Walter Scott Jr. retires from Durham School Advisory Board

Walter Scott Jr. retires from Durham School Advisory Board

Calendar Icon Oct 05, 2016      Person Bust Icon By April Edwards     RSS Feed RSS

Walter Scott Jr. (pictured left) accepts a thank you memento from Scott Scholars Emily Kadavy (pictured middle) and Cody Largent (pictured right).
Walter Scott Jr. (pictured left) accepts a thank you memento from Scott Scholars Emily Kadavy (pictured middle) and Cody Largent (pictured right).

Walter Scott Jr. has had a profound impact on so many people in countless ways and for many years.  He has served as Peter Kiewit and Sons Chairman and has participated on many corporate and civic advisory boards.  But perhaps one of the most notable contributions Walter Scott has made to the University of Nebraska is the Scott Scholars program.  This scholarship provides four years of tuition, housing, books, and fees for undergraduate programs based within the Peter Kiewit Institute, taught by the College of Engineering or College of Information Science & Technology.  Since the program’s inception, there have been 482 Scott Scholars, with 83 being students of The Durham School.

To honor Mr. Scott as he retires, or to use his word, “graduates”, from the Durham School Advisory Board, he was invited to attend a reception hosted by The Durham School and the University of Nebraska Foundation on September 1st, 2016. Attendees included University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska-Omaha Chancellor John Christensen, Nebraska Engineering Interim Dean Lance Perez, many members of the Charles Durham family, members of the Walter Scott Jr. family, past and present Scott Scholars, Durham School Advisory Board Members, and university faculty and staff.

“Walter Scott Jr. is a visionary” said Lynn Boyer, daughter of Charles “Chuck” Durham, in a statement expressing the Durham family’s gratitude to Walter for all he has contributed to The Durham School. Mr. Scott approached Chuck, his personal friend, with a vision of The Durham School in 2003.  Lynn continued that her father “knew from experience” that Walter “always works with the community, school and students in mind.” From that first conversation, the process began, earning the Board of Regents approval of The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction in 2005.

Durham School Director, Dr. Jay Puckett continued the sentiment, providing observations from his first year of tenure, “I see a school that was envisioned to bring engineers, designers and constructors together in a way that is beneficial for industry, and industry benefits from the school.” He also commented, “There is ‘over the top’ industry collaboration in every aspect of the Durham school – I believe this is really a hallmark of our program and is indeed what was envisioned by Chuck and Walter over a decade ago.”

This collaboration continues to grow and strengthen our programs. A prime example of the industry collaboration taking place now is the award-winning capstone course, Team Design, taught by Dr. Clarence Waters, Professor in the Durham School. Throughout this two-semester experience, student teams collaborate closely with industry mentors to fully design a real-world project. Further, feedback is received from industry evaluators, driving the students to a level of professionalism impossible to achieve without this input. Last year, over 50 professionals donated a total time-value of $250,000 to these efforts!

Walter Scott accepted a framed momento of thanks, signed by past and present Scott Scholars. He concluded his speech with a belief that The Durham School will continue to fulfill, “We need to educate young people in all sorts of disciplines, particularly the hard sciences, if our country is going to keep up with the world. Thank you, it has been an honor to serve.” Two current Scott Scholars, Cody Largent, senior in Architectural Engineering, and Emily Kadavy, senior in Construction Management, presented Mr. Scott with the token of appreciation and expressed their gratitude for all of the help provided by the scholarship. 

As Dr. Puckett said, “There is very little we can give, but I’ll offer what we can, and those are two special words, thank you.” Thank you, Mr. Scott, for all you have done and given. Your generosity will continue to make an impact as hundreds of students are educated in The Durham School and many are supported by The Scott Scholarship program. These students will continue to better our society and build our tomorrow.

To view more images of the event, visit The Durham School's Facebook page: http://go.unl.edu/xi2y.