UPDATE: Bloch gives $32 million to UMKC business school

Friday, September 16, 2011 | 1:22 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — Henry Bloch, a co-founder of the tax preparation company H&R Block, has donated $32 million to the University of Missouri-Kansas City's business school, the largest outright gift in the university's history, university officials said.

The money will go toward a business school addition, which will be called the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. It is scheduled to open in fall 2013, The Kansas City Star reported.

"We are extremely grateful to Henry Bloch for his years of support of the Bloch School of Management," Chancellor Leo E. Morton said Thursday night before a packed auditorium at the university's Student Union.

"Henry had a vision when he endowed this school that one day it would lead among the nation's best. Today we are seeing what Henry saw," he said.

The donation coincides with the announcement that the Princeton Review has ranked UMKC's undergraduate and graduate business programs 14th and 21st, respectively, among business programs nationwide this year.

Gov. Jay Nixon called the new addition to the business school "a virtual link between Missouri's legacy of entrepreneurship and UMKC."

"It guarantees that the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators will dream and learn and grow right here at UMKC," he said.

Bloch has supported the university's School of Business since 1986, when he endowed it. He cited the success of the school's Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation as influencing his philanthropy, and he challenged the rest of Kansas City to lend its support.

"Now is the right time to make this gift," Bloch said.

University officials said no architectural plans have been drawn up yet, and they haven't decided which side of the existing building will be expanded.

Teng-Kee Tan, dean of the Bloch School, called the planned facility "a game-changer for how graduate and entrepreneurship education will be delivered."

He said the new mission and vision of the school "align with what this community wants and needs from its business school."

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