Donors Kickstart New Building Fundraising Efforts

Michael and Millie Brown (left) and Richard Miller (right) donated a combined $3 million toward the New Building Fund.

University of Missouri officials announced two gifts to the MU Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) totaling $3 million to support the construction costs of a new academic building for the SSON. Michael and Millie Brown have given $2 million to support the new building. Richard Miller has given $1 million to support the same project.

“We cannot thank the Browns and Mr. Miller enough for their vision and support,” said Hank Foley, MU interim chancellor. “This new building will contribute to the state’s economy by strengthening the workforce of a profession that is highly marketable and vital to all Missourians’ quality of life. These gifts will enable MU to admit more stellar students to study nursing and go on to gratifying careers in a highly reputable and much-needed profession.”

The proposed new SSON building is planned to be built near the current nursing building. It will include approximately 104,000 square feet of usable space, featuring larger classrooms, clinical seminar rooms, a simulation center and a research and innovation center. The new building will allow the SSON to admit as many as 40 additional students to the academic program each year, which will represent a 25 percent increase in enrollment. The new building is still in its early fundraising stages. Officials estimate the building will cost approximately $55 million to complete. These funds will be raised through private gifts, state matching funds and $10 million in SSON matching funds.

“We are incredibly grateful to Michael and Millie Brown and Richard Miller for their leadership gifts for our new Sinclair School of Nursing building,” said Judith Miller, dean of the SSON. “Their generosity is helping spearhead this project, the first step in moving it from a dream to reality. We will be able to establish a building that conveys the strength and health care leadership of this school of nursing. With the impending shortage of professional nurses in this nation, this new building will enable us to increase the numbers of students admitted to the clinical major by 25 percent. We will have cutting-edge learning environments so students can develop not only as competent nurses, but also as thought leaders making substantial contributions within health care systems.”

Michael and Millie Brown are residents of Leawood, Kan. and both are MU alumni. Millie earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Michael was one of the founders of Euronet Worldwide, Inc., and has served as the president and chief executive officer since 1996. Michael serves on MU’s comprehensive campaign cabinet and Millie is a member of the SSON campaign executive board. 

“As alumni of MU, Millie and I believe the Sinclair School of Nursing, under the leadership of Dean Miller, currently provides nationally acclaimed academics for a limited number of students,” said Michael Brown. “Advancement of an improved facility, with additional educators and programs, will allow the SSON to be a national leader in nursing education, perfectly located in the Midwest. We also believe the Sinclair School of Nursing will be a capstone for the University, bringing more students, advanced health care research and educators from around the nation to MU. This also will assist Mizzou in fulfilling its responsibility to educate nursing professionals to address the challenging health care needs in the region. This is a tremendous opportunity for growth for the school, the University and the region.”

Richard Miller, a resident of Pittsburg, Kan. and Columbia, Mo., is one of MU’s most dedicated and generous donors. Miller currently serves as tri-chair of MU’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, Mizzou: Our Time to Lead. Miller also serves on the SSON Campaign Executive Board and has previously given $300,000 to the SSON to support the Safe Practices Room, which provides a training space for students to participate in patient care simulations. Miller is president and CEO of Miller’s Professional Imaging/Mpix, and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from MU. He says his daughter’s experiences at MU helped inspire him to support the Sinclair School of Nursing.

“My daughter, Grace, had a terrific experience as a student at the Sinclair School of Nursing, graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in 2012,” Miller said. “In touring the facilities and getting to know Dean Miller and the faculty and staff, I was thoroughly impressed with everyone associated with the school. The state of Missouri has a dire need for nurses and new facilities will help to fill a portion of that need.”

With an overall fundraising goal of $1.3 billion, the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign will secure the University of Missouri’s status among the nation’s elite public universities by focusing on three priorities: endowment — building our endowment to compete with other institutions will strengthen our ability to attract and retain stellar students and faculty; signature centers and institutes — interdisciplinary centers and institutes will be the engine of research growth that will enhance our AAU status and add to our distinctiveness; and a campus renaissance — new and renovated facilities will propel Mizzou to global leadership in education and research and will help attract and retain students and faculty.