Article - University of Nebraska Foundation announces 2016 giving

University of Nebraska Foundation announces 2016 giving

Posted: lun, oct 24, 2016

Lincoln, Nebraska — Oct. 24, 2016 — Donors provided $228.9 million in charitable contributions to the University of Nebraska Foundation during its 2016 fiscal year for the support of the University of Nebraska.  More than 99 percent of the funds were designated by the donors to specific areas at the university, such as scholarships, faculty, academic programs and building construction. Of the $228.9 million, $92 million were pledges that will be fulfilled by donors over the next several years.

“The University of Nebraska exists to transform lives,” NU President Hank Bounds said. “Our generous alumni and friends allow us to extend that work in ways that would otherwise not be possible, and I am deeply grateful for their partnership.

“Private philanthropy is a tremendous supplement to the vital state support that funds our daily operations. We are fortunate to have private partners who help us have an even greater impact on the lives of students and economic growth and quality of life in Nebraska and around the world.”

The foundation transferred $206.4 million during the fiscal year to the university. The largest share of these transfers, $106.4 million, was designated for construction and renovation projects. Projects receiving donor funds included the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at UNMC, the College of Business Administration at UNL, the Health Science Education Complex at UNK and the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center at UNO.

“It’s a tremendous time for all of us to be associated with the University of Nebraska, especially for those who made personal philanthropic investments in the university this year,” said Mark Chronister of Minneapolis, chair of the University of Nebraska Foundation’s board of directors.

Chronister noted that it is the foundation’s 80th anniversary this year.

“In keeping with the founders’ intent 80 years ago, private citizens continue to partner with the state to create a great university through the donation of their personal funds,” he said.

The foundation’s primary endowment benefiting the university held $1.065 billion at the end of the fiscal year. The foundation’s spending policy provides 4.25 percent of the main endowment’s annual investment income to the university each year. The yearly payout is directed to the university, as designated by the donors, to support annual student scholarships, faculty recruitment and support, academic program support and medical and other research.

The foundation’s audited financial statements and 2016 annual report are available at

The fiscal year results were shared with the foundation’s trustees at the annual meeting of trustees in late October. Also announced at the annual meeting were the new members to the foundation’s board of directors and awards to volunteers and staff who have made a significant contribution to philanthropy. The new board members are:

  • John E. Gottschalk of Omaha
  • Charles D. Fritch, M.D., of Bakersfield, California
  • Donald R. Voelte of Los Angeles


Those recognized with awards for their service to philanthropy were:

  • Gail Yanney, M.D., and Michael Yanney of Omaha, who received the Foundation’s Perry W. Branch Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service
  • Donde Plowman, the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the UNL College of Business Administration, who received the 2016 Harlan J. Noddle Award for Distinguished Development Service
  • Dan Morin, former senior vice president of finance of the University of Nebraska Foundation, who, posthumously, was also awarded the 2016 Harlan J. Noddle Award for Distinguished Development Service. He served the foundation for 30 years and died of cancer in 2011. 

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