Allied health scholarships top endowment of $4 million

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC strategic communications | May 24, 2022

Image with caption: Kyle Meyer, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions

Kyle Meyer, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions

As the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions celebrates 50 years since its founding as a school in 1972, UNMC Today will offer an occasional series of stories that looks back at key milestones and forward to an unlimited future.

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The UNMC College of Allied Health Professions has much to be proud of throughout its history, but few would dispute that the college’s momentum — in research, enrollment and reach — has picked up in recent years. The growth has been spurred in large measure by philanthropy, resulting in endowed faculty positions, and in a robust scholarship program.

By 2021, six years since the formal establishment of the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions in 2015, University of Nebraska Foundation-endowed, named scholarships for the college had increased by 274%, to an endowment of more than $3.8 million.

These scholarships have allowed the college to support dreams and increase opportunities to become allied health care professionals for underrepresented students from across Nebraska. These scholarships, and the students who hold them, work to create a high-quality, diverse workforce to serve all of Nebraska — including its medically underserved areas.

The Thayer Family Foundation, already one of the scholarship fund’s most generous backers, recently announced another major gift toward the education of UNMC allied health students, pushing the total endowed scholarship fund to more than $4.3 million. Through outright and matching gifts, the Thayer Family Foundation scholarship has now reached $1.6 million, representing the single largest endowed scholarship fund available for CAHP students.

"The Thayer family is an amazing family and, like all of our endowed scholarship benefactors, a Nebraska treasure," said Kyle Meyer, PhD, dean of the College of Allied Health Professions. "Their commitment to the college and its students will literally change the lives of countless students, as well as the lives of the patients they will ultimately serve."

Receiving one of these endowed scholarships has been life-changing, said Gracie Grote, a diagnostic medical sonography student at the Health Science Education Complex in Kearney. "It reminds me there are people out there who believe in me," she said.

"It’s immensely humbling that so many individuals recognize the value of the allied health professions and have invested so generously to help our students and ensure UNMC continues to educate a quality allied health workforce for the next 50 years," Dr. Meyer said.

Named, endowed allied health scholarships

  • Collins Family Scholarship
  • James R. Newland, M.D. Endowment Fund
  • Douglas Haven Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Frances Marie Young Brinkman Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Parker Family UNMC School of Allied Health Professions Fund
  • Pat Dickmeyer Memorial Allied Health Scholarship Fund
  • Jester Family Scholarship for the College of Allied Health Professions
  • Pat and Bruce Hageman Physical Therapy Alumni Award Fund
  • Karen and Carl Brasee Scholarship Fund
  • Mary Joanne Ellison Radiation Sciences Education Fund
  • Alvin B. Rakow Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Peggy Kolodziej Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Arthur L. Larsen, M.D. Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Dean Reba A. Benschoter Scholarship Fund
  • Laurie M. Schaefer Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Jerry Paul Smith Memorial Fund
  • Sandy Stork and Barbara Robertson Medical Nutrition Scholarship Fund
  • Friedland Family Fund for Genetics
  • Verlyne Preston Phillips and Wayne H. Phillips College of Allied Health Professions Scholarship Fund
  • Carol Simons Parsow Clinical Laboratory Science Scholarship Fund
  • John R. Schenken, M.D. Medical Technology Scholarship Fund
  • Charles R. O'Malley Scholarship Fund
  • Thayer Family Scholarship Fund

Amy Steinauer
May 24, 2022 at 12:23 PM

The Thayer family is a class act! Thank you for your generosity!!

Kyle Meyer
May 24, 2022 at 11:15 AM

My thanks also to our colleagues and partners at the NU Foundation. Many individuals have worked tirelessly on behalf of the college over the years, helping our amazing benefactors realize their philanthropy goals to the great benefit of the CAHP and our students.

Mary C. Haven
May 24, 2022 at 11:07 AM

Many thanks to the Thayer Family Foundation!! These scholarships will help so many young, aspiring allied health professionals complete their education. Nebraskans and the nation will benefit for decades.

Tom O’Connor
May 24, 2022 at 10:46 AM

A mega thank you to the Thayer family for its incredibly generous gift. This will truly make a huge impact on allied health students.