Economic Impact

Rockhurst Bell Tower

In the City for Good

A proud member of the community for more than 100 years with a pledge to remain “in the city for good,” Rockhurst University stands firm in a commitment to its Jesuit heritage and its location on 55 acres in midtown Kansas City, Missouri, along historic Troost Avenue and the grand Paseo Boulevard. Rockhurst has long had an impact on the city and community, which can be seen in a variety of projects and accomplishments.

Rockhurst has created a legacy of educating and transforming young people into engaged community members who embody the Jesuit tradition of being men and women for and with others. But the University also makes a significant economic and cultural impact in the broader Kansas City community.

Rock Row Housing

Keeping Funds Local

Rockhurst University supports the economy of Kansas City with a majority of its expenditures spent locally. Of the $51.2 million total expenditures during fiscal year 2016, 44 percent, or $22.6 million, was spent directly by the University on expenses not tied to salaries or benefits. This included instructional materials, technology, office equipment and utilities.

In addition, during fiscal year 2016 Rockhurst University spent $3.5 million on capital expenditures, which funded new plant, property and equipment as well as the maintenance of existing facilities.

The University invests in women and minority-owned businesses. In addition to serving as a member of the Minority Supplier Council, Rockhurst University holds $581,316 worth of contracts with women and minority-owned businesses, among them T & S Clean Team, Magnetic Products, Mobilefone, See-More Signs, Advanced Window Blinds and Kansas City Air Filter.

Non-Profit Speed Networking

Major Midtown Employer

In fiscal year 2016, the University reported an annual payroll of $19.3 million, with 131 full-time faculty and 207 full-time staff positions, and 181 part-time faculty and 25 part-time staff positions. Rockhurst’s payroll contributes $878,474 to state and local income tax collections. In addition, members of the Rockhurst faculty and staff contribute to the local economy as consumers of goods and services.

Students Graduating

Attracting Talent and Human Capital to the City

In the 2016-17 academic year, total student enrollment at Rockhurst University was 2,854, with 2,042 undergraduates and 812 graduate students. Of these students, 756 lived on campus or in University-owned or -affiliated properties. The remaining students lived off-campus, serving as tenants for local landlords, shopping at local grocery stores and becoming customers for local utilities.

Those students come from 35 states and 27 countries. They reflect a variety of experiences and interests and represent the future of a number of different career paths and industries. The top five degree paths for seniors in the class of 2015 were business administration, nursing, exercise science, biology and psychology.

Each year, approximately one-third of our new student population comes to Rockhurst from the surrounding Kansas City metro area, but we’re proud to say that 60 percent decide to stay in KC after graduation. 

Student Service Project

Caring for the Environment

Committed to remaining good stewards of the earth as well as good neighbors, Rockhurst University has implemented several programs aimed at reducing waste and improving the sustainability of campus. These efforts have included retrofitting lighting with motion-detecting models to reduce waste, and adjusting toilets and showers to reduce water usage. New campus structures, such as the North Parking Garage and Rock Row student housing, incorporate a number of features aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the University.

There are also ongoing efforts to reduce waste in the University’s food service sites. Styrofoam containers have been eliminated in response to requests from students. The Leftovers With Love program sends surplus food to St. James Place, where it becomes meals for members of the community, while food waste is composted. As the result of a student-led initiative, in 2016 Rockhurst became Missouri's first Fair Trade University.

Finucane Service Project

Investing in Our Community

Rockhurst University lives its Jesuit mission by engaging and seeking to improve the world around it in a variety of ways.

The Rockhurst University Community Center provides a space for community meetings and events. In 2015, a total of 11,299 people and 63 unique organizations spent a total of 1,477 hours in the center, for a total value of $143,391 in in-kind contributions to the community members and organizations making a difference in our city.

Rockhurst also seeks to foster partnerships with organizations in the city. In June 2013, the University helped launch another avenue through which to serve the broader community, the Prosperity Center for Financial Opportunity. Formed as a partnership among the University and Greater Kansas City LISC, Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, the Kansas City Full Employment Council and the United Way of Greater Kansas City, the center offers help in three service areas: employment coaching, financial coaching and income assistance. The center assists nearly 80 active clients in these areas, while working to bring awareness to public policy issues that affect low- and moderate-income families. The clients came from various backgrounds and areas of the city.

With a commitment to social ministry and community service at its heart, students at Rockhurst University are actively engaged and encouraged to take on projects that serve the community here in Kansas City as well as those in other parts of the U.S. and across the globe. The Center for Service Learning, a department that coordinates service learning opportunities, reported that 1,485 total students participated in community service or were enrolled in classes that incorporated service learning in the 2015-16 academic year, contributing a total of 27,352 hours of service. The total value of those contributions, based on Independent Sector’s $23.56 per-hour dollar figure for volunteer time, is $644,413.

Students are offered a chance to earn money for their education with the community work-study program. Throughout the 2015-16 academic year, Rockhurst students earned $35,134 through community work-study, equaling 13 percent of the University’s annual Federal Work-Study allotment.

Pergola Tulips

Proven Commitment and Investment

In 2010, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded Rockhurst its community engagement classification, honoring the University’s commitment to engaging students in and out of the classroom with its service immersion programs here and abroad and for the formation of the Rockhurst University Neighborhood Council, which brings representatives from the surrounding neighborhoods together to talk about issues facing the community of which Rockhurst is a part.

Members of the RUNC worked together to produce a guiding document for the University’s future, the 20-year campus master plan. The plan was approved by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, as a planned development zone.

The University continues to invest in the campus, strengthening its commitment to remain part of the Kansas City community well into the future. In August 2015, Rockhurst opened Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Hall, a $20 million building that houses classrooms to accommodate a variety of teaching-and-learning concepts, a 500-seat auditorium and faculty offices. In August 2016, Rock Row, a new student-housing development, was launched on Forest Avenue, just south of campus. The project was designed to reflect the architecture of nearby homes and was developed in partnership with students and neighborhood leaders.