Background information for Regents Medal honor recipient Charles Durham
This timeline of support from Charles Durham and his wife, the late Margre Durham, represents a highlight of their generosity through the years to the University of Nebraska.
Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction
On August 5, 2005, the University of Nebraska announced a major gift from Charles Durham to establish the Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction at the Peter Kiewit Institute at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The school combines the University’s disciplines of architectural engineering, construction management and construction engineering to create a unique school of its kind focused on all elements of the building environment. Durham’s gift includes both expendable resources and endowed funds for perpetual program support of the school.
Durham Research Center II
The Durham Foundation announced another major gift toward construction of a second 10-story research tower to be connected to the Durham Research Center Tower I at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The new 242,000-square-foot building is estimated to cost $75 million and will be the same height and design as the first tower.
Charles W. Durham Scholarship
Charles Durham established the Charles W. Durham Scholarship for students studying at the Peter Kiewit Institute of Information Science, Engineering & Technology in Omaha.
Durham Research Center & Durham Research Plaza
On August 26, 2000, the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha announced major support from Charles Durham for construction of a $77 million, 284,000-square foot Research Center of Excellence. The gift was believed to be the largest single donation ever received for the campus and marked the second major donation by Charles Durham to UNMC. Two years later, UNMC announced that the 10-story tower would be called the Durham Research Center, and the complex around it would be called the Durham Research Plaza. The Durham Research Center was completed and dedicated on November 13, 2003. The 289,000-square-foot facility houses 116 research laboratories, a 319-seat auditorium, three classrooms and 12 conference/seminar rooms. Five of the 12 primary researchers in the center are involved in cancer research. Durham’s gift also helped to construct a much needed 540,000-square-foot employee parking structure that opened in 2003.
The Charles W. and Margre H. Durham Distinguished Professorships
On August 31, 2000, Charles Durham established a permanent endowment at the University of Nebraska Foundation for two professorship programs for The Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha. The Charles W. and Margre H. Durham Distinguished Professor of Information Science and Technology and the Charles W. and Margre Durham Distinguished Professorship of Engineering and Technology are awarded to professors with strong teaching ability, research ability and academic promise.
Charles W. and Margre H. Durham Excellence in Medicine Fund
The Durhams established the Charles W. and Margre H. Durham Excellence in Medicine Fund for the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The gift was one of UNMC’s largest ever received. The endowment supports research in prostate cancer, arthritis and minimally invasive surgery. With the funds, UNMC is the eighth medical center in the country to acquire the robotic da Vinci Surgical System, putting Nebraska on the map in the area of computer-assisted surgery. In recognition of their gift, the Outpatient Care Center was renamed the Durham Outpatient Center.
The Durhams provided a major gift for support of the Aviation Institute at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Henningson Memorial Campanile & Henningson Plaza at UNO
The University of Nebraska at Omaha announces on January 16, 1988, a gift from Margre Durham for a campanile named the Henningson Memorial Campanile in memory of her father, mother and sister. The gift provided a 168-foot tower, a carillon of 47 bells from France, and a plaza around the campanile, located in the center of UNO’s north campus.
Durham Science Center at UNO
Charles and Margre Durham announced a major gift commitment to the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Diamond Jubilee Campaign in support of a new science facility. The Nebraska Legislature approved the $14.5 million project, which included $9.5 million in state appropriation and $5 million in private gifts. The gift was the largest single contribution toward the project. Construction of the facility began on September 19, 1985, and it was dedicated and named the Durham Science Center on September 21, 1987. It is located on the west end of the UNO campus and is home to the chemistry, geography and geology, mathematics physics departments.
Charles and Margre Durham began providing support for engineering professorship awards and stipends.
The Durhams have been longtime supporters of the Dr. Leon S. McGoogan Library of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.