Allen Lecture Series at UNL

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Grand Island couple, UNL collaborate on new lecture series that features recognized entrepreneurs with liberal arts backgrounds

About this photo: Celebrating the new Dr. John and Tammy Allen Lecture Series are, from left, Dr. Dan Hoyt with the UNL College of Arts and Sciences Department of Sociology; Michael Zimm, with Digital Surgeons who was the inaugural Allen Lecturer; Tammy Allen and Dr. John Allen; and Dr. Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, Willa Cather Professor of Political Science and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Get quality photo.

A new lecture series at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to provide more opportunities for students and faculty members to learn directly from the experiences of talented and recognized entrepreneurs has been established by University of Nebraska alumni John and Tammy Allen of Grand Island.

The Allens said beginning their education in liberal arts helped encourage their own entrepreneurial interests in the medical field as well as other areas of business. They hope others over the years will be inspired by the lecture series and pursue their own business passions.

The Allens established the Dr. John and Tammy Allen Lecture Series within the College of Arts and Sciences with a $25,000 gift commitment to the University of Nebraska Foundation. With the support, the college plans to seek outstanding local, regional or nationally recognized entrepreneurs who have liberal arts backgrounds to engage with students, faculty and the community.

“Our foundation in liberal arts education definitely instilled our belief that we could learn anything we wanted, which has led to a personal philosophy for us of lifelong learning,” said Tammy Allen. “Over the years, we hope this lecture series inspires many others to learn and carry out their own entrepreneurial dreams. Ideally, this will help keep talented people in Nebraska and develops future leaders in medicine and other professions that will grow our state’s workforce and economy.”

Dan Hoyt, interim associate dean for research and engagement in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium, explained what this support means for the university.

“The addition of this lecture series on campus will enable us to invite some amazing thought-leaders and topic experts to Nebraska,” Hoyt said. “This type of engagement and experience for our students, faculty members and the community wouldn’t be possible without the Allens’ generosity, and we look forward to seeing the results of their vision.”

The university held the inaugural Allen Lecture on Sept. 4, which featured Michael Zimm of New Haven, Connecticut. He is digital media manager at Digital Surgeons, a firm providing full-service digital design services for companies and brands with offices in Connecticut and New York.

Longtime university supporters, John Allen graduated from UNL and the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he received a doctor of medicine, and Tammy Allen received a nursing degree from UNMC. John Allen is a founding radiologist of Midwest Imaging Center.

In addition to supporting the university, the Allens are involved in their community and have supported local hospital building projects, the Grand Island Humane Society, the Grand Island Senior High Pathway that helps address the shortage of health care workers in Grand Island and surrounding areas, among other service projects.

Natives of Aurora, John and Tammy Allen enjoy time with their two grown children and their families.

To stay informed of future Dr. John and Tammy Allen Lectures and other free public events offered by the UNL College of Arts and Sciences, go to and follow the college at The lecture is free and open to the public. Individuals from business, non-profit and the community are encouraged to attend.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences educates students in humanities and social and natural sciences. Many faculty members have been recognized nationally and internationally for their expertise and are dedicated to teaching, researching and serving. With more than 60 majors and minors and 20 areas of graduate study, a comprehensive liberal arts education opens doors to a multitude of careers.

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