends who have remembered the university through a gift in their estate plans. Lila Dickerson, a family member and UMKC student who intends to study Chemistry and/or Law, is recognized as a co-donor.

Kernick earned bachelor’s degrees in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. During his 25 years with Westinghouse Electric Corp., Kernick served as Fellow Engineer in the Aerospace Electrical Division and in the Research and Development Division. He is a senior member of the Institute for Electrical Engineers, a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a registered professional engineer.

Kernick holds 25 U.S. Patents, some of which were used in the Apollo Command Module for NASA, Space Shuttle Orbiter and L-1011 Airbus.

In consultation with the Department of Chemistry, the School of Computing and Engineering may use the funds to convert biomass energy into renewable sources or develop hydro, nuclear, wind and solar power sources that do not produce carbon dioxide. Funds also may be used for the research and development of a fuel cell, which operates from renewable energy.

“The School of Computing and Engineering is extremely honored to receive such a generous gift, which will allow students and faculty to conduct cutting-edge research to find solutions to furnish fuel, clean water and improved soil,” said Dr. Kevin Truman, Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering. “It also strongly supports our existing commitment to interdisciplinary research.”

About the UMKC Foundation

The UMKC Foundation is a separate but affiliated enterprise that is devoted to raising funds for the University, and for exercising fiduciary responsibility over endowments and other philanthropic investments made to UMKC. For more information about the UMKC Foundation, visit

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 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.

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