Rasmussens provide gift to benefit NU’s construction engineering and nursing programs

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Nebraska couple creates funds to support what helped them be successful.

Students studying construction engineering or nursing at the University of Nebraska will benefit from the generosity of Jim and Faye Rasmussen of Ravenna, Neb., who have established four funds at the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Their gifts were directed to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in these ways:

The Rasmussen Construction Management Building Project Fund to renovate academic and computer lab facilities at UNL’s The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction in Omaha.

The Rasmussen Student Activities and Leadership Development Fund, for the support of student internships, professional student chapter development, and student career and leadership development.

The Rasmussen Fund for The Durham School Fund for Excellence to provide support for programs, research, facilities, faculty and students enrolled in the Construction Management programs located on the Lincoln and Omaha campuses.

The Rasmussen College of Nursing Future Faculty Fellowship Fund will help support the education of graduate nursing students who wish to one day teach nursing.

The Rasmussens said they are glad for the opportunity to provide support for these areas of the university. “The University of Nebraska gave us the tools to function successfully in the business and social environment,” Faye Rasmussen said. “It is our hope these funds will help give as many students as possible well-rounded careers so they may also contribute effectively in society.”

Eddy Rojas, director of The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, said the improved facilities are being well used and enjoyed.

“I can’t think of a single student, faculty or staff member associated with our construction programs who will not experience the positive impact of these great facility improvements,” he said. “It is with deep gratitude that The Durham School thanks the Rasmussen family for their contributions.”

Juliann Sebastian, dean of the College of Nursing at UNMC, said the college is grateful for the Rasmussens’ gift and their investment in the future of nursing.

“Nursing is vital to the health of the public, and with the growing need for nurses it is so important to educate future nursing faculty members,” Sebastian said. “The Rasmussens’ gift will provide critical support for graduate nursing students and will contribute to easing the shortage of nursing faculty members in the future. This will help keep the pipeline for nursing education open and make it possible to continue to educate the nurses needed to care for future patients.”

Jim Rasmussen grew up on a farm north of St. Paul, Neb., and attended school there before attending the University of Nebraska where he studied civil engineering and graduated in 1967. He began his career at Boeing Co. before going to work for Kiewit Corp. in Omaha.

Faye Rasmussen, a native of Kearney, Neb., worked as a licensed practical nurse before working at home to raise their two children. She said she always appreciated her nursing career, and it was the impetus for directing a portion of their gift to establish the Rasmussen Nursing Future Faculty Fellowship to support future nurses.

The Rasmussens lived for a time in Canada while Jim worked on construction jobs for Kiewit Corp. They adopted both of their children while living there, and have a son in Nebraska and a daughter in Alabama.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has connected the dreams and passions of donors to the mission of the university for more than 75 years. In 2011, donors gave a record $172 million in gifts for scholarships, academic programs, medical research and other priorities at the university. The foundation’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, concludes in 2014. For more information, visit campaignfornebraska.org.

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