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Burns & McDonnell, Kowalik family make generous gift to College

Chris Woolery (College Recruiting Coordinator, Burns & McDonnell), Sasha Maslanka (College Recruiting Coordinator, Burns & McDonnell), Lauren Bertram (Recruitment Manager, Burns & McDonnell), Julee Koncak (Foundation Director, Burns & McDonnell), Jill Kowalik, Ray Kowalik, Sabrina Kowalik, Garnett Stokes (MU Provost), Robert Schwartz (Interim Dean, MU College of Engineering) pose for a group shot.

Chris Woolery (College Recruiting Coordinator, Burns & McDonnell), Sasha Maslanka (College Recruiting Coordinator, Burns & McDonnell), Lauren Bertram (Recruitment Manager, Burns & McDonnell), Julee Koncak (Foundation Director, Burns & McDonnell), Jill Kowalik, Ray Kowalik, Sabrina Kowalik, Garnett Stokes (MU Provost) and Robert Schwartz (Interim Dean, MU College of Engineering) pose for a group shot after the Kowalik family and Burns & McDonnell combined to give the College of Engineering a $500,000 gift. Photo by Hannah Sturtecky.

The University of Missouri College of Engineering received a generous gift totaling $500,000 from Burns & McDonnell, Inc., and alumnus Ray Kowalik and his wife, Jill, on Friday at a ceremony held at Thomas and Nell Lafferre Hall on the MU campus.

Burns & McDonnell, a Kansas City-based engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm, donated $400,000. Kowalik, who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from MU in 1985 and his master’s degree in 1999, and his family donated $100,000. Kowalik currently serves as the executive vice president as well as president of global practice for Burns & McDonnell.

“This gift in support of the College’s renovation serves to reinforce the University’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math education in order to provide our students with the tools they need to be successful in today’s job market,” MU Provost Garnett Stokes said.

“These combined gifts will be used in support of the current Thomas and Nell Lafferre Hall renovation project. More specifically, an area dedicated to student collaborations located just inside the newly renovated area on the north side of the building will benefit from their generosity and be named in their honor,” MU College of Engineering Interim Dean Robert Schwartz said.

Burns & McDonnell has been a corporate partner of the University of Missouri College of Engineering since 2011, and the company currently employs 230 MU College of Engineering alumni. Additionally, Burns & McDonnell has been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in five of the last seven years and has landed on the Kansas City Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in Kansas City list the last eight years.



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