KC native, the retired CEO of Yum! Brands, gives $22 million to MU journalism sc…


The University of Missouri School of Journalism has landed a hefty donation from a prominent Kansas City native son and MU alum.

David Novak and his wife, Wendy, have committed $21.6 million to establish the Novak Leadership Institute at MU.

David Novak, a native of Kansas City, is the retired chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, where for 15 years he shaped the strategic direction of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut.

“Wendy, (daughter) Ashley and I are honored and humbled to invest in leadership education at the School of Journalism,” Novak said in a statement Friday. “I owe my success to my love of advertising and marketing that was discovered and nurtured here.”

The Novak gift supports the “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead” fundraising campaign, which has an overall goal of $1.3 billion.

“We are honored that he and his family are making this investment in our students while creating a lasting legacy at Mizzou,” said David Kurpius, dean of MU’s journalism school.



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