Archives for December 14, 2023

Rural Health Education Complex Named for UNK Chancellor Kristensen

William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation recommended the honor

By Connie White

It’s hard to overstate the impact that University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Douglas Kristensen has as an ardent champion for rural Nebraska. In recognition of his important contributions, the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation thoughtfully requested the Rural Health Education Complex at UNK be named in his honor.

The William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation is the lead philanthropic supporter for the complex on UNK’s west campus, which includes an existing building and the Rural Health Education Building currently under construction. The new building, a public-private partnership, builds upon a partnership between UNK and the University of Nebraska Medical Center to address a critical need for health care providers in rural Nebraska by expanding nursing programs and bringing a College of Medicine degree as well as other high-need health care programs to the UNK campus.

“The Scott family is pleased to help recognize Doug Kristensen’s steadfast leadership and monumental contributions to UNK as well as his dedication to addressing important issues impacting Nebraska,” said John Scott, vice president of the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation. “Doug Kristensen has dedicated his career to serving Nebraska citizens, and we believe the state is infinitely better due to his leadership.”

Kristensen, the longest-serving chancellor in the history of the University of Nebraska, announced his retirement earlier this month. Regarding the Scott family’s recommendation, he said in an interview with the Lincoln Journal Star, “This is one of the kindest, most impactful things anybody has ever done for me.”

The Douglas A. Kristensen Rural Health Education Complex will serve as an enduring tribute to the UNK chancellor, said Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation.

“Chancellor Kristensen’s vision was essential to inspiring philanthropic support for both of these capital projects that now comprise the Rural Health Education Complex,” Hastings said. “Because of his leadership, rural Nebraska communities will be stronger, and future generations of Nebraskans will have improved access to quality health care. And without the generosity of the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation, none of this would have been possible, so we are most grateful for their generous philanthropic leadership.”