UNMC honors endowed faculty and benefactors

by Robb Crouch, University of Nebraska Foundation | October 24, 2018

Image with caption: Vikas Gulati, M.D., (second from left) associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, was one of the UNMC faculty recognized at last month's Circle of Distinction event. He has been named the Carl B. Camras, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology. The endowed professorship through the University of Nebraska Foundation is named in honor of Dr. Camras, who died in 2009 after serving as chair of ophthalmology at UNMC for nine years. Others in the photo include (from left) UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., Nancy Camras, Carl's widow, and UNMC Student Regent Sarah Hotovy.

Vikas Gulati, M.D., (second from left) associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, was one of the UNMC faculty recognized at last month's Circle of Distinction event. He has been named the Carl B. Camras, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology. The endowed professorship through the University of Nebraska Foundation is named in honor of Dr. Camras, who died in 2009 after serving as chair of ophthalmology at UNMC for nine years. Others in the photo include (from left) UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., Nancy Camras, Carl's widow, and UNMC Student Regent Sarah Hotovy.

UNMC recently held its Circle of Distinction event to celebrate the 108 endowed chairs, professorships and fellowships that are held by 105 of its faculty members and recognizing the benefactors who have made the awards possible. The Sept. 12 program also recognized the 36 additional endowed stipend awards to be conferred in the coming years.

The Circle of Distinction, first established in 2012 by the College of Medicine, now represents all UNMC colleges and institutes. Its members include current faculty who hold endowed positions and the benefactors and their family members who generously gifted the endowed stipend funds.

With a history dating back for centuries at some of the world's most prestigious universities, endowed faculty chairs, professorships and fellowships are among the highest academic awards a university bestows on its faculty members.

For UNMC, establishing an endowed faculty support award is one of the most significant investments contributors make in the university, having a permanent and measurable impact on the institution. Today, it represents a philanthropic investment value of more than $90 million, comprised of the more than 100 permanently endowed funds managed by the University of Nebraska Foundation. Each fund is tied to a private contribution designated by individuals or organizations to aid the university in this way.

"The greatest institutions have the best minds -- the most creative researchers, the most caring clinicians and most engaged educators," said Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "UNMC has successfully attracted and retained many of academic medicine's leading stars. As we well know, to attract the best you must be the best, and UNMC couldn't be the best without the benefactors who understand the importance of faculty support and through their generosity have established endowed chairs, professorships and fellowships."

Sarah Hotovy, a third-year medical student from York who serves as UNMC's student regent, said she and her peers recognize that their success is a direct reflection of the guidance, teaching, mentorship and support of the entire faculty.

"We are so grateful to our faculty who provide us with the opportunity to receive a world-class education," Hotovy said. "We're also incredibly appreciative of the benefactors who saw that an investment in faculty is an investment in students and ultimately an investment in the future communities we'll serve."

View the program to see the faculty members and benefactors who were recognized at the 2018 Circle of Distinction event.

View a Flickr album of photos from the event.

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