Thursday, May 26, 2022
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UMKC receives total of $36 million in donations for campus upgrades

As Roos arrive on campus, they may notice some new renovations. 

The Sunderland Foundation donated $15 million to UMKC this summer to fund upgrades across the two campuses. Chancellor Mauli Agrawal announced the large gift from the foundation in a schoolwide email on July 31. 

Kent Sunderland, who serves as president of the foundation’s Board of Trustees, is also the president of the UMKC foundation. The university worked with these two groups to demonstrate how UMKC’s needs matched the goals of the Sunderland Foundation, which focuses primarily on funding construction projects for non-profit organizations.

“​The Sunderland Foundation has been a supporter and advocate for UMKC for more than three decades, and I am honored and excited that they continue to invest in our growth,” Agrawal said. “I truly appreciate that they recognize that improving the function of existing resources furthers the university’s ability to engage students and the community and support research and development of new technology.”

According to UMKC Media Relations Director John Martellaro, the donation ranks as one of the largest single monetary gifts given to the university.

In his email, Agrawal detailed a list of improvements that would be enabled by the Sunderland Foundation’s gift, including:

  • $5 million to renovate and refurbish the Bloch Heritage Hall
  • $3 million to Miller-Nichols Library to renovate the third floor and house the Missouri State Historical Society
  • $3 million to the School of Law to improve departmental classrooms
  • $3 million to the School of Dentistry for a renovated and reconfigured pre-clinic lab
  • $2 million to the School of Computing and Engineering to renovate areas of Flarsheim Hall during the construction of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center

Following the Sunderland Foundation’s donation, the Marion and Henry Bloch Foundation followed suit, gifting the UMKC Foundation $21 million. The majority of the funds will go to the Bloch School of Management, which is named after the late Henry Bloch. The donation includes: 

  • $11.8 million for programming within the business school
  • $8 million for the reconstruction of the Bloch Heritage Hall 
  • $1.2 million for the UMKC program RooStrong, which seeks to improve student retention and graduation rates. 

In a statement, Agrawal said the two donations demonstrate that “the greater Kansas City community recognizes the effect that UMKC has on transforming lives and building this community’s future.”

No news has been given when these renovations will begin or be completed.

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