UMKC Alumna donates $1 million to support UMKC scholarships. Gifts support English and Conservatory students

About the Conservatory

The UMKC Foundation is pleased to announce a $1 million estate gift to the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of English and to the Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Jo Anna Dale graduated from UMKC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1952. Since she first arrived on the UMKC campus in the late 1940s, Dale has cultivated a strong interest in literature and creative writing. Although she majored in English, Dale also is an avid supporter of the performing arts. Because of her passion for UMKC, Dale designated an estate gift of $1 million to be divided equally between the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of English and the Conservatory of Music and Dance.

The estate gift will create a new Jo Anna Dale English Scholarship, and support the existing Jo Anna Dale Scholarship in Creative Writing (established in 2007) and Jo Anna Dale Conservatory Scholarship (established in 2010). In 2008, Dale established the Conservatory's Dale Vocal Studies Travel Fund to assist vocal students needing to travel to launch their careers. "Jo Anna Dale's generosity provides students in two of UMKC's fine programs with the resources necessary to reach their potential," said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. "This is the time and the place where gifts such as this further enhance our students' academic experience."

After graduating, Dale had a successful 28-year career at the Social Security Administration where her late husband, Richard Dale III, worked as an attorney. Upon retiring, with more time to devote to writing, Dale wrote novels and several published poems.

Through these scholarships, Dale hopes to foster a new generation of writers and musicians. In addition to supporting UMKC, Dale was elected Regent of the Missouri State Society, Daughters of the American Colonists in 2009. She also serves as the Great Plains Section Chairman of the Historic Landmarks and Memorials Committee of that organization. She is an active member of the Independence Pioneers Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution; the Missouri River Trails Chapter of the Colonial Dames of the Seventeenth Century; and the Kansas-Missouri Company of the Jamestowne [sic] Society. She also is a member of the Friends of Missouri Town 1855, the Community Association for the Arts, Friends of the Chicago and Alton Railroad Depot, the Midwest Philatelic Society, The Producers' Society of KCPT, the National Frontier Trails Museum and Mensa.

Dale has two sons, Robert Joseph Cook and Daniel William Cook, a stepson Richard Dale IV (deceased), and a stepdaughter Dr. Virginia Carol Dale. She has two cats. Dale is an avid reader, and loves to read murder mysteries, science fiction and history.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949