Economic Impact

Bell-tower inscription

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 $53.6 million total expenditures during fiscal year 2019, 44 percent, or $23.7 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 2019 Rockhurst University spent $7.1 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 $650,535 worth of contracts with women and minority-owned businesses, among them Excellence Floor Care, Magnetic Products, Mobilefone, See-More Signs, and Kansas City Air Filter.

Non-Profit Speed Networking

Major Midtown Employer

In fiscal year 2019, the University reported an annual payroll of $23.1 million, with 126 full-time faculty and 221 full-time staff positions, and 112 part-time faculty and 31 part-time staff positions. Rockhurst’s payroll contributes $1,048,441 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 2019-20 academic year, total student enrollment at Rockhurst University was 2,990, with 2,185 undergraduates and 805 graduate students. Of these students, 802 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.

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, adjusting toilets and showers to reduce water usage. The installation of exterior LED lighting and to the interior of the Greenlease Library, along with a building intelligence system, has helped reduce carbon dioxide production by 831,000 pounds annually. Newer campus structures, such as the MAC health and recreation center, 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 and disposable straws have been eliminated in response to requests from students. A hydroponic herb garden has been installed in the Thomas More Dining Center to provide Rockhurst Dining Services with fresh ingredients for its operations. The University also composts its food waste, preventing more than 44 tons of material from going into landfills since July 2019. The Leftovers With Love program sends surplus food to St. James Place, where it becomes meals for members of the community. 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 2019, a total of 12,018 people and 65 unique organizations spent a total of 2,125 hours in the center, for a total value of $218,365 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 861 students were enrolled in designated service learning courses and 883 participated in community service in the 2018-19 academic year, contributing a total of 22,973 hours of service. The total value of those contributions, based on Independent Sector’s $25.43 per-hour dollar figure for volunteer time, is $584,203.

Students are offered a chance to earn money for their education with the community work-study program. Throughout the 2018-19 academic year, Rockhurst students earned $29,366 through community work-study, equaling 11 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. Most recently, in late 2019 the University opened the MAC (Magis Activities Center), a $7 million health and recreation facility for students, faculty and staff.