ABOUT UMKC - UMKC Grads Making A Difference
From Pulitzer prizes to ground-breaking research,
there’s not much that UMKC alumni haven’t accomplished.
Below is an informal list of some of the University’s well-known alumni.
This list will continue to be enhanced
and expanded as UMKC enters its 75th anniversary year in January
of 2008. Suggest a name for the list
by sending an e-mail to:
For your convenience, we have organized these notable alumni into the following professional categories:
Arts & Humanities
An internationally known tenor; a contributing editor and former investigative reporter who won two Pulitzer Prizes; co-founders of one of the top commercial dinner theatres in the U.S.; and the author of the first original paperback novel all have one thing in common: they are UMKC graduates.
LANCE G. BANNING
Arts & Sciences '64
Author of The Jeffersonian Persuasion: Evolution of a Party Ideology, Jefferson, and Madison: Three Conversations from the Founding, and The Sacred Fire of Liberty: James Madison and the Founding of the Federal Republic.
Jazz trombonist. Performed with Woody Herman, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, and Charles Mingus.
RICHARD N. CARROTHERS
Arts & Sciences '69
Specialized in arts administration at Harvard University. Teamed with Dennis Hennessy in operation of one of U.S.'s most successful commercial dinner theatres. Invests in production of Broadway plays and Hollywood films.
Internationally known tenor. Has performed throughout Europe and U.S. Made debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1987 in Die Fledermaus. Currently Kauffman Artist-in-Residence at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Founder and first Dean of The Tuskegee University School of Music. Most noted work "Negro Folk Symphony" premiered by Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra directed by Leopold Stokowski.
WARREN R. DURRETT
From 1945 to 1986 led one of Kansas City's finest big bands that kept the Midwest dancing. Also produces musical albums and deals in real estate.
ROBERT L. GETCHELL
Arts & Sciences '65
Hollywood film writer. Works include "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and "Sweet Dreams".
HENRY A. GUETTEL
Producer of Broadway shows including the national touring companies of The Sound of Music, Camelot and Oliver. Serves on Theatrical advisory panel of New York State Council of the Arts. Married Mary Rodgers (daughter of Richard Rogers) in 1961.
THOMAS L. HELM
Successful career in New York as conductor and musical director of many Broadway productions including Les Miserables, Me and My Girl and Cats. Also conducted at Radio City Music Hall.
Arts & Sciences
Teamed with Richard Carrothers in operation of one of nation's most successful commercial dinner theatres. Invests in production of Broadway plays and Hollywood films.
EDITH M. MCCLURG
Arts & Sciences '67
Television and movie personality. Credits include television series Mrs. Poole of "The Hogan Family", and Lucile Tariek of "WKRP in Cincinnati" and movies "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Mr. Mom", "A River Runs Through It" and "Natural Born Killers".
DWIGHT NEWTON BENNETT
Arts & Sciences '42
Wrote first original paperback (rather than hard cover) novel in 1949. Has written more than 70 books on the old west. Served as consultant and writer for television shows such as Wagon Train and Death Valley Days.
Retired general artistic director of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. February 1995 proclaimed Russell Patterson month in recognition of Patterson as a founding member of OPERA American and the Lyric as the oldest uninterrupted performing arts organization in Kansas City.
JOHN SCOTT SHEPHERD
Arts & Sciences ‘84
Hollywood screenwriter (2001’s Joe Somebody starring Tim Allen) and novelist (Henry’s List of Wrongs).
JAMES B. STEELE
Arts & Sciences '67
Contributing editor for Vanity Fair; former investigative reporter for Philadelphia Inquirer. Best-selling writer. Winner of prestigious journalism awards including two Pulitzer Prizes.
Arts & Sciences '37
Stage, film and television actor. Famous for Peter Gunn series. His more than 60 films include "God is My Co-Pilot" and "Since You Went Away".
Prominent Hollywood composer, credits include television productions of "Daniel Boone", "Ann Southern Show", "Michael Shane", "Mr. Novak", "Twilight Zone", and "Judd for the Defense". Motion picture scores include "Syncopation", "Night Song", "Destination Moon", "The Wild One", "The Interns", and "The James Dean Story". Received academy award nominations for "Julie" and "The Five Pennies".
Arts & Sciences, Attended
Poet and lecturer. Awards include Yale Younger Poets Prize and Pulitzer Prize. Teaches at Amherst.
Mezzo-Soprano opera singer. Developed voice hawking snacks at Starlight Theatre where her father operated a concession stand. Father's estate was used to establish Sam C. Bornstein Drama.
