University of Nebraska Foundation remembers former board chair Marian Andersen

Marian Andersen

The University of Nebraska Foundation joins the state in celebrating the life of Marian Andersen of Omaha, who passed on April 28, 2022, at the age of 93. A longtime trustee of the foundation, she dedicated many volunteer hours in support of the university and was the first woman to chair the foundation’s board of directors.

Andersen is the daughter of C. Wheaton Battey, one of the first trustees of the University of Nebraska Foundation, which was founded in 1936. Over nearly a half-century of involvement, she said she watched what her father had helped establish “evolve into a really significant, great part of the university.”

Her fingerprints can be found on many of the levers that moved the foundation to where it is today.

“Marian Andersen and her husband, Harold, cared very much about the University of Nebraska,” said Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation. “Their years of volunteer leadership, their fundraising abilities and their own philanthropic legacy helped make the university what it is today. Their many contributions will be felt by our students and faculty for generations.”

Marian Andersen became chair of the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Directors in 1984, a role her husband assumed in 1991.

The Andersens also co-chaired the foundation’s Campaign Nebraska, which raised more than $725 million in support of the University of Nebraska system from 1993 to 2000.

The Andersens’ philanthropic efforts touched everything from buildings on the university’s campuses to scholarships to groundbreaking medical research.

In recognition of their contributions to the university, Harold and Marian Andersen Hall was named in their honor at UNL. Since 2001, it has housed the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, of which Marian Andersen is an alumna.

“I continue to like to know what’s going on,” Andersen said during an interview in 2020 in explaining why she remains so involved. “I’m still very invested.”

“I’m just so proud of what those in this state achieve,” she would later add.

Marian (Battey) Andersen graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1950, and it’s there where she met her husband, future World-Herald publisher Harold Andersen, who graduated from the university in 1945. The couple had been married 63 years when Harold Andersen died in 2015.

They are survived by two children, David and Nancy.

Read more about Marian Andersen at the Omaha World-Herald.

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