Circle of Distinction recognizes top medical faculty

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public relations | May 09, 2014

Image with caption: College of Medicine faculty members were honored Tuesday at the Circle of Distinction event.

College of Medicine faculty members were honored Tuesday at the Circle of Distinction event.

One of the best ways to build a strong college is through the creation of endowed chairs and professorships.

On Tuesday, the College of Medicine held its second Circle of Distinction event to honor faculty holding these endowed positions and the donors who made them possible.

"When I arrived on campus almost three years ago, I was immediately impressed with our faculty and their commitment to students, research and patient care," said Brad Britigan, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. "The Circle of Distinction event recognizes the best of the best, and I take great pride in the excellence they bring to their work every single day and in calling them my colleagues."

Endowed chairs ($1 million minimum) or professorships ($500,000 minimum) are clearly major gifts, but the payback from these endowments is what really makes them special, Dr. Britigan said.

Endowed chairs and professorships allow colleges to:

  • Attract the best and brightest faculty.
  • Recognize faculty for the excellent work they are doing.
  • Support the salary of outstanding faculty.
  • Hire additional people or provide additional resources to support excellent programs.
  • Attract outstanding students who wish to learn from the best faculty.

Dr. Britigan said the circle is the perfect metaphor as it illustrates the connectedness between faculty, students and donors and how one impacts the other.

"Collectively, all the endowed chairs and professors ultimately impact our mission of educating the next generation of health care professionals, providing outstanding patient care, fueling lifesaving and life enhancing research and serving our local, state, national and global communities," he said.

Dr. Britigan said the College of Medicine, which includes the School of Allied Health Professions, now has a total of 60 endowed chairs and professorships. Twenty new chairs and professorships were added or filled in the past year.

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., praised the donors for their generosity.

"When a member of the community funds an endowed chair or professorship, it is more than a gift -- it's an investment -- and they expect a return on their investment," he said. "The return they get comes in the form of breakthrough research and discovery and outstanding clinical care that these endowed faculty provide."

Click here for the complete list of honorees.

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