41 } Archipenkos
The pieces Alexander Archipenko created were meant to be “gateway ornaments” for the university’s main entrance. Today, they’re known as “the Archipenkos.” The two pieces are identical, but one is slightly turned making them appear different. Archipenko, a man of contradictions, said that the pieces have no name and had no meaning. But later, he claimed to have based their design on an abstraction of the female figure, and he has also said they were meant to be an exploration of the relationship between light and form. In 1951, one of the pair was temporarily removed and sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Now reunited, the pieces flank the walkway to the new Student Success Center, formerly the University Center.
42 } Things that go bump
Every Halloween, goblins, ghosts and ghouls descend on campus for the Community Halloween Party, hosted by the Athletics Department and the Activities and Programming Council. The event provides a safe, free and fun-filled alternative for youngsters in the Kansas City area to celebrate Halloween. The party features carnival games, magicians and clowns. Student athletes, coaches and employees staff the activities, hand out candy, interact with the youth and make sure all the scary creatures have a rollicking good time.
43 } Smarty pants faculty
95% of UMKC educators hold the highest possible degree in their fields of study.
44 } Growing veggies
What kicked off with two students and some sketches is now a thriving garden of collards, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, radishes and squash. The Garden Collective provides volunteer opportunities to students, faculty, staff and community members who want to exercise their green thumbs. The group operates around its core principle “take what you need and give the rest away.” In addition to growing delicious vegetables in a plot near the School of Education, the group aims to educate the UMKC community about the viability, enjoyment and sustainability of urban gardening.
45 } Rubber chicken
Students compete at basketball games for prizes by using slingshots to fling rubber chickens into helmet-mounted laundry baskets. The team that catches the most chickens wins. Some have better aim than others—rubber chickens occasionally fly into team huddles.
46 } Our colors
The university’s colors were determined in March 1934 by a student council decree, which cited the school colors as “old gold and royal blue.” Blue is a symbol for trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith and truth. Yellow represents honor and loyalty.
47 } Lush grounds
The Linda Hall Library is not technically part of UMKC, but its grounds share perimeters with campus and student foot traffic is welcome. The 14 acres surrounding the independent research library are home to more than 450 trees and offer shady, quiet spots for students to lounge or just pass through.
48 } A dose of color
At the School of Medicine, docent team units help students learn in an environment that fosters small group, active and interactive learning. Each of the color coded and numbered teams—Blue 1-8, Gold 1-3, Gold 5-8, Green 1-8, Red 1-8 or Purple 1-3—is under the tutelage of a physician scholar students refer to as their docent (from the Latin word docere, to teach). The concept continues throughout students’ final four years of the six-year program, and provides them with access to patient-centered teaching, mentoring and role modeling.
49 } Jim Falls
Falls is one of the most beloved professors in UMKC history. He came to UMKC in 1967 and spent the next 43 years teaching—and making—history. Almost every student who attended UMKC in those four decades had Falls for a class or two—and he learned every name. His Western Civilization 1600 classes would hold about 150 students, and Falls learned every face and every name, and he put them to use. Falls was known to grab a student (by name, of course) in the cafeteria, hallway or Quad and out of the blue ask his or her opinion on a topic. While he surely caught a few students off guard, it’s this kind of dedication and innovation that helped earn him the 2010 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and part of the reason that Royall Hall room 104 has been renamed Jim Falls Auditorium.
50 } Critters
From red-tailed hawks soaring overhead and roosting on rooftops, to huge spiders loitering in the Administrative Center parking lot, UMKC sees its share of wildlife for an urban campus.