Donors give $212.7 million to the University of Nebraska

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Lincoln, Neb.—Oct. 6, 2015— The University of Nebraska Foundation announced that alumni and friends gave $212.7 million in gifts and pledges to support the University of Nebraska during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, making it the third best year for private donations to the university. It is the third consecutive year that donations have exceeded $200 million each year.

Major construction projects concluded or are underway on all campuses with the help of private gifts. Those include the Health Science Education Complex at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the College of Business Administration building at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Baxter Arena at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“The collective support of nearly 40,000 donors last year demonstrates how much alumni and friends care about the university and its impact on our state, citizens and economy,” said Tonn Ostergard, outgoing chair of the University of Nebraska Foundation board of directors. “Philanthropy has not only transformed our campuses physically, but it has also helped us attract talented faculty and even more students to the university.”

During the fiscal year, $230.7 million was transferred to the university, with more than half of those funds, or $118.5 million, being used for construction and renovation projects. The amount transferred exceeds the amount raised in the fiscal year because it includes income from endowed gifts donated in prior years as well as funds given in prior years for capital projects.

The foundation’s total endowment as of June 30, 2015, was $1.55 billion. Its total assets, which includes the endowment, cash holdings and other assets, were $2.23 billion. The foundation’s financial statements were audited independently by KPMG LLP. The auditor’s report is available at

The financial results were shared with the foundation’s trustees at their annual meeting on Sept. 25. Other information announced included:

Mark Chronister, retired market managing partner of the Minneapolis office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, was elected chair of the foundation’s board of directors.
JoAnn Martin, president and CEO of Ameritas Mutual Holding Company and chair, president and CEO of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of Lincoln, was elected chair-elect.
Nancy Keegan of Los Angeles received the foundation’s Perry W. Branch Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service.
Kenneth Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, received the Harlan J. Noddle Award for Distinguished Development Service for support of the foundation’s fundraising mission.
More information was shared by University President Hank Bounds about Our Students, Our Future, a two-year, $200 million fundraising effort focused on direct student support.

“The strong public and private support of the University of Nebraska are key reasons why we are on such an impressive trajectory today,” Bounds said. “The generous philanthropic support received last year is a strong vote of confidence in our faculty, students and programs. To maintain our positive momentum, the Our Students, Our Future initiative will build on the great work we’ve already been doing around access and affordability. Affordable excellence is one of our top priorities, and we have ambitious goals to expand access, grow enrollment and meet the needs of Nebraska’s workforce. Our students represent the future of our state, and we invite Nebraskans to hold hands with us to make certain that all students who want to attend the University of Nebraska have the opportunity to do so.”

The following is a highlight of the foundation’s financials over the past five years:


Gifts received: $212.7 million

Funds transferred: $230.7 million

Total assets: $2.23 billion


Gifts received: $258.1 million

Funds transferred: $173.3 million

Total assets: $2.26 billion


Gifts received: $236.7 million

Funds transferred: $174.7 million

Total assets: $1.96 billion


Gifts received: $164.9 million

Funds transferred: $123.7 million

Total assets: $1.77 billion


Gifts received: $172.1 million

Funds transferred: $130.2 million

Total assets: $1.75 billion

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