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University of Missouri

Donating Toward Democracy

Alumnus gives $25 million through his foundation to endow an institute on constitutional democracy.

Kinder gift announcment

cutline here cutline here. Photo by Rob Hill.

The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy had the best-possible 24-hour period, starting Oct. 7, when it hosted a lecture by two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning author David McCullough. The line to get into the Missouri Theatre stretched around the building, and about 500 people were turned away. The next morning, the institute’s benefactor, Rich Kinder, BA ’66, JD ’68, announced a $25 million endowed gift from his foundation to fund the program in perpetuity and allow the university to hire new faculty to serve in it. Justin Dyer, institute director and associate professor of political science, calls the gift transformative. “This [gift] will allow us to be a national and international leader in this area of study,” he says. The Kinder Foundation also funded the institute’s creation in 2014 with a $1.67 million gift through the Jack Miller Center.