University of Nebraska Foundation announces campaign progress, second best fundraising year
Gifts to the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, the University of Nebraska’s comprehensive fundraising initiative, have reached $844 million toward the goal of raising $1.2 billion by 2014 to meet high-priority opportunities and needs of the university.

More than $200 million has been given to the campaign after its public launch last October, at which time it was announced that $642 million had been raised since the campaign’s start in 2005.

“We’re very grateful for this generous support from our alumni, friends, companies and other foundations to help meet the campaign priorities,” said Clarence L. Castner, president of the University of Nebraska Foundation. “The priorities are clearly resonating with people who want to take an active part in moving the university forward.”

Castner said the highest campaign priority is to help ensure the university remains accessible by increasing private support for student financial aid. It also focuses on areas where the university has the greatest potential to excel, including cancer research and treatment; agriculture and life sciences; water and natural resources; early childhood education; information technology; and architectural engineering and construction.

Some major campaign projects and gifts announced over the past year, including outright gifts and gifts pledged over time, include:

  • $50 million from the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation to create the Water for Food Institute
  • $20 million from the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation for an agribusiness entrepreneurship program
  • Leadership gift from Stanley M. Truhlsen, M.D. for a $30 million eye institute at UNMC
  • Leadership gifts from Bill and Ruth Scott for the Center for Nursing Science, the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health, and Student Plaza at UNMC
  • Leadership gift from Paul and Lori Hogan toward the $10.2 million Home Instead Center for Successful Aging at UNMC
  • Leadership gifts toward the $13.7 million project to redevelop Roskens Hall for the College of Education at UNO
  • $2.5 million from an anonymous donor to support students and faculty in the music program at UNK
Second best year for giving, funds transferred

The University of Nebraska Foundation reported on progress of the Campaign for Nebraska and the organization’s fiscal year-end results at its annual meeting of trustees on Oct. 15.

The fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, was the second best year ever for the foundation with $136.9 million in gifts received. During the same period $107.3 million was transferred to the University of Nebraska to benefit its statewide system, also representing the second best year.

Funds transferred to the university benefit areas as designated by the donors. More than $18 million was provided for student support; $4.9 million for faculty support; $6.1 million for research; $30.3 million for academic programs; $1 million for museums, libraries and fine arts programs; $45.8 million for campus and capital improvements; and $1 million to support each of the four university alumni associations.

“The generous support received this year was due to the foundation’s strategic and concerted efforts to be more active than ever in sharing the university’s message with alumni and friends in Nebraska and across the country,” said Nancy Keegan of Los Angeles, chair of the University of Nebraska Foundation board of directors. “I hear time and time again that our donors care very much about the possibilities the university provides to young people and many others.”

Funds transferred from the foundation helped to make the financial burden of attending college easier for many students, Keegan said. More than 11,200 scholarships were awarded last year to more than 8,000 students for the 2009-2010 academic year from funds gifted to the foundation.

The foundation’s assets on June 30 totaled $1.6 billion. The endowment, comprising the largest portion of the assets, realized a return of 13.6 percent for the year.

Four new directors were elected to the foundation’s board for three-year terms: Mark Chronister of Bloomington, Minn., Thomas Henning of Kearney, Terry Kroeger of Omaha and JoAnn Martin of Lincoln.

For more information about the University of Nebraska Foundation’s annual report and audited financial statements, go to

The NU Foundation’s annual meeting was dedicated to the memory of Jessica Lutton Bedient, the employee of the foundation who died in Omaha on Oct. 12 following a tragic car accident.

“Jess cared very much about the university and believed in the benefits of higher education,” Castner said. “Jess had a warm and engaging personality, as evidenced by the lives she touched. She was appreciated by our donors, university colleagues, and, most of all, by her foundation family.”

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska since 1936. In 2010, the foundation provided the university with more than $107.3 million in private funding for scholarships, medical research and support for faculty and academic programs. In October of 2009, the foundation announced the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, a $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign—the largest in the university’s history. For more information, visit

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