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UCM’s President’s Gala Postponed Following KC Mayor’s State of Emergency Declaration

By Jeff Murphy, March 13, 2020

UCM President's Gala 2020

WARRENSBURG, MO – Following Mayor Quinton Lucas’s declaration of a State of Emergency in Kansas City, Missouri, for all events with an attendance of 1,000 people, the University of Central Missouri announces the cancellation of its 2020 President’s Gala.

The gala was planned for March 30 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and was a fundraising opportunity to showcase and support students and programs in UCM’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. Among those scheduled to join in the event were former Blue Springs resident David Cook, 2008 winner of the American Idol competition, who was going to perform with students, and Bryan Busby, a longtime KMBC-TV weatherman who was evening emcee.

Joint letters by Courtney E. Goddard, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the UCM Alumni Foundation, and Michael Sawyer, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, are being shared with various stakeholders, including attendees, to announce the event change.

“While all of the students, faculty and staff who have worked hard to make this a terrific event share disappointment in this cancellation, we fully support Mayor Lucas’s decision to prioritize public health. Please note that we do not intend to cancel this event outright; rather, we plan to hold the event at a later date. Details will be determined and shared with you as quickly as possible.”

Goddard and Sawyer added that pledges of support for the event will be honored and the university will fulfill its obligations to event sponsors, students and the audience. A reschedule date for the gala will be announced when the date and time are finalized. All individuals who have tickets for this free event and parking passes should hold onto them for future use.

Anyone who has questions is asked to contact Pat Smithson at or 660-543-4263.


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