The University of Nebraska at Omaha formally dedicated its Pacific Street campus Wednesday to Walter Scott Jr.
Scott, 85, didn’t attend the ceremony. His son, David, said his father was ill, and he spoke for him. “Those are pretty big shoes,” David Scott said of standing in for his father. NU regents, NU and UNO administrators, deans and others attended the approximately 20-minute gathering.
UNO unveiled a large sign at 67th and Pacific Streets that reads: “Scott Campus Honoring Walter Scott Jr.” Walter Scott is chairman emeritus of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc., a construction company.
UNO said in a press release that Scott has provided UNO more than $220 million since 1990, either directly or through the NU Foundation. Scott’s support has helped build the Peter Kiewit Institute and four residence halls at UNO and funded scholarships for 130-150 students a year.
David Scott read from Walter Scott Jr.’s 2010 giving pledge, in which Scott said he wanted his foundation’s money to go to causes that serve the young and improve the community. “I have nothing against old people. I am one!” Scott wrote. But society benefits most from investments that produce “educated and productive citizens,” he wrote.
In the last 17 years, UNO has expanded south of Pacific Street considerably, beginning with construction of the Peter Kiewit Institute.
UNO Student Regent Patrick Davlin said one needs only to drive south from Pacific on 67th Street.
“You’ll see Scott Hall, Scott Conference Center, Scott Court, Scott Village, the Scott Technology Center, and down the street, Scott Crossing is being built to house more students,” he told the audience.
Two engineers who were Scott Scholars (a scholarship program) and who lived in Scott Hall when it opened in 2000 spoke at the celebration. Stephanie and Bryan Guy are now married with four daughters.
Bryan Guy told the audience it’s been remarkable to see the maturation of what is now the Scott Campus.
“We’re here today in no small part due to Walter Scott,” Bryan Guy said. “Thank you for investing in us. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be successful.”