LAWRENCE — The Hall Family Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri, has made a $500,000 gift to create the Robert Almy Kipp Professorship of Practice in City Management at the University of Kansas. The professorship honors Kipp’s career, his extensive civic leadership and his service in the field of urban development.
Robert (Bob) Kipp, of Leawood, had a distinguished civic and professional career in the Kansas City area. He served as city manager of Kansas City, Missouri, from 1974-83, when Donald J. Hall, chairman of Hallmark Cards, recruited him to become CEO of Crown Center Redevelopment. Located near downtown Kansas City, Crown Center was one of the nation’s first mixed-use redevelopments. Kipp later moved on to become vice president of Hallmark Cards from 1997 until his retirement in 2006. Currently, he serves on the board of the Hall Family Foundation.
Kipp graduated from Lawrence High School in 1948. He then received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from KU in 1952, served in the U.S. Air Force and returned to KU to receive a master’s degree in public administration in 1956.
“On behalf of the Hall Family Foundation, it is our pleasure to recognize Bob for his lifetime of public service and thoughtful leadership in the fields of urban planning and management,” said Don Hall, chairman of the Hall Family Foundation. “This professorship is a symbol of our gratitude for the insights and wisdom he has shared with the foundation and the greater Kansas City civic community over many years.”
Bob Kipp expressed his appreciation. “I am honored by this recognition because KU’s city management program has earned a distinguished reputation by instilling a sense of public service as well as humility and morality in its graduates. As a result, the program is highly regarded nationwide and this ongoing support will enable its continued prosperity,” Kipp said.
Kipp was awarded the KU Distinguished Service Citation in 1980 (then the university’s highest honor), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the School of Public Affairs & Administration in 1995, the School of Engineering Distinguished Engineering Service Award in 2005 and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Alumni Distinguished Achievement in 2012.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of the Hall Family Foundation. What a wonderful way to honor one of our most distinguished alumni, as well as our top-ranked city management program. We are thrilled,” said Rosemary O’Leary, director of the School of Public Affairs & Administration.
Kipp is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and is past president of the International City/County Management Association. He has received numerous awards, including the National Public Service Award, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Kansas Citian of the Year Award, the William Jewell College Distinguished Service Medallion, the Urban League Distinguished Leadership Award and the Baker University Distinguished Leadership Award.
Throughout his career, Kipp chaired numerous boards, including the Midwest Research Institute, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas City Symphony and Starlight Theatre. He also has served on the boards of the Metropolitan Kansas City Performing Arts Centre, the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, the KU Center for Research and the KU Edwards Campus.
He has been a loyal donor to KU, making generous gifts to the KU Cancer Center, the School of Public Affairs & Administration, the Edwards Campus and the Greater KU Fund. He funded the Harold L. Kipp and John E. Kipp Professorship in Mechanical Engineering in honor of his late father and brother, respectively.
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.