Durham – who built HDR, Inc. into an international architectural and engineering company – has been one of the strongest supporters and one of the most generous donors for the University of Nebraska, making significant contributions to NU campuses.
“Chuck Durham is the perfect individual for this Medal,” said University President James B. Milliken. “He's a man who has been one of the strongest supporters and one of the most generous donors for the University of Nebraska. Over the years Chuck and his late wife, Margre, have made significant contributions that have touched many of our campuses: in medical research, patient care and surgery – in education programs for science, information technology, architectural engineering and construction. We are grateful for his gifts. We are grateful for his vision and generosity."
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.
Now considered the most esteemed of all University honors, the Medal was established by the Board last year to recognize someone whose service to the University has provided “exceptional benefits in furtherance of the goals and mission of the institution.”
“Chuck is a man whose generous spirit has elevated the University of Nebraska,” according to Charles Wilson, Chairman of the Board of Regents. “His contributions are evident in so many programs and facilities on our campuses.”
Durham has made significant contributions to the University of Nebraska, including substantial support for the Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction at the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha, and the Durham Research Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Durham is a longtime business and civic leader in Omaha who established the Durham Foundation along with Margre Durham. In 2003 he received the Horatio Alger Award which is bestowed on outstanding Americans who are dedicated community leaders with a commitment to excellence.
In response to the presentation of his Horatio Alger Award, Durham gave these words of advice: “Today young people live in a different world than the one into which I was born. But some things never change. Get an education, pick a career that fulfills you, learn all you can beyond the scholastic years, always give your best effort, establish goals, choose friends and colleagues wisely, keep family in the forefront of your interest, and always remember your responsibility to society.”