In a story from the UCM website, the Sunderland foundation has pledged a $1 Million gift to the UCM Foundation toward construction of a state-of-the-art terminal and flight education facility at UCM’s Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport.

The Sunderland Foundation, established by Lester T. Sunderland in 1945, is dedicated to funding construction projects in the Kansas City region and areas traditionally served by the Ash Grove Cement Company, where Sunderland was president for 33 years. Leadership of the foundation has passed from generation to generation, and Lester’s great-grandsons, Kent and Charles Sunderland, were named Ingram’s 2018 Philanthropists of the Year for their current stewardship.

According to UCM President Roger J. Best, the gift will enhance both the ability to attract and educate students in aviation as well as serve a stronger role in fulfilling the economic development needs for the region.

The Skyhaven airport was donated to the university in the 1960s by Max B. Swisher and his family. The UCM School of Aviation, which currently serves nearly 500 students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in one of four undergraduate programs or a master’s degree in aviation safety.