The University of Missouri received a “transformative” multi-million dollar gift from Rich and Nancy Kinder on Thursday.
The $25 million gift was made on behalf of the Kinder Foundation and will go towards permanently establishing the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, which focuses on giving students and faculty more opportunities to explore the theories and practices that make up our constitutional democracy.
Rich Kinder is the co-founder of Kinder Morgan Inc., the third largest energy corporation in North America and University of Missouri graduate.
He said one of the reasons he wanted to give this gift was because of his wonderful experience at the university as an undergraduate and as a law school student.
His wife, Nancy Kinder is the president of the Kinder Foundation. A foundation that provides “transformational grants that impact urban green space, education, and the quality of life.”
With this gift and the permanent establishment of the Kinder Institute, Rich Kinder hopes it will serve as a gateway to future generations and their understating of democracy.
“We can’t exist as a country unless subsequent generations really understand what an exceptional nation this is and what the principals were that lead to the creation of our system of government and our democracy,” Kinder said.
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was also in attendance at Thursday morning’s gift announcement.
Loftin said he thinks the gift from the Kinder Foundation will impact individuals far beyond the University of Missouri.
“The institute will become, I think, a signature program here at the university. Not just for our students locally but to influence things nationwide,” Loftin said.
Loftin said now that the gift announcement has been made, the university and the Kinder Foundation can begin the developmental stages.
“It needs the space to grow into, it needs the ability to attract additional faculty and all that is built into the funding coming from the gift and the university’s partnership with the Kinder Foundation in making the institute possible,” Loftin said.
Today’s gift coincides with the university’s big fundraising campaign called “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead” which is kicking off Thursday night at Mizzou Arena.