By Shannan Henderson
Kimiko Black Gilmore is the embodiment of the ideal UMKC alumna – a loyal advocate who is passionate about the university and the city.
“I love UMKC and I love Kansas City,” says Kimiko, a Kansas City native who graduated from UMKC in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. “I think that UMKC and KC is a marriage made in heaven. We are the city’s university. I will say that over and over again. And I would go to bat for either one of them.”
Kimiko’s commitment to UMKC is shown through her support as a monthly donor, or a Go-To Roo. For her, donating monthly was the easiest, most convenient way to support UMKC.
“I want to always be a part of the life and the breath of UMKC,” says Kimiko, who is now an assistant city manager with the City of Kansas City, Missouri. “All public institutions need money [and] donations. I know how hard everyone works and I want to be able to support that.”
As an alumna, Kimiko stays involved on campus as a member of various boards and committees. She feels it is especially important for her to contribute to the university in any way that she can.
“We need alumni, especially since we have so many in the area, all to be engaged,” Kimiko says. “Our students need to see the alumni in action.”
Commitment is a large motivator for Kimiko. Though she strives to do as much as she can, she realizes that it can be a large undertaking for some.
“I understand that people can’t do everything, but do whatever you can do, as long as there is a commitment to your school,” she says.
Life changes often dictate philanthropic commitments so keeping up and adapting to changes is also important to Kimiko.
“I suggest that people periodically reevaluate, whether they are giving regularly or have yet to make a gift to UMKC Foundation, and see what they can do,” she advises. “And if they can, do more.”
Monthly donations through the Go-To Roo program authorizes automatic monthly payments, which is convenient for donors because they don’t have to actively remember to make their contribution. With as little as $10 a month, essential supplies can be purchased for our students. If you are interested in becoming a Go-To Roo, please visit http://go.umkc.edu/gotoroo/