A year ahead of the target date, the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s $250 million capital funding campaign has surpassed its initial goal.
University of Missouri System officials and members of the four-campus system’s Board of Curators praised UMKC’s fundraising work at Friday’s curators meeting in Kansas City.
Campaign co-chairman Tom Hyde said in a statement that while the campaign had already surpassed the original $250 million goal by more than $20 million, the fundraising would continue for the full seven-year duration.
He encouraged campaign staff and volunteers to draw on the success and to “redouble” their efforts.
“There are still unmet needs on this campus,” Hyde said. “We need more space for the explosive growth of the School of Computing and Engineering, which plays such a vital role in our local economy. We need more endowed chairs to continue to attract the world’s top faculty to drive our engines of research, teaching and service.”
UMKC’s campaign goals were reached thanks to about 300,000 individual gifts and some particularly significant donations to the institution, including more than 30 of $1 million or more.
Such gifts have already put more than $19 million toward endowed chairs and other forms of faculty support, and more than $50 million in scholarship funds, university officials said.
Campaign co-chairman Bob Regnier said the announcement was a statement about the special relationship between UMKC and the Kansas City community.
“UMKC put out a call, and the Kansas City community answered that call,” Regnier said. “They answered it with passion and enthusiasm, as well as generosity. The message could not be more clear: This community supports its university.”
But Chancellor Leo Morton said the work is not done.
“What do you do when you finish a job early?” Morton said. “You know what the answer is around here. You roll up your sleeves and get back to work. ... We’ve raised $32 million toward the $48 million in private-sector support we need to launch our Downtown Campus for the Arts, and we are going to get that done.”
For more than three years, UMKC has been raising money to build a performing arts campus just south of the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. That plan calls for moving the university’s Conservatory of Music and Dance from the Volker campus to that downtown location.
The plan gained early support from area business leaders and got its initial major donation of $20 million in 2013 from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. When the university has raised half the dollars needed for the $96 million campus, it will look to the state for a dollar-for-dollar match.