Philanthropist Julia Irene Kauffman Receives Honorary Doctorate from the UMKC Conservatory


Philanthropist Julia Irene Kauffman receives a doctor of music honoris causa from the UMKC Conservatory at the 2012 Commencement, May 5. 2012. The ceremony takes place in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which opened to world-wide acclaim September, 2011.

“This is a great opportunity for the university – and for me – to honor four individuals who have given so much to UMKC and to our Kansas City community,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “We appreciate their giving spirits and are privileged to call them alumni of Kansas City’s university.” 

Julia Irene Kauffman has been a tireless advocate for the arts, entrepreneurship and education in Kansas City. Her sustained leadership of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation and her vision and leadership in establishing the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the Todd Bolender Center for the Kansas City Ballet have been transformational to Kansas City. Kauffman has served as a UMKC Trustee and as a board member at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

She also has served as honorary chair for Crescendo—the signature fundraising gala at the Conservatory—and has continued her piano studies at the Conservatory. 

Conservatory Dean Peter Witte said, "This is Kansas City's golden age, and Julia Irene Kauffman is our catalyst.  Through her commitment to the arts and education, she honors the legacies of Muriel McBrien and Ewing Kauffman.  Especially this year, we are eager to celebrate Ms. Kauffman's transformational accomplishments as a civic leader."

Read more about the UMKC honorary degrees here.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949