$4 million private fundraising goal met for Health Science Education Complex at UNK

KEARNEY — The goal to raise $4 million in private donations for the new Health Science Education Complex at the University of Nebraska at Kearney has been met.

A challenge grant of $1.5 million from the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation of Omaha to raise at least $1.36 million from other donors to support construction of the facility was a success and helped push fundraising to the goal, announced the University of Nebraska Foundation.

First National Bank donated $500,000 to the challenge in support of the new academic facility and what it will accomplish in health-care education and training.

“It’s vital that Nebraskans have access to quality health care across the state,” said Clark D. Lauritzen, executive vice president of First National Bank. “We are pleased to support this joint initiative to provide the best possible primary care in our rural areas while educating future health professionals to serve those communities.”


The challenge also encouraged Jim D. and Faye D. Rasmussen of Ravenna to give 0,000 to support the new facility.

The first leadership gift for the project was a million donation from CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney announced in 2013.

Other donors who contributed to the success of the project include Sharron Altmaier of Kearney, Larry and Mary Lynn Callen of Windsor, Colo., Ron and Carol Cope Foundation, Tom and Mary Henning of Kearney, Hildreth Family Scholarship Fund, Kearney Clinic, John and Sharon Martin of Riverdale, Wayne and Virginia McKinney of Kearney, Minden Exchange Bank, J. Scott and Teri Nelson of Lincoln, John and Sonia Sahling of Kearney, Gloria G. Tye Family, and Paul and Linda Younes of Kearney.

UNK Chancellor Douglas Kristensen, J.D., said the generosity of the donors is humbling though no longer surprising.

“These are individuals and organizations who have selflessly invested resources, time and talent for the benefit of the university, the community and for all Nebraskans,” Kristensen said. “These latest contributions will indelibly and positively impact the quality of health care across the region for generations to come. Further, their generous gifts have helped to usher in a new era of collaboration within the University of Nebraska, whereby UNK and UNMC together achieved an extraordinary goal that neither could have accomplished individually.”

The university will celebrate completion of the facility located at 2402 University Drive on UNK West Campus during the grand opening, ribbon cutting and public tours on Aug. 20 at 11 a.m.

The million, 46,000 square-foot academic facility is a collaboration of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and UNK to meet the growing demand for primary and rural health care. Funding for the project comes from a 2012 Nebraska Legislative Appropriation through the university-wide Building a Healthier Nebraska initiative and private donations.

Jeffery Gold

Jeffrey P. Gold., M.D., chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said the support this project received from around the state is indicative of the can-do attitude that exists in Nebraska.

“It is absolutely incredible,” Gold said. “We are so grateful to see the construction come to completion and have our first students and faculty begin the next phase in their new home. We are confident that the Health Science Education Complex will be a difference maker in educating more highly qualified health care professionals to meet the needs of Greater Nebraska. Our deepest thanks to all the state leaders and our donors for making this dream become a reality.”

The facility is designed to help address the shortage of health care professionals in Nebraska by expanding the university’s programs and making them more accessible to students. With the new facility, UNMC College of Nursing will expand its bachelor of science in nursing and its graduate program for nurse practitioners. The UNMC School of Allied Health Professionals will bring to the UNK campus new programs for physician assistants, physical therapists, clinical laboratory scientists, medical nutritionists, radiographers and diagnostic medical sonographers.

Groundbreaking was held for the facility on April 4, 2014, following more than two years of planning, program development and fundraising.

While private fundraising for construction of the new facility has been completed, the University of Nebraska Foundation continues to secure gifts in support of student scholarships, faculty professorships and academic programs related to the health science programs offered in Kearney.

More information and facts about the Health Science Education Complex

About the University of Nebraska Foundation
The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 79 years. Last year, donors provided the university with $258.1 million for scholarships, academic programs, medical and other research, faculty support and facilities. For more information, visit nufoundation.org.


Contact:  Robb Crouch, NU Foundation, 402-458-1142, rcrouch@nufoundation.org

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