A grass-roots effort begun by Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) received a significant boost through a $200,000 gift by The Sunderland Foundation, a Kansas City-based philanthropic organization. CUKC’s plan to fund a major reroofing project on the University’s main building will now use the Sunderland Foundation gift, rather than previously budgeted funds, according to Jessica Ramirez, vice president of institutional advancement.
“We wanted to find a way to do this capital project while also prioritizing projects and services for student programs,” Ramirez said. “Through our efforts, CUKC was able to show a 30% commitment toward the total cost of the roof project. Once we’d accomplished that, we could apply for a capital grant.”
Construction bids had put the cost of replacing the 7,500 square foot surface at $425,000.
Prior to CUKC receiving the Sunderland Foundation gift, commitments from those associated with CUKC, and other community organizations and corporations, topped $127,000. Ramirez said CUKC alumni, faculty, and staff had made private online donations of more than $6,600.
“This effort was, quite literally, a raise-the-roof campaign,” Ramirez said. “The 20 year-old roof had been on our signature campus building since before the University purchased the Overland Park, Kan., campus in 2008.”
Cleveland University-Kansas City President Carl S. Cleveland III, said, “We see it as an ongoing investment in the University’s growing student body of future chiropractors and healthcare professionals. The support of the Sunderland Foundation was a key component in expediting the project.”
CUKC had previously received two other Sunderland Foundation grants. In 2019, CUKC received a $75,000 grant to construct a Teaching and Learning Center in the University’s Ruth R. Cleveland Memorial Library. In 2017, CUKC received a $100,000 grant to repair and improve concrete areas on campus. The funds were used to construct two new wheelchair ramps and enhance sidewalks and curbs on the University’s 34-acre campus.
As a thank you for contributing, those investing $100 or more were invited to a roof panel-signing event on Feb. 28, 2022.
The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as President of the Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years and as a highly respected leader in the cement industry. Since its inception, the Foundation, which continues to be led by Lester T. Sunderland’s descendants, has focused on supporting construction and renovation projects, awarding grants to nonprofits in the Kansas City region and certain other markets in the Midwest and Puget Sound region. For more information, please visit www.sunderland.org.