Open Calendar

2020 President's Gala

The 2020 President's Gala, originally scheduled for March 30, 2020, has been rescheduled for April 12, 2021.


All individuals who have tickets for this free event and parking passes should hold onto them for future use. Please direct any questions to Pat Smithson at or 660-543-4263. We look forward to seeing you at the rescheduled President’s Gala.

Benefiting the UCM School of Visual and Performing Arts

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Helzberg Hall, Kansas City, MO
Guest Artist - David Cook, 2006 UCM alumnus, 2008 winner of "American Idol"


The University of Central Missouri’s 16th president, Roger J. Best, Ph.D., is reviving UCM’s President’s Gala as an avenue to celebrate student, faculty and alumni collaboration while raising needed funds to extend the educational benefits of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. The event, which is free and open to the public, will showcase students’ work from each of the school’s three areas of study: Art and Design, Music, and Theatre and Dance. The gala's theme this year is "The Arts Are the Future."

The special event will showcase music, theater, dance and visual arts – both separately and in unison – throughout the evening. Bryan Busby, chief meteorologist for KMBC-TV 9 News, will serve as the master of ceremonies. One highlight for the evening is a performance by celebrity UCM alumnus David Cook, ’06, whose musical career skyrocketed after he was named winner of the “American Idol” reality TV show in 2008. He will perform alongside current students in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Dress is business casual.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Reserve Tickets

This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets must be reserved in order to reserve your seat. Tickets will be available beginning spring 2020. A bus will be available if you require transportation to and from the event from Warrensburg. Please register at the link below.


Reserve Your Tickets
Event Transportation from Warrensburg



UCM theater students

Sponsorship Information

As funding for higher education grows more scarce, the responsibility to preserve and enhance students’ exploration within their areas of study has shifted to the private sector. UCM now relies more than ever on the generosity of donors who are passionate about the arts to support the future of the university, its students and its alumni. We appreciate the support of our honorary chairs, Debby, '74, and Gary Ballard and Kevin, '82, and Jeanette Prenger. Become a President's Gala sponsor to support the arts at UCM and enjoy VIP treatment at the show, including premier seating, valet parking, a pre-event cocktail reception and a celebrity meet and greet.

Sponsorship Info Become a Gala Sponsor Make a Donation


Thank you to our generous sponsors!


Thank You to our Presenting Host!

Pepsi logo - Presenting Host of the President's Gala


Thank You to our Anonymous Presidential Honors Sponsor! 



Thank You to our Producer-Level Sponsors! 

Husch Blackwell logo - a sponsor of 2020's President's Gala

Equity Bank sponsor

An Anonymous Gift From a Friend of the Arts


Thank You to our Director-Level Sponsors!

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City
  • Commerce Trust Company
  • Delta Dental
  • ECCO Select
  • Homer and Becky Kay family 
  • McCown Gordon Construction LLC
  • Mike and Rhonda Orndorff - Infinitas Coordinated Wealth Counsel
  • Sprint



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