A crowd of students, faculty, alumni and sponsors gathered in the student union last Thursday to listen to what was being called “A Big Deal.”
Kasey the Kangaroo ran around the professionally-dressed crowd. The sounds of a live band complete with a guitar, drummer and cello combined with the dull roar of Jazzman’s espresso machines filled the space. Some students in the room waited with no idea what this big deal was all about while those who had a better grasp on the situation stood proudly. The big deal actually wasn’t addressed until UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton got up to speak.
Morton announced that the campaign to raise $250 million to invest in research programs surpassed its monetary goal a year ahead of schedule. These funds will go towards turning UMKC into a major research faculty. UMKC student Azani Fitten gave a speech regarding the opportunities this funding will create for students.
“We can learn from and participate in high level research,” Fitten said.
The goal to raise $250 million was exceeded, raising $270 million a year before its 2017 goal. Morton, as well as campaign chairs Bob Regnier and Tom Hyde, all stressed the importance of Kansas City having a nationally recognized research program at its major university.
“A great city needs a great university to call its own,” Morton said.
State-of-the-art research is the campaign’s way to get there.
To the average student, this can directly affect their education and real world experience while in college.
“It affects every area because the finances they have invested help out academic and finical needs on campus,” Fitten said, “and it brings more value to our education.”
This campaign will continue to raise money in order to stay on track for its plans in the upcoming years.