Regents Medal honors businessman, philanthropist Walter Scott

March 26, 2014

The University of Nebraska’s highest award, the Regents Medal, will be presented tomorrow to Walter Scott, a highly successful Omaha business leader who is a generous supporter of civic institutions, community causes and the University of Nebraska.

The Regents Medal was established by the Board of Regents in 2006 to recognize individuals whose service to NU’s four campuses has provided “exceptional benefits in furtherance of the goals and mission of the institution.” Regents Medal winners are selected by the Board.

“The University of Nebraska would not be in the strong position it is in today without the leadership, generosity and support of Walter Scott,” said Board of Regents Chairman Howard Hawks. “From academic and research initiatives to campus facilities and scholarships, Walter’s support has had a deep and far-reaching impact on the university, our students and faculty. Walter is also a passionate champion for important civic institutions and causes that improve the quality of life in our communities. On behalf of the Board of Regents, I want to express our deep gratitude to Walter Scott for his extraordinary service to Nebraskans.”

“The Regents Medal is reserved for those rare individuals who have had a truly transformational effect on the University of Nebraska and the state. Walter Scott is one of those individuals,” said NU President James B. Milliken. “It would be impossible to measure the impact that Walter’s generosity has had on students, faculty and people in Omaha and across Nebraska. His tireless service, philanthropic spirit and leadership are an inspiration. Walter is a great Nebraska success story and I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Scott, an Omaha native and graduate of Colorado State University, is chairman emeritus of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc. He also is chairman of the board for Level 3 Communications Inc., a telecommunications company spun off from Kiewit. Scott was first elected to the Kiewit board of directors in 1964 and was named president in 1979. After Peter Kiewit’s death that year, Scott was selected to succeed him, and served as chairman and CEO until 1998. Scott also is a director of Berkshire Hathaway, MidAmerican Energy Holdings and Valmont Industries.

For decades, Scott has been an active and generous philanthropist who has supported numerous causes and civic institutions in the Omaha area and elsewhere, in particular youth and education programs and causes that improve the community. In addition to the University of Nebraska, organizations that have benefited from the Scott family foundation include the Henry Doorly Zoo, Clarkson Hospital, the Durham Museum, Lauritzen Gardens and the TeamMates Mentoring Program.

Scott serves on the executive committee of the Campaign for Nebraska, which will conclude this year as the most successful campaign in the university’s history. He also serves on the Board of Policy Advisors for the Peter Kiewit Institute, a multidisciplinary institute that combines the UNO College of Information Science & Technology and the UNL College of Engineering.

Scott has provided philanthropic support for NU scholarship funds, UNO residence halls, UNO’s Sapp Fieldhouse and the UNL Student Life Complex, the Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory, the Peter Kiewit Institute and a number of other university facilities and initiatives. The cancer research tower being built at UNMC also will bear his name. Additionally, the university bestows an annual business entrepreneurial award named for Scott.

Scott joins a short list of select individuals who have been awarded the Regents Medal. Past recipients are:

  • Charles W. Durham (2007)
  • Ruth and Bill Scott (2009)
  • Robert B. Daugherty (2011)
  • Michael Yanney and Dr. Gail Walling Yanney (2013)
Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska