The Maurer Center — ‘A good thing for people’

When he was young, UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., was being hard on himself because he did not achieve a goal he had set out to accomplish.

Dr. Maurer’s father noted his son’s downtrodden demeanor and said, “Harold, the world is with you, you have plenty of time.”

Public health’s new home

The slideshow above features images from Wednesday’s opening ceremony of the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health.

Years later, Dr. Maurer grasped what his father meant.

“What he was saying was, ‘Harold, don’t fret. In time you’ll be able to do good things for people,'” Dr. Maurer told the hundreds in attendance at Wednesday’s opening ceremony for the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health. “Today, I feel we have done a good thing for people.”

The Maurer Center is the new home of the UNMC College of Public Health and was made possible thanks to several benefactors including Ruth and Bill Scott, who made the lead gift.

Dean’s relentless energy

On Wednesday, Ruth Scott thanked Dr. Maurer first for his vision to start a college of public health at UNMC, and second for hiring the college’s energetic dean, Ayman El-Mohandes, M.B.B.Ch., M.D., M.P.H.

“When I first met Ayman, I asked him what his vision was for the college, one hour later, I was able to ask him my second question,” Scott said, drawing huge laughs from the crowd. “Ayman moves fast, thinks fast, talks fast. He is as close as is possible to being the human equivalent of the Energizer Bunny.”

College primed for success

UNMC and the College of Public Health are in good hands with people such as Drs. Maurer and El-Mohandes on campus, Scott said.

It’s an honor for the college to have its home named for Dr. Maurer and his wife, Beverly, Dr. El-Mohandes said, noting that the couple has done much for public health and UNMC as a whole.

Accreditation on the horizon

The Maurer Center and the support from throughout the state puts the UNMC College of Public Health in position to enact change with international benefits, said Harrison Spencer, M.D., M.P.H., president of the Association of Schools of Public Health and keynote speaker at Wednesday’s opening.

“I know you’re up for accreditation next week and I’m confident that you’ll be very successful,” Dr. Spencer said. “I wouldn’t have come today if I didn’t believe that.”