Former health director Gloria Tye honored with $100K gift

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Gloria Tye, center, holds a portrait of her mother, Freda Block, and is joined by her daughter, Deborah Tye Brekke, right, and granddaughter, Lauren Brekke, left. All of the women are nurses. (Photo by Kelly Bartling/UNK Communications)

KEARNEY – Longtime nurse and former student health director Gloria G. Tye of Kearney has been honored with a named gift to support health science education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The Robert C. Rosenlof Foundation and Pratt-Heins Foundation together made a 0,000 gift commitment to the University of Nebraska Foundation to establish the Gloria G. Tye Health Science Excellence Fund. The fund will be used by UNK toward construction of the Health Science Education Complex to be built on the west side of campus.

Tye was a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney before becoming director of student health at UNK in 1984, a position she had until retiring in 1994. On campus, she earned the respect and admiration of students, faculty and administration for her professionalism and dedication to students and public health issues while also enhancing relationships between area physicians and the UNK Student Health Center.

“Gloria Tye’s commitment to nursing and public health is remarkable,” said Charles Bicak, UNK senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “She served admirably as director of student health services and is a passionate advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness, including during a time early on when advocacy wasn’t particularly popular.”

Tye, who is married to Thomas W. Tye, was the first to receive a nursing degree from the Lincoln campus of the UNMC College of Nursing. She was a nurse at Lincoln General Hospital before moving to Kearney.

About the passion for her profession, Gloria Tye said, “If I were to choose another career today, I’d still choose nursing.”

Tye’s family includes four generations of Nebraska nurses. Her mother, Freda Block, was a nurse in Cozad. Gloria’s daughter, Deborah Tye Brekke, studied nursing at Clarkson College in Omaha and is the cardiovascular rehabilitation coordinator at Mobridge Regional Hospital in Mobridge, S.D., and her granddaughter, Lauren Brekke, studies nursing at the Kearney campus of the UNMC College of Nursing.



The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 77 years. In 2013, donors provided the university with $236.7 million for scholarships, medical and other research, academic programs, faculty support and facilities. The foundation’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Nebraska, concludes in 2014. For more information, visit

Source: Lucas Dart, 308.865.8474,
Writer: Robb Crouch, 402.458.1142,

2 thoughts on “Former health director Gloria Tye honored with $100K gift

  1. Oh, Gloria! What a wonderful surprise to find this news!

    All four of you ladies are beautiful and so deserving of recognition in being of service in Nursing. Gosh, you hired me in Student Health in November, 1991. You gave me my foot in the door at UNK. I moved over to the UNK English Department in November, 1998 and I’m still here.

    Best Wishes to all of you.

    Ruth Ann Behlmann

  2. Gloria, congratulations for this honor. You are certainly well deserving and UNK has certainly been blessed by your service to our campus and especially our students! How wonderful that your family continues this nursing legacy that your mother began so many years ago.

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