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University of Missouri-Kansas City

University of Missouri–Kansas City
Established 1933[1]
Type Public research
Endowment US $1.12 billion (systemwide)[2]
Chancellor Chancellor Leo E. Morton
Provost Dr. Gail Hackett
Academic staff 1,971 (Fiscal 2011)[3]
Admin. staff 2,787 (Fiscal 2012)
Students 16,019[4]
Undergraduates 10,626[4]
Postgraduates 5,393[4]
Location Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Campus Urban, 157 acres (63.5 ha)
Colors Blue and gold
Athletics NCAA Division I, Western Athletic Conference
Nickname Kangaroos
Mascot Kasey the Kangaroo

The University of Missouri–Kansas City (often referred to as UMKC) is a public research university located in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. It is a part of the University of Missouri System. Its main campus is in Kansas City's Rockhill neighborhood east of the Country Club Plaza. The university's enrollment is 16,019 in 2012.[4] The University of Missouri - Kansas City was ranked 179th in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report among the national universities in 2012.


Lincoln and Lee University

The school has its roots in the Lincoln and Lee University movement first put forth by the Methodist Church and its Bishop Ernest Lynn Waldorf in the 1920s. The proposed university (which was to honor Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee) was to be built on the Missouri-Kansas border at 75th and State Line Road, where the Battle of Westport (the largest battle west of the Mississippi River during the American Civil War) took place. The centerpiece of the school was to be a National Memorial marking the tomb of an unknown Union soldier and unknown Confederate soldier. Proponents of the school said it would be a location "where North met South and East met West." The Methodist interest reflected the church's important role in the development of the Kansas City area through the Shawnee Methodist Mission which was the second capital of Kansas.

As the Methodists started having problems piecing together the necessary property, other civic leaders including J.C. Nichols began pushing to create a cultural center on either side of Brush Creek, just east of the Country Club Plaza. According to this plan the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Kansas City Art Institute would be built north of Brush Creek around the estate of The Kansas City Star publisher William Rockhill Nelson and a private nonsectarian University of Kansas City (initially proposed as a junior college) would be built south of the creek. In addition, a hospital would be constructed around the estate of Kansas City Journal-Post publisher Walter S. Dickey. The hospital was never built.

In 1930, after the Methodists had brought the Kansas City Dental School into their fold, the two plans were merged. The new school was to be called "Lincoln and Lee, the University of Kansas City."[5] and plans were underway to develop it into a four-year school.

The university was built on a 40-acre (16.19 ha) plot, southeast of the Nelson mansion. William Volker had purchased and donated this land for the University of Kansas City. The original Volker purchase did not include the Dickey mansion itself. Dickey died unexpectedly in 1931 and Volker acquired it to be the first building.

University of Kansas City

For the defunct school in Kansas City, Kansas, see Kansas City University.[6]

The two groups were to squabble back and forth, with Ernest H. Newcomb attempting to mediate. The Church did not maintain its ties and the Lincoln and Lee name was abandoned.

The school announced that it would start if 125 students enrolled. Classes began in October 1933 with a faculty of 17 and a student enrollment of 264.

The campus (now expanded to 90 acres or 36.4 hectares) is called the Volker Campus. The Dickey mansion is now Scofield Hall. The second building on the campus, the library, was named for Newcomb. A Carl Milles fountain on Brush Creek opposite the Nelson Gallery is called the Volker Fountain.

The University of Kansas City grew quickly, and soon incorporated other existing local private institutions of higher learning. The Kansas City School of Law, which was founded in the 1890s and located in downtown Kansas City, merged into the university in 1938. The Kansas City-Western Dental College followed in 1941 and the Kansas City College of Pharmacy merged in 1943. This was followed by the Kansas City Conservatory of Music in 1959. During this period, the university also established the School of Administration in 1953, the School of Education in 1954, and the Division for Continuing Education in 1958.

University of Missouri-Kansas City

On July 25, 1963, at the urging of alumnus Hilary A. Bush,[7] the university became part of the University of Missouri System and $20 million of assets including 23 buildings were transferred to the University of Missouri. At the time of the acquisition the UKC had 3,300 students (2,000 full-time) and 175 full-time faculty.[8]

At the same time, the University of Missouri acquired the Normandy Residence Center in St. Louis to form the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The acquisitions of the two schools were different in that the privately owned University of Kansas City could be donated to Missouri while the University of Missouri had to buy the St. Louis campus (although for a nominal $60,000) because the St. Louis campus had been purchased for a junior college in a bond election by the public Normandy, Missouri School District.

