Overland Park, Kan. - As the campus begins a million dollar expansion and prepares for continued growth in undergraduate and graduate programming, KU Edwards Campus is taking time in 2003 to celebrate its first decade of service to working professionals and employers of greater Kansas City.
An array of activities, programs and ceremonies will mark the Edwards Campus' 10th anniversary throughout the year. Each month, the campus plans to host at least one event built around the anniversary theme: Celebrating 10 years in Greater Kansas City.
“We have much to celebrate as we begin our second decade in Overland Park, and we are grateful to Johnson County and greater Kansas City for supporting our mission to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of the area,” said Bob Clark, vice chancellor of the Edwards Campus. “Throughout the year, we want to draw attention to KU's 10 years of commitment to the region through the Edwards Campus as well as look to the future, a future that will bring more of KU's nationally respected educational opportunities to our adult learners.”
The vision for the Edwards Campus became reality when Clay Blair III, a long-time KU alumnus and local land developer, donated 36 acres to the University of Kansas. Blair requested the land be named in honor of Roy and Joan Edwards, two KU alumni and longtime supporters. The campus opened its doors to students in January 1993. Prior to the Edwards Campus, KU had a presence in Kansas City through the Regents Center on 99th and Mission Road.
When the Regents Center moved to the Edwards Campus location, KU was able to increase its selection of graduate programs, focusing on those that had workforce demand. The Edwards Campus has grown from 10 degree programs in 1993 to 22 degree programs today, serving upper-division undergraduate and graduate students in such areas as biology, English, education, business, engineering and social work.
The Edwards Campus will continue to remain committed to its mission of serving the greater Kansas City workforce. Evidence of this is seen today on campus, as we are currently constructing a second classroom building to be named Victor and Helen Regnier Hall. The 82,000-square-foot building will feature 21 classrooms, a 240-seat auditorium and offices for 45 faculty and staff. The original building on the Edwards Campus, constructed in 1992, stands at 55,000 square feet with offices for 15 of the 200+ faculty members who teach there each semester.
After Regnier Hall is completed in 2004, enrollment at the campus is expected to double to 4,000 students. Plans call for doubling the number of degree programs by adding new undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in such areas as business, public and social welfare administration, gerontology and pharmaceutical chemistry. The campus expansion will also bring selected components of KU's world-class research expertise into closer proximity to the economic development initiatives underway in the Kansas City area.
The Edwards Campus begins its next decade of serving Johnson County by marking its economic impact on the community since opening its doors in 1993.
A recent County Economic Research Institute, Inc (CERI) shows the Edwards Campus has had an economic impact on Johnson County of nearly a 8 million. CERI measured the direct and induced impacts of the campus in relation to construction, annual campus operations, tourism and increased local household earnings of graduates.
From student, staff, faculty and alumnus recognition, to an emphasis on a new building and new programs designed to meet workforce demand, the Edwards Campus has plans for a variety of events to mark its 10th anniversary. In each case, the campus will remain focused on its mission, it goals for the future and the 10 years of commitment to greater Kansas City that make up the reason the campus exists