Dr. Crouse establishes endowed fund to support UNMC Graduate Studies

Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of UNMC Graduate Studies, center, is pictured with Sara, left, and David Crouse, PhD, professor emeritus. Photo courtesy of Rich Watson/UNMC Strategic Communications

UNMC Strategic Communications

David Crouse, PhD, professor emeritus, and his wife, Sara, have created an endowed fund through the University of Nebraska Foundation to benefit UNMC Graduate Studies.

“His decision, along with his wife, Sara, to provide this endowment and continued gifts is merely the latest testament to Dr. Crouse’s commitment to the program,” said Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. “And this is a gift that will benefit generations of graduate students for years to come.”

It’s a program very dear to Dr. Crouse, who led UNMC Graduate Studies three separate times on an interim basis. Graduate studies are important but often overlooked or misunderstood, he said.

Many, sometimes including graduate students themselves, think of PhD students and graduates as being under the auspices of their mentors’ respective colleges, rather than the UNMC Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Education. While UNMC’s graduate community has many successful alums, people don’t necessarily think of it as a collective entity to give back to.

When he served in Dr. Davies’ role, “We just didn’t have the resources to do the things a dean would like to do,” Dr. Crouse said.

He and Dr. Davies are now longtime friends with a shared dream of continued success for UNMC Graduate Studies.

Dr. Davies said: “I benefitted immensely from his wisdom and counsel during my transition here to UNMC, when he preceded me as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and interim dean of graduate studies. Even in retirement, David has continued to give back and always answers the call when needed.”

When he was in a position to do so, Dr. Crouse decided to create a permanent endowment that would provide support in perpetuity for UNMC Graduate Studies. He encourages other faculty, alumni and supporters to specifically support graduate studies as well.

He and Sara established the Derry-Crouse Fund for UNMC Graduate Studies (the Derry is for Sara’s family) with a gift two years ago and then made a subsequent gift in late 2023. The endowed fund is unrestricted, with annual distributions to be used at the dean’s discretion.

Dr. Crouse said he’s pleased to see graduate studies’ momentum in recent years under the leadership of Dr. Davies and others.

“It’s exploded,” Dr. Crouse said. “That’s thrilling to me — to see all these new graduate programs arise from a core of programs that were doing very well.”

UNMC’s enrollment grows every year. That is in large part due to graduate studies programs that continue to draw new students, he said.

“I’m going to love seeing what that (gift) can do,” he said.

Dr. Crouse, known as UNMC’s ultimate team player, continues to serve. He keeps office hours as one of two wellness advocates for UNMC Graduate Studies and postdoctoral students. Stop by and see him Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon, at the Graduate Student Wellness Hub, located on the ground floor of Durham Research Center I.

He hopes others are inspired to support graduate studies.

“I see it as a signal to other people to consider doing the same thing,” Dr. Crouse said. “I would love it if more faculty and students associated with the graduate studies programs looked to that graduate studies unit as a recipient.”

Dr. Davies said, “I join all our graduate students, faculty and staff in saying thank you to Dave and Sara for their generosity.”

Gifts to the Derry-Crouse Fund for Graduate Studies may be made online.

The couple’s gift was made as part of Only in Nebraska: A Campaign for Our University’s Future. The campaign is a historic effort to encourage at least 150,000 benefactors to give $3 billion to support University of Nebraska students, faculty, academic and clinical programs and research to address the needs of the state.

About UNMC Graduate Studies

Graduate students are the backbone of UNMC’s research. UNMC Graduate Studies includes 10 doctoral degree programs, 12 master’s degree programs, 14 specializations in two interdisciplinary umbrella programs and four certificate programs. Graduate enrollment increased by 14% over the previous year in 2023, with 720 students from 46 countries, making it the third largest student body at UNMC. Almost half of U.S. students are from Nebraska. Graduate students published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters or government reports over the last year and made more than 500 conference presentations. Seven national-honor fellowships were among 136 national, regional and local awards during 2023, a 33% increase over the previous year. UNMC graduate students have earned 86 national awards since 2013.

Share this story:


Looking for more stories?