Regents Medal honors Ruth and Bill Scott
“Ruth and Bill Scott have quietly transformed the University of Nebraska,” said Board of Regents Chair Kent Schroeder, “and they have done so selflessly and creatively.” He added, “Ruth and Bill have a great vision for Nebraska’s future. Their gifts are providing first class educational facilities for our state’s future doctors, nurses, business leaders and public health professionals. Their contributions to research in neurosciences, arthritis and gastroenterology will ensure a better quality of life for future generations.”
Schroeder noted that the Scotts have preferred to stay out of the limelight, instead honoring three exemplary medical educators and leaders by requesting that facilities be named for them – UNMC Chancellor Harold Maurer, Dr. Michael F. Sorrell and Dr. Frederick F. Paustian. Among the facilities made possible in part by the Scotts’ gifts are:
- Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center to house the College of Public Health
- Addition to the College of Nursing
- Student plaza
- Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education, home of the College of Medicine.
- Fred and Maisie Paustian amphitheaters in the Sorrell Center
- Frederick F. Paustian, M.D., Gastroenterology Research Laboratories
- Ruth and Bill Scott Neuroscience Research Laboratories
- Mammel Hall, home of the College of Business Administration
- College of Public Affairs and Community Service
- Renovation of Roskens Hall for the College of Education
- Support for the Tom and Nancy Osborne Center
- Support for athletic scholarships and academic support
- Support for programs of the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction
The Scotts have also supported Project Achieve Scholarships for first-generation, lower-income students. In addition, their gifts go well beyond the university, reaching more than 100 organizations in Omaha as well as many individuals.
“Bill Scott has said that it’s more fun to see the results of your philanthropy while you’re still alive,” University President James B. Milliken said. “I think Bill and Ruth are having a lot of fun – and we are extremely fortunate that this remarkable couple places such a high value on investment in education and research.”
Members of the Board of Regents select the Medal recipient, honoring an individual whose contributions to the University of Nebraska go beyond the support of a single campus. Considered the most esteemed of all University honors, the Medal was established by the Board in 2006 to recognize individuals whose service to the University has provided “exceptional benefits in furtherance of the goals and mission of the institution.” The first recipient was the late Charles W. Durham.
Ruth and Bill Scott are native Nebraskans who met in Ashland as children. They dated throughout high school and college, marrying after their junior year. Ruth earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1952. She taught school in Lincoln and later founded the Omaha Bridge Studio, where she continues to teach. Bill Scott earned a degree from the UNL College of Business Administration in 1953. He joined Buffett Partnership in 1959 and Berkshire Hathaway in 1970 where he remained until his retirement in 1993. The Scotts established the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation in 1999.