Arts & Sciences '37
Stage, screen, radio and television actress. Made debut in "Citizen Kane". Nominated for three Emmy awards. Played the roll of Phoebe in TV soap "All My Children" for more than 25 years.
J. MICHAEL YATES
Arts & Sciences '62
Widely published author of poetry, fiction, drama, translations, essays, and reviews. Translated into most western languages. Has been instructor and lecturer in colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada. One of Canada's most prolific and experimental writers.
The chairman and president of a major real estate company, the former CEO of an international engineering firm, and the city administrator of a local municipality have earned an MBA, MPA, and BBA degrees, respectively, from the Bloch School. They are only a few alumni, many of whom have become community leaders, who are proud to call UMKC their alma mater.
KAY WALDO BARNES
Education ’71; Business & Public Affairs ‘78
First Kansas City female mayor who served from 1999-2007.
HENRY W. BLOCH
Arts & Sciences, Attended
Honorary Doctorate '89
Chairman of H & R Block, Inc., the nation's largest income tax preparation firm. Major collector of contemporary art. Philanthropist.
Business and Public Administration '70
Former chairman and CEO of Burns and McDonnell Engineers-Architects-Consultants. Kansas City native who promotes educational programs in science and engineering. Currently visiting professor at UMKC Bloch School.
TERRENCE P. DUNN
Business & Public Administration '73
President and CEO of J.E. Dunn Construction Co., Kansas City's largest commercial contractor. Committed to wide range of community service serving on religious, business, labor, youth and arts boards.
MARGARET "CORKY" PFEIFFER
Arts & Sciences '75
Former executive vice president, Commercial Lithography Co.. Has printed subjects throughout the world. Was involved in civic and philanthropic activities, particularly women's issues.
H. HOWARD STEPHENSON
Former chair of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Hawaii, Bancorp Hawaii Inc., Investors Pacific Limited, Hawaiian Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. and First National Bank of Arizona. Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii. Expert on Pacific trade and commerce.
PATRICIA NORTON WIER
Arts & Sciences '74
First female president of Encyclopedia Britannica North America.
DAVID H. WESTBROOK
Arts & Sciences '71
President and CEO of Corporate Communications Group, Inc.. Provides consulting and advertising nationwide. Special interest in child welfare.
A foremost authority on black history in the Kansas City area. Developed board game BLACK TRIVIA containing 3,000 questions related to black history and culture.
Arts & Sciences '56
Former chairman of Chemistry Department, University of Iowa. Chair of the 1980 Aging Review Committee for the National Institute of Aging.
SHIRLEY A. HILL
President of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in the 1980's. Winner of the 1993 McGraw Prize in Education.
EDWARD FRANK ZIGLER
Arts & Sciences '54,'59
Sterling Professor of Psychology at Yale University and child development authority. Co-founder of Head Start, the federally funded program that has helped ensure that greater numbers of children enter school ready to learn.
EDWARD F. ARN
Governor of Kansas from 1951 to 1955. Grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and retired to Wichita to practice law.
THOMAS D. BARR
Arts & Sciences '53
Partner Cravath, Swane and Moore law firm. Represented IBM in anti-trust suit against the Federal Government. Represented FDIC against Drexel Burham Lambert and Michael Milken. Clients include H. Ross Perot, General Motors and Time Magazine.
Former member of the Kansas Legislature. Appointed in 1993 as Executive Director of the President's Committee on Mental Retardation by President Clinton. Has championed causes for mentally retarded and handicapped
individuals throughout his career.
Arts & Sciences '59, '73
President and founding member of Ad Hoc Group Against Crime. Organized First Human Relations Department in Kansas City. Served as Kansas City Mayor Pro-tem.
One of a number of alums who have served on the Kansas City Council. Currently practices law in Kansas City.
Lieutenant Governor of Missouri from 1960 to 1964. Leader in merger of the old Kansas City University with the University of Missouri System.
ROBERT L. CHARTRAND
Arts & Sciences '48, '49
Specialist in Information Policy for Library of Congress. Prepared major reports for U.S. Congress. Instrumental in creating information services and technology.
JAY B. DILLINGHAM
President of the Kansas City Stockyards Co. from 1937 to 1975. Started the Golden Ox Restaurant in the 1940's. Past President of both Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Interstate 670 bears his name.
Arts & Sciences '34
Mayor of Kansas City from 1963 to 1971. Member of first freshman class at UKC.
Arts & Sciences '52
Former member of CIA, National Security Council and U.S. State Department specializing in Slavic Studies. Author of The Fall of Khruschev.
