UMKC Celebrates 2013 Alumni Award Recipients
Awards luncheon garners $200,000 for student scholarships.
Swinney Recreation Center was transformed into a glittering ballroom for 600 guests who turned out to honor Alumni Award recipients and to kick off the campus' 80th anniversary.
In the event's opening video, Chancellor Leo Morton said the luncheon was a way to "celebrate what it means to be a part of this university. Whether you are a student, alumnus, faculty and staff or a friend, here at UMKC, you are part of something special."
Hosted by the UMKC Alumni Association, the 2013 Alumni Awards luncheon honored 16 alumni and one family, as well as the 2013 Chancellor's Medal recipient: the UMKC Board of Trustees. The annual luncheon is the university’s largest event and proceeds support student scholarships.
"One of the reasons it is such a joy to work on this event has been our focus on students," said luncheon co-chair Raymond Cattaneo, M.D. '03. "So many of us owe our professional lives to the grace of receiving scholarship aid. Many of our alumni awardees might not be where they are today had it not been for the generosity of alumni and friends who 'paid it forward' so they could attend school. So we thank all of you who bought a ticket, a table, a sponsorship or made a direct contribution to this year’s scholarship fund."
Cattaneo and co-chair Michelle Wimes, B.A. '88, announced to the packed crowd that a record-breaking $200,000 was raised for immediate aid and endowed scholarship support, the most in the history of the awards. Wimes and Cattaneo then told guests that the Board of Trustees had offered to match any gifts received at the luncheon up to $5,000 to add to the grand total.
International jazz sensation, UMKC’s own Bobby Watson, surprised the audience with a special appearance and performed to close the luncheon.