School Receives Multi-Million Dollar Bequest
In what is one of the largest individual gifts ever made to a dental school in the United States, the Cowans have created a legacy estate gift provision, designating the UMKC School of Dentistry to receive this future gift. The Cowans have directed that their legacy gift, which is currently valued at $8.2 million, be used to establish an endowed scholarship fund to benefit UMKC students in good standing at the dental school.
“The University and the School of Dentistry are certainly humbled by the generosity of the Cowans,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton. “The Cowans’ extraordinary gift of education and opportunity will provide immeasurable returns. We thank them for their unending dedication and support, and for selecting UMKC to continue their legacy.”
The announcement of the gift was made by Chancellor Morton at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center on March 28, 2009, during the annual Alumni and Friends Recognition Breakfast at this year’s Midwest Dental Conference.
Paying it forward
After graduating from the School of Dentistry in 1949, Dr. Cowan left for Oklahoma to take the dental board exam, with the intent of establishing his practice there. He proudly recalls one of the examiners telling him they could always spot UKC dentistry graduates because of their exceptional clinical skills.
A couple of years later, however, Dr. Cowan was back in Missouri where he decided to purchase a dental practice in Branson for $1,500. He and Mrs. Cowan have spent the last 58 years establishing themselves in the community and developing that practice into the successful operation it is today.
“Dr. and Mrs. Cowan have been active partners in the dental profession throughout Dr. Cowan’s career,” said Dr. Nancy Mills, interim dean of the UMKC School of Dentistry. “They hope this gift will inspire others to give to the school, and also hope students who receive the Cowan Scholarship will try to help at least one other student as soon as they are financially able to do so.”
The Cowans’ gift will double the size of the School of Dentistry’s Rinehart Foundation and will also double the amount of student scholarships at the school. In recognition of this significant gift to generations of future students, the UMKC School of Dentistry will name its public service and student training clinics (the entire first floor of the UMKC School of Dentistry), The Dr. Robert and Mrs. Lucille Cowan Center for Clinical Care.
In what those who know him would call his typical humble and understated fashion, Dr. Cowan remarked, “Dentistry has been good to us, and I’d like to think that we have been good to dentistry.”
W. Victor Woods, DDS ’43, (Nixa, MO) Dr. & Mrs. W. Victor Wood will celebrated 70 years of marriage on December 27, 2011. Dr. Wood entered the Navy after graduating from dental school, serving in the States and the Pacific. He began a dental practice in Nixa in 1946. After several years, he and several dentists formed Parkcrest Dental Group in Springfield, MO. Dr. Wood retired after 46 years of dentistry. He and his wife have attended the UMKC Dental Alumni meetings for the last 40 years.
Harry W. Fitzgerald, DDS ’46, (El Dorado, Kan.) cannot believe how many of his classmates are gone. He just celebrated his 88th birthday. Still in reasonably good shape, he works at the local YMCA three days a week!
Earnest W. Potts, DDS ’46, (Yukon, Okla.) now resides in Spanish Cove, Yukon, Okla.
Donna Weber, Manager, Alumni Affairs 816-235-2022 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilary Wheat, Director of Development 816-235-2173 email@example.com
Karen Wilson, Coordinator, Continuing Dental Education 816-235-2142
Nicole Johnson, Administrative Assistant 816-235-2060 firstname.lastname@example.org
UMKC School of Dentistry
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