CLARENCE M. KELLEY
Former Kansas City Police Chief. Appointed FBI Director by Nixon following J. Edgar Hoover. Cases included Watergate cover-up and Patty Hearst kidnapping.
FRANK K. KELLY
Arts & Sciences '37
Writer and peace activist. Speech writer for President Truman. Vice President of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara.
Served in the United States House of Representatives from 1995-2004. Served on the Transportation Committee. Helped create the Office of Public Counsel to represent consumer interests. When serving in Missouri Legislature, wrote the bill establishing Missouri's Crime Victim Compensation Fund.
ANNETTE NOBLE MORGAN
Taught world history and world culture at William Chrisman High School before being elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1980. Active in Women's Political Caucus and American Civil Liberties Union. Instrumental in shaping school policy.
ROGER P. MORRIS
Arts & Sciences '60
Resigned in protest from National Security Council when U.S. Troops entered Cambodia from Vietnam. Has produced and written numerous exposes in the years since. Books include Richard Milhouse Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician and Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy.
WILLIAM S. MORRIS
Served as Lieutenant Governor of Missouri from 1968 to 1973. A sports enthusiast, was president of the Kansas City Blues Hockey Team and member of the Kansas City Sports Commission.
One of the many judges who are alumni of UMKC. Served as Jackson County Circuit Judge for 20 years. Retired in 1989.
WILLIAM J. RANDALL
Served as U.S. Congressman from the 4th District from 1959 to 1977 (served as Harry Truman's Congressman). Independence Post Office named William J. Randall Building.
EDWARD D. ROBERTSON, JR.
Appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court in 1985. Selected as an Outstanding Young Man of America in 1984. Named "Statesman of the Year" by the Robert C. Goshorn Foundation. Serves as adjunct professor at Westminster College.
HARRY S. TRUMAN
33rd President of the United States.
HANS "TOM" TUCH
Arts & Sciences '47
Entered Foreign Service in 1949. Held various positions with U. S. State Department in U.S. and abroad. Awards include Edward R. Murrow in Public Diplomacy, Distinguished Honor Award of the U.S. Information Agency and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Served as Deputy Director and acting director of the Voice of America.
Elected to U.S. House of Representatives (Missouri's 5th District) in 1982 after a ten year political career in the Kansas City area. Member of the Congressional Black Caucaus and Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. Became Executive Director of CARE in 1994.
Mayor of Kansas City from 1971 to 1979. Holds JD degree from UKC, and MD from Kansas University. Elected to the Missouri Senate in 2002.
RONNIE L. WHITE
First African American named to the Missouri Supreme Court. Formerly served as city counselor for the City of St. Louis. Elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1989 and served three terms. Received the Outstanding Public Service Award from the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
Honorary Doctorate '57
United States Supreme Court Justice appointed by President Eisenhower. New Kansas City Federal Court House named in his honor.
Former Kansas City Chief's right guard for 11 seasons. 1983 Chief's selection for "Man of the Year". Ran his own sports agency before being bought out by IMG in 1991. Represents about 75 active NFL players.
First kangaroo basketball player drafted by NBA as guard for Dallas Mavericks. He was a first round draft choice.
DONALD M. FEHR
General Counsel, Major League Baseball Players Association. In the forefront of baseball's labor disputes. Instrumental in winning free agency for players and the baseball card antitrust case which resulted in opening the baseball card market.
ROBERT A. STEIN
Past president of the Minnesota Timberwolves professional basketball team.
Baseball player and manager. Became member of Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. Noted for popularizing baseball and use of the language referred to as Stengelese.
Health Sciences and Technology
Executive Vice President and co-Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.
BRETT L. FERGUSON
First black oral surgeon to graduate from UMKC. Wife, Rita Burnett DDS is alum of 1983.
MARY E. FRANK
A clinical nurse specialist in women's health. Used her health care background that includes a master's degree in health care administration in numerous assignments with the United States Army.
DAVID L. HAYES
Nationally recognized cardiologist and director of pacemaker services at Mayo Clinic. One of three authors of the "bible" on cardiovascular pacing.
Elected first woman president of National Association of Retail Druggists.
CHARLES R. PAGE
President of Page McNaghten Associates. Serves as consultant and provides designs for steel and concrete structures.
Chief of pregnancy and perinatology at the National Institutes of Health.
Business & Public Administration ’72, ‘81
Vice President for Eastern Maine Health Services and responsible for the development of the new Maine Institute of Human Genetics and Health.