KC Philanthropist James B. Nutter gives School of Medicine $750,000

The School of Medicine recognized Kansas City businessman and philanthropist James B. Nutter with an honorary doctorate during the commencement ceremony on May 22 at the Kansas City Music Hall.
James B. Nutter

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has announced a $750,000 gift from James B. Nutter to the School of Medicine to establish a professorship in diabetes and endocrine studies. Nutter, founder and chairman of James B. Nutter & Co., called the School of Medicine “one of Kansas City’s greatest and most unsung assets” and said he has a personal reason for designating the gift for a position in diabetes and endocrine studies.

“I have fought diabetes, and know it is a disease that threatens to become epidemic in our country,” Nutter said. “This gift is really a gift to our grandchildren and to people yet unborn, that it might help this great medical school find ways to prevent the onset of diabetes and to improve quality of life for generations to come.”

Betty Drees, M.D., former dean of the School of Medicine, thanked Nutter for the gift and said the professorship it establishes will be named for Nutter, his wife Annabel, and former School of Medicine dean and a longtime friend of Nutter’s, Harry Jonas, M.D..

“Diabetes and pre-diabetes are very important health issues in Kansas City,” said Drees, who will continue to serve on the School of Medicine’s faculty.

“We have good evidence that we can prevent pre-diabetes from developing into diabetes, as well as good treatments to prevent complications from diabetes in those who already have the disease. School of Medicine faculty, staff and students are committed to advancing health in our community through caring for individuals with chronic diseases, as well as preventing these diseases.”

The School of Medicine was a recent sponsor of the American Diabetes Association’s 5K Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes. More than 60  medical, pharmacy, and nursing “Roos on Call” students helped with the event and with screening for diabetes mellitus.

“We are truly grateful for Mr. Nutter’s generous commitment to the School of Medicine and the investment in a better future for the health of Kansas City,” Drees said.

The school has more than 20 endowed chairs and professorships, the most of any academic unit in the University of Missouri System. This was the eighth of those to be funded during Drees’ tenure as dean. She left the deanship recently after serving in the position more than 12 years and will continue to serve on the faculty, with an emphasis in improving  health outcomes and community engagement.

Steven L. Kanter, M.D., succeeded Drees as dean of the School of Medicine Oct. 1. Kanter also thanked Nutter for  his gift.

“This school will continue its long record of training top physicians thanks to generous donors like Mr. Nutter,” Kanter said. “Support like this is critical to our continued success. We are extremely grateful.”