At the time of acquisition Missouri already owned the campuses in Columbia and Rolla. Accordingly, the university's name was changed to the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

After this, UMKC established the School of Graduate Studies in 1964, the School of Medicine in 1970, the School of Nursing in 1980, the School of Basic Life Sciences in 1985 (which was renamed the School of Biological Sciences in the mid-1990s), and the School of Computing and Engineering in 2001.

In 2012, the school conducted studies on whether to rename the school back to the University of Kansas City (but still remaining in the University of Missouri system). In November 2012, the school decided against the change noting at the time, "while prospective students and the community at large had strong interest in the name change, several other important groups — current students, faculty/staff, and alumni — do not favor a name change at this time."[9]

The Campus

UMKC has two campuses in Kansas City. Most of UMKC's main campus (Volker campus) is inside a square formed by Volker Boulevard (north), Oak Street (west), 53rd Street (south) and Troost (east). The "Hospital Hill " campus houses the health sciences academic departments.

Directly across Troost from UMKC is Rockhurst University, a Jesuit college.

Volker Campus

The Quad

The majority of UMKC's students regularly attend classes in buildings on the Quad. These buildings are Newcomb Hall, Manheim Hall, Royall Hall, Haag Hall, Flarsheim Hall and Scofield Hall.

Newcomb Hall

Newcomb Hall (built in 1936) was named after the first manager of the University, Ernest H. Newcomb. Originally designed to house the library, Newcomb Hall is now home to offices, the University Archives, the Western Historical Manuscript Collection and the Edgar Snow Collections. Newcomb Hall is located on the extreme west edge of the quad.[10]

Manheim Hall

Manheim Hall, along with Newcomb Hall were the first two buildings originally built for the University. It is named for Ernest Manheim, a professor of sociology, who taught at the university and founded its sociology program. Currently, Manheim Hall houses offices. It is connected to Royall Hall by a second-floor walkway. Manheim is located on the southwest corner of the Quad.[11]

Royall Hall

Royall Hall was built in 1968 and is almost exclusively classrooms. Two large lecture halls are on the ground floor, and an astronomical observatory is on the roof. Also on the ground floor is a lounge area with an [1]

Haag Hall

Haag Hall (pronounced Hāg), built in 1937, contains offices and classrooms. Its most recognizable features are the large murals stretching along the main stairwell. Haag Hall is connected to both Royall and Flarsheim Halls. Haag Hall is located on the southeast corner of the Quad. [2]

Flarsheim Hall

Flarsheim Hall was built in 1999, and is the largest building on UMKC's campus. The Chemistry, Physics and Geosciences departments, as well as the School of Computing and Engineering, are located in Flarsheim Hall. The hall was named after Robert A. Flarsheim, who left a $9 million endowment to the University in his estate. Flarsheim Hall is located on the northeast corner of the Quad. [3]

Scofield Hall

Scofield Hall was built in 1912, and was originally a private residence. In 1931, William Volker acquired it and donated it to the University. It was named after Carleton Scofield, who was chancellor of the University when it merged with the University of Missouri System. The Arts & Sciences advising office and the Language Resource Center are located in Scofield Hall. Scofield Hall is located on the north end of the Quad.[12]

University Center / University Breezeway

University Center/ Atterbury Student Success Center

The University Center (known to students and alumni as the "U-Center") was built in 1961. The student dining hall is located here, as is Pierson Auditorium, an often used site for career fairs or luncheons. In 2012, the University Center underwent renovations and was rededicated as the Atterbury Student Success Center. It was specifically designed to promote student academic success.

Swinney Recreation Center

Swinney Recreation Center was built in 1941, and was gifted to the University by E. F. Swinney. There are five basketball courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, raquetball and squash courts, weight-training center, soccer field, and indoor and outdoor tracks at the recreation center. Along with the Kansas City Club and the Pembroke Hill School, Swinney is one of only three locations in Kansas City containing squash courts.[13] University students, faculty and staff have privileges at Swinney, and paid memberships are open to others.[14]

Fine Arts Building

The Fine Arts Building was built in 1942 and remodeled in 1975. Currently, the Art, Art History, and Communication Studies departments use the building. Student works are often displayed in the building's UMKC Gallery of Art.[15]

Epperson House

Main article: Epperson House

James C. Olson Center for the Performing Arts

Known on campus simply as the PAC (Performing Arts Center), this building partially houses the Conservatory of Music and Dance and the Department of Theatre, as well as the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. The PAC, designed by Kivett and Myers, opened in 1979 and contains White Recital Hall, Helen F. Spencer Theatre, and a black box theatre space, Studio 116.

