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construction management | University News | UCM Alumni Foundation

Construction Management Alumni Turn Golf into Fundraising Opportunity to Aid Academic Program and Its Students

By Jeff Murphy, December 1, 2023


Construction management professionals who took part in the 2023 fundraising golf tournament at Adams Pointe Golf Club in Blue Springs, Missouri, benefitting the University of Central Missouri’s Construction Management program included, from left, Emilia Rivera, E&K of Kansas City; Adam Hammeke, Performance Contractng, Inc.; and UCM alumni Steven Crosley, McCownGordon Construction, and Caleb McCandless, The Builders, a chapter of the Associated General Contractors.

WARRENSBURG, MO – Members of the University of Central Missouri Construction Management Alumni Committee have turned a popular pastime into a highly successful philanthropic opportunity. By hosting golf tournaments for seven consecutive years, the committee has raised $303,761 to help fund student scholarships and other opportunities to aid and advance UCM’s Bachelor of Science in Construction Management program. 

Jason Schram, a 2008 program graduate and member of the golf tournament planning committee, said fundraising efforts grew out of a desire to engage Construction Management alumni in activities that would bring program graduates together while also generating funds that benefit students and meet various academic needs. The idea to establish golf tournaments, which have taken place in two Missouri cities, came from the Construction Management Advisory Board. This group of professionals in the field include Schram, who has served on the board since 2015. He currently works as Senior Estimating and Preconstruction Manager for A.L. Huber, a general contracting company in Overland Park, Kansas.
“In 2016, we had a number of alumni who were on the advisory board. We saw other universities that had Construction Management programs with very engaged alumni, so we worked to put together an alumni group within the advisory board,” he said.

In cooperation with the UCM Alumni Foundation, the new board committee has initiated philanthropic opportunities to build a scholarship endowment that so far has made possible six financial awards over the past four years to help make students’ education more affordable. Alumni have also created a quasi-endowment, which can be coupled with grant and state money for capital improvements that benefit the Construction Management program, and have established a smaller but separate fund to help advance the program. These two funds cover items such as technology, recruitment, professional development for faculty, student organization support, and money for furnishings, supplies and materials.

Two annual golf tournaments have helped grow all of these funds. The inaugural golf tournament in the Kansas City area took place on May 20, 2016 at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Blue Springs, Missouri. With the exception of 2020, during the pandemic, the Kansas City area tournament has taken place annually since then. Two years ago, the group added a second tournament in Columbia, Missouri.  Schram said these events support the endowment through team entry fees, company sponsorships, and raffles for prizes such as food and beverage coolers, gas grills, lawn chairs, power tools, and an assortment of other items.

The golf tournaments are open to everyone, however, Schram estimates an average of 50 to 60 percent of the participants are UCM alumni. He said the committee and the Alumni Foundation Events team “cast a broad net” to engage alumni, current students, and representatives of major construction companies to participate. Such events provide opportunities for students to connect with potential employers, and for employers to develop relationships with individuals who are seeking future internships and jobs in construction management.

“The construction industry has a tremendous demand for graduates of this program, and you’ll find these graduates across the country,” Schram said. “There will be national companies and firms that are recruiting, and, on occasion, we will have a national firm that participates simply because they want exposure to students. We always try to have student teams, including SOCM (Student Organization of Construction Managers) at the events so that they have exposure to the different companies that are hiring, as well.”

Joining Schram on the Construction Management Alumni Committee are advisory board members Brian Roth, ’02, senior project manager, LEED AP for McCownGordon Construction, Shawnee, Kansas; Matt Osborne, ’04, general manager for Performance Contracting, Inc., Grandview, Missouri; and Brad Schoen, ’03, senior preconstruction director at McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., Kansas City. In addition to supporting the golf tournaments through their volunteer efforts, these committee members engage in advisory board efforts that are currently under the leadership of Kevin Uhl, a 2009 graduate of the Construction Management program from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. In addition to his full-time job in management/business development for Meyer Brothers Building Company in Kansas City, Uhl has served as the board’s president for the past two years and was recently re-elected for another two-year term. In this capacity, he helps provide guidance to ensure the academic program prepares students to succeed in their professional careers.

“It means a lot for me to be able to give back to the program. It shaped and guided my career to provide a way of life I never thought possible as a kid,” said Uhl. “I have a little family in America and am the first person in my family to even go to college. So, to give back to a program that gave me the opportunity today is very fulfilling.”

Expressing her appreciation for the commitment of these university graduates, Tiffany Cochran, ’05, ’23, senior director, events and alumni engagement, noted, “The UCM Alumni Foundation is honored to work with dedicated alumni who unselfishly give their time. Anyone can contribute to their program or interest area. Please reach out to if you are interested in getting involved.”

Speaking about the value of the advisory board and its committee’s support, Jeff Robertson, dean of UCM’s College of Health, Science and Technology, noted, “Their enthusiasm, dedicated engagement with corporate sponsors, business and alumni, as well as financial support are supporting the unique curricular laboratory and field experiences needed for a successful construction management career.”

He added, “The extra funds will also be combined with two external grants to facilitate renovation of the TRG (T.R. Gaines Technology Building) Building to provide unique spaces and synergistic opportunities for Construction Management, Engineering Technology, and Safety Sciences.”

While Construction Management alumni have continued to give back to their alma mater, Schram said the group is considering new opportunities to serve students in the program. The date for the next tournament in Kansas City was recently set for June 7, 2024, and although plans are not finalized, program alumni are considering a possible golf tournament in the St. Louis area. 

Excited about the possibility to extend golf tournaments to the opposite end of the state, Schram said, “There are a lot of Construction Management grads there…We’ve kind of been pushing to the east, and we’ve had a lot of success in pulling in St. Louis contractors to the Columbia tournament.”

Individuals who want to learn more about UCM’s Bachelor of Science in Construction Management are encouraged to visit the program website.


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