21 } Bill Reinert, B.S. ’74
Lead product designer of the Toyota Prius
22 } Diversity
Nearly 30 percent of the student body consists of minority and international students.
23 } Accordions
Ah, the 1960s: beehive hairdos, poufy skirts, white suits and … accordions. In 1961, Conservatory of Music and Dance Professor Joan Cochran Sommers formed the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, and the group of 55 accordions performed its first concert. During its history, the orchestra won several national titles and toured Europe. When Sommers retired in 2001, the orchestra continued to rehearse and perform at the university as the UMKC Community Accordion Orchestra. But all good things must come to an end. On May 22, 2011, the group marked its 50th anniversary with one last concert.
24 } Views from up high
The view from the Student Union rooftop garden
25 } Edgar Snow
Snow was the first Western journalist to interview Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, and was best known for Red Star Over China, an account of the Chinese Communist movement from its foundation until the late 1930s. The Edgar Snow collection, located in the university archives, is comprised of his papers, films and photographs and a library collection that provides additional research for Chinese history from the revolutionary period (1930s) to the present.
26 } Tiny Tim
The Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol always puts folks in the holiday spirit. “During my years at UMKC, I looked forward to going each year—it was the highlight of my holiday season,” says Karen McBee, D.M.A. ’93
27 } Grandfather clock
Nestled within the foyer of the E. E. “Tom” Thompson Courtroom at the School of Law is a grandfather clock Professor Bob Downs, a master craftsman, built. He created the clock from wood he salvaged from the old courtroom. Downs worked Celtic knots into the design of the clock to honor his friend and retiring colleague Ed Hood. The courtroom is a teaching facility and setting for actual judicial proceedings and is an ideal location for litigation training and observation. Thompson was a prominent local trial attorney who graduated from the School of Law in 1925.
28 } Ed Zigler, A&S ’65
Pioneered Head Start and advocates for children
29 } Classes in a mansion
Scofield Hall was once Dickey Mansion, home to a debt-ridden businessman. When the businessman died, William Volker purchased the home and it became the first building of UKC’s campus. It was a lavish home with 30 rooms, 20 bathrooms, nine fireplaces and two elevators. The fireplace in the living room was originally in a castle in Sicily and dates back to the 15th century. And oh, la, la, one of the chandeliers came from a French chateau. The staircase and other items in the mansion were made of imported marble. When the university opened its doors in the fall of 1933, almost all of the classes as well as the library were housed there. A greenhouse on the property housed the chemistry and biology labs, and the maintenance building for the house was used as a makeshift gymnasium.
30 } KCUR 89.3 FM
Since its beginnings on campus 55 years ago, KCUR 89.3 FM has been a fixture on Kansas City radios. The station began broadcasting from Scofield Hall with a signal range of four miles, a staff of one and a $15,000 budget. It was the first university-licensed educational FM station in Missouri and the second FM station in Kansas City.