Stories of Impact

A Jesuit Influence at Rockhurst University

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Mike Kleinman and his wife, Jo.

Some students travel great distances to attend college. Mike Kleinman walked across the street. As a youngster growing up in 1950's Kansas City, Mike's childhood home was at the intersection of Rockhurst Road and Lydia, literally steps away from the Rockhurst University campus.

"I grew up across the street and had 19 years of Jesuit influence in 24 years. I lived with an uncle, Jack Kitchin, who was eight years older than me. He was at Rock High and at Rockhurst College during my grade school days. Our house was like the student union, it was right near campus. I was experiencing that social part of the Jesuit experience."

Academically, Mike's Jesuit experience was also impactful. A 1963 graduate with a degree in English, Mike was a grant-in-aid student, receiving financial assistance in exchange for working on campus. He spent four years helping in the athletic department where he worked as sports information director during his senior year.

"Fr. Paul Smith was the athletic director at Rockhurst for 20 years and he was my babysitter. He was also my boss and my mentor. He helped me get the job of public relations director at the NAIA at the age of 24."

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Mike also earned a law degree from St. Louis University and spent most of his career in the trust and retirement services industry. Today, Mike and his wife, Jo, are both enjoying retirement. They are also helping Rockhurst University by taking advantage of IRA charitable rollover legislation which allows donors to give up to $100,000 to charitable organization, such as Rockhurst, with a direct transfer from their IRA plan. Congress has now made the IRA charitable rollover permanent and it’s currently available for donors to use throughout the year.

"If you are in a giving mode, IRA is the most tax advised way to give to charity. I've taken advantage of the IRA rollover and at my death, a portion of my IRA is going to Rockhurst University. My parents taught me to support the Jesuit mission and giving to Rockhurst is an extension of giving to the Jesuit mission."

Learn How You Can Help

If you would like to give back to Rockhurst University with a planned gift, contact Paula Moss at 816-501-4418 or We would be happy to help you find the gift that's right for you, at no obligation.

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