His name was never a household word in Kansas City and, although Ernest Newcomb played a large part in determining the location of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, he was not even well-known on campus for many years. As the administrative founding father of UMKC, Newcomb is now considered to have been an important figure in the history of higher education in Kansas City, but a change in management during the university’s early years strained his relationship with the school for nearly four decades.
Newcomb, Ernest H.
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During a bright autumn day on October 1, 1933, nearly 2,000 people gathered in the shade of trees along the south side of Brush Creek to officially celebrate the opening of the University of Kansas City. Inspired speeches by Chairman of the Board Ernest E. Howard and Dr. Burris Jenkins, a prominent local minister, declared the founders' intention that the university should serve as an institution of opportunity for Kansas Citians who could not travel far away to attend college.