Proposed new downtown arts campus

A proposal for a new downtown arts campus got a funding boost on June 26, 2013, with a $20 million challenge grant from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, but an additional $70 mil. needs to be raised. The backers say a new campus will increase the profile of the university's arts programs and the new performing arts facility. The first phase involves moving the university's Conservatory of Music and Dance to a location in the Crossroads District. Other programs would be moved in subsequent phases.[19]

Student Housing

Cherry Hall

Begun in 1955, Cherry Street Hall, located at 5030 Cherry Street, was a more traditional-style dormitory on the UMKC Volker campus. It housed approximately 300 students in 168 single, double and triple rooms with each floor being separated by gender and sharing a communal bathroom. Cherry Street Hall was often regarded by students as having better opportunities for social interaction than Oak Street. In August 2009 Cherry Street Hall was closed as a student residence. In May 2011 the Psychology Department moved into the newly renovated Cherry Hall.

Twin Oaks Apartments

Formerly located at 5000 Oak Street, Twin Oaks Apartments was acquired by the University in 1998 to house students who desired more independent living than the dormitory could provide. In the years since, however, the buildings had begun to show their ages. In 2002, the University decided it would be more cost-effective to demolish Twin Oaks and build a new residence hall in its place. UMKC stopped offering new contracts to prospective residents in 2005, but allowed current residents an additional year as a grace period to find other arrangements. The buildings were completely vacant by July 2006. In September 2006, the Kansas City Fire Department used Twin Oaks to train firefighters. Demolition by wrecking ball began in November 2006 and was completed in early 2007.

Oak Street Hall

Completed in 2004, Oak Street Hall is located at 5051 Oak Street. The five-story building houses approximately 559 students in suite-style single and double rooms. The ground level is a large common lobby with a kitchen, laundry facility, music practice rooms, pool tables and a widescreen television set. On floors 2-5, kitchenettes, vending machines, quiet study rooms and social lounges comprise the common areas. At the time of its completion in 2004 Oak Hall was set as a standard for buildings to come in the 30-year Master Plan set forth by UMKC.

Oak Place Apartments

The Oak Place Apartments are located at 5050 Oak Street on land once occupied by the Twin Oaks Apartments. After demolition of the Twin Oaks construction on Oak Place was started in 2007 and Oak Place was opened to students in August 2008. Oak Place consists of two four story apartment complexes separated by an above ground parking structure. Oak Place houses around 500 students in 1, 2, and 4 bedroom suite style apartments complete with kitchen. Common areas include lounge areas, and 3 computer labs in each building.

Herman and Dorothy Johnson Hall

Herman and Dorothy Johnson Hall is the newest residence hall on the UMKC Volker Campus and is located to the immediate north of Oak Place Apartments. Construction was started in June 2008 and the hall opened in August 2009. The four story hall houses up to 328 students in a more traditional dormitory style with suites of single and double occupancy rooms that share a common bathroom. Each floor of Johnson Hall has separate wings for male and female students. Common areas include music practice rooms, a computer lab, laundry rooms, and outdoor green space. The building was designed by Mackey Mitchell Architects out of St. Louis, MO.

Hospital Hill Campus

The hospital hill campus houses the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, the School of Dentistry, and the School of Pharmacy.


Academic units

Today, the academic divisions of UMKC are the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Nursing, the School of Management, the School of Medicine (one of six in Missouri), the School of Law (also one of only four in Missouri), the School of Computing and Engineering, the School of Biological Sciences, the Conservatory of Music and Dance, the School of Dentistry, the School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Pharmacy.

The School of Medicine is regionally known for its six-year post-secondary program, wherein a student spends only six years obtaining both a Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine degree. The school is located away from the main campus on "Hospital Hill," where it is connected to Truman Medical Center, a large research hospital.

