Every year, the cost of a college education increases, so it can feel out of reach for the average person. It is the mission of MSU Denver to provide its students with access to a high-quality and affordable education that prepares them for success beyond the campus borders. Recently, this mission was given a boost by the generous funding of an endowment at MSU Denver.

“It is absurd that college is so expensive,” says Mariner Kemper, chairman and CEO of UMB Financial Corporation. “The ever-escalating cost of college is not fair for the future of our young people.”

Kemper was inspired by colleague Jon Robinson, UMB executive vice president/regional chief credit officer as he wanted to learn more about how the University serves the community. Robinson is an MSU Denver Foundation board member and alumnus, whom Kemper describes as a “living, breathing, example of what MSU Denver is all about.”

Matthew Current and the Mariner family.

MSU Denver student Matthew Current with the Kemper family.

Excited by MSU Denver’s mission to keep tuition low, Kemper spoke with then-MSU Denver President Steve Jordan and was thrilled with what he discovered. “I don’t think there is a better example, anywhere in the state, of a university doing their best to keep tuition as low as possible,” Kemper says. “This is a rockstar university.”

After speaking with then-MSU Denver President Steve Jordan, Kemper was thrilled to discover that he and his family could provide funding that would keep tuition costs down and support additional faculty salaries.

What followed was the decision to create the Kemper Family Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship — the first fully endowed chair in the University’s 50+ year history — made possible by a gift from the Carter Community Trust and the W.T. Kemper Charitable Trust, UMB Bank, Trustee.

The family’s gift will be used to create an endowed chair in the College of Business at MSU Denver and will be used to support the teaching, scholarship, research and service activities of the named faculty member. “The University relies on faculty expertise to provide quality, relevant, curriculum,” says Dr. Ann Murphy, Dean of the College of Business. “Alternative funding sources, such as the Kemper Family Endowed Chair, allow us to retain and support faculty who promote student success.”

The Kemper Family Chair will be an important aid in meeting the University’s goals to maintain an excellent faculty, grow enrollment in the College of Business and increase student success and retention rates while effectively mitigating tuition inflation.

“We are thankful to the Kemper family for helping us strengthen the ‘Roadrunner Difference,’ allowing us to continue to deliver on our promise of being Colorado’s best educational value,” says President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. “Together, we will ensure that MSU Denver remains a place where the American dream still lives.”