The School of Law is one of four law schools in Missouri (St. Louis University School of Law, University of Missouri School of Law, Washington University School of Law are the others). It is one of only seven American law schools to have educated both a President of the United States (Harry S. Truman) and a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Charles Evans Whittaker). Truman attended but did not graduate from the law school and never practiced law. The schools that actually have had President-Supreme Court graduates who practiced law are Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, the William & Mary Law School and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.[20]

University rankings

Other Departments

The University is the home of New Letters, a preeminent literary magazine, as well as the nationally syndicated public radio program New Letters on the Air.[21] For over 50 years, UMKC has broadcast live, taped and syndicated programming over KCUR, the university's radio station and NPR affiliate.

In 2004, the Fungal Genetics Stock Center moved to UMKC where it is in the School of Biological Sciences. The FGSC was founded in 1960 and is supported by the US National Science Foundation. The FGSC distributes research materials around the world and is part of the World Federation for Culture Collections. Collaborators include researchers at the Broad Institute and the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute.

UMKC Theatre is considered to have one of the stronger M.F.A. programs in acting in the country.

The University is the site where the Supplemental Instruction program was established and developed.[22]


The university of Missouri Kansas City is ranked 179th[23] among national universities in the U.S.Many of the individual graduate programs have been ranked higher.The pharmacy school is ranked 37th,[24] the School of nursing is ranked 79th,[25] the school of Law is ranked 109th[26] and the School of education is ranked 132nd,[27]

Notable faculty

Notable faculty, past and present, include:

Greek Life

Greek Life at the University of Missouri–Kansas City is administered by the Office of Student Involvement's Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. UMKC is home to 16 Greek Letter Organizations (8 fraternities and 8 sororities). Although the Greek population is relatively small (4.5% of the overall student population), it maintains proud heritage, and several chapters have received awards from their organization's international offices.

Sororities Fraternities


Presidents (when the school was independent)/Chancellors (when the school became part of the University of Missouri system) of the school are:[28]

  1. Ernest H. Newcomb, executive secretary, 1933-1936
  2. John Duncan Spaeth, president, 1936-1938
  3. Clarence Decker, president, 1938-1953
    Roy Rinehart, interim, 1953
  4. Earl J. McGrath, president, 1953-1956
  5. Richard M. Drake, president (initially interim), 1956-1961
  6. Carleton F. Scofield, president/chancellor, 1961-1965 (becomes part of University of Missouri System)
  7. Randall M. Whaley, chancellor, 1965-1967
    Hamilton B.G. Robinson, interim, 1967-1968
  8. James C. Olson, chancellor, 1968-1976
    Wesley J. Dale, interim, 1976-1977
  9. George A. Russell, chancellor, 1977-1992
  10. Eleanor Schwartz, chancellor, 1992-1999
    Gordon Lamb, interim, February 1999-March 2000
  11. Martha Gilliland, chancellor, April 1, 2000-January 1, 2005
    Elson Floyd, interim via system president capacity, January 2005-February 2005
    Steven Lehmkuhle, interim, March 2005-December 2005
  12. Guy Bailey, chancellor, January 2006-July 2008
  13. Leo Morton, chancellor (initially interim) August 2008 – present


Main article: UMKC Kangaroos

UMKC's mascot is Kasey Kangaroo (originally drawn by Walt Disney) and its teams go by the nickname the Roos. The school's colors are old gold and royal blue. It is a member of the NCAA's Division I The Summit League, and officially joined the Western Athletic Conference on July 1, 2013. The men's and women's basketball teams play at Swinney Recreation Center. UMKC sponsors 16 sports for both men and women at the intercollegiate level.

The department sponsors: men's basketball, women's basketball, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's tennis, women's tennis, women's golf, men's golf, volleyball, men's indoor and outdoor track & field, women's indoor and outdoor track & field, men's cross country and women's cross country.

On April, 2007, it was announced that the school will be dropping its Co-Ed Rifle Program in order to add women's soccer and men's baseball. Women's soccer was added to the institution for the 2009-2010 school year.


A detailed list of University of Missouri–Kansas City alumni may be found at List of University of Missouri-Kansas City alumni

See also

  • American Student Dental Association
  • University of Missouri at Kansas City. Marr Sound Archives. Rags to Be-bop: the Sounds of Kansas City Music, 1890-1945. [Text by] Chuck Haddix. Kansas City, Mo.: University of Missouri at Kansas City, University Libraries, Marr Sound Archives, 1991. Without ISBN


External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
  • magazine of writing and art
  • —student newspaper

Coordinates: 39°02′01″N 94°34′32″W / 39.033547°N 94.575578°W / 39.033547; -94.575578

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