Dr. Crouse establishes endowed fund to support UNMC Graduate Studies

David Crouse, PhD, and wife Sara with Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies

David Crouse, PhD, and wife Sara with Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies

David Crouse, PhD, professor emeritus, and his wife, Sara, have created an endowed fund through the University of Nebraska Foundation to benefit UNMC Graduate Studies.

“His decision, along with his wife, Sara, to provide this endowment and continued gifts is merely the latest testament to Dr. Crouse’s commitment to the program,” said Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. “And this is a gift that will benefit generations of graduate students for years to come.”

It’s a program very dear to Dr. Crouse, who led UNMC Graduate Studies three separate times on an interim basis. Graduate studies are important but often overlooked or misunderstood, he said.

Many, sometimes including graduate students themselves, think of PhD students and graduates as being under the auspices of their mentors’ respective colleges, rather than the UNMC Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Education. While UNMC’s graduate community has many successful alums, people don’t necessarily think of it as a collective entity to give back to.

When he served in Dr. Davies’ role, “We just didn’t have the resources to do the things a dean would like to do,” Dr. Crouse said.

He and Dr. Davies now are longtime friends with a shared dream of continued success for UNMC Graduate Studies.

Dr. Davies said: “I benefitted immensely from his wisdom and counsel during my transition here to UNMC, when he preceded me as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and interim dean of graduate studies. Even in retirement, David has continued to give back and always answers the call when needed.”

When he was in a position to do so, Dr. Crouse decided to create a permanent endowment that would provide support in perpetuity for UNMC Graduate Studies. He encourages other faculty, alumni and supporters to specifically support graduate studies as well.

He and Sara established the Derry-Crouse Fund for UNMC Graduate Studies (the Derry is for Sara’s family) with a gift two years ago, and then made a subsequent gift in late 2023. The endowed fund is unrestricted, with annual distributions to be used at the dean’s discretion.

Dr. Crouse said he’s pleased to see graduate studies’ momentum in recent years under the leadership of Dr. Davies and others.

“It’s exploded,” Dr. Crouse said. “That’s thrilling to me – to see all these new graduate programs arise from a core of programs that were doing very well.”

UNMC’s enrollment grows every year. That is in large part due to graduate studies programs that continue to draw new students, he said.

“I’m going to love seeing what that (gift) can do,” he said.

Dr. Crouse, known as UNMC’s ultimate team player, continues to serve. He keeps office hours as one of two wellness advocates for UNMC Graduate Studies and postdoctoral students. Stop by and see him Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon, at the Graduate Student Wellness Hub, located on the ground floor of Durham Research Center I.

He hopes others are inspired to support graduate studies.

“I see it as a signal to other people to consider doing the same thing,” Dr. Crouse said. “I would love it if more faculty and students associated with the graduate studies programs looked to that graduate studies unit as a recipient.”

Dr. Davies said, “I join all our graduate students, faculty and staff in saying thank you to Dave and Sara for their generosity.”

Gifts to the Derry-Crouse Fund for Graduate Studies may be made online.  

The couple’s gift was made as part of “Only in Nebraska: A Campaign for Our University’s Future.” The campaign is an historic effort to encourage at least 150,000 benefactors to give $3 billion to support University of Nebraska students, faculty, academic and clinical programs and research to address the needs of the state.


  1. Audrey Paulman says:

    Well done. What a thoughtful gift!

  2. Carol Russell says:

    Sara and Dave,
    Thank you to a great gift.

  3. Carmen N Sirizzotti says:

    Dr. Crouse: Thank you for your generosity and your work with graduate students and postdocs.

  4. Kevin Garvin says:

    Great work & congrats to David and Sara!!

  5. John S Davis says:

    Thank you Dave for your continued leadership and support of graduate programs at UNMC.

  6. Bill O'Neill says:

    An incredible legacy! Thank you, Dr. Crouse and Sara!

  7. Carl Gumbiner says:

    Thank you David and Sara.

  8. Clarence Ueda says:

    Very noble idea and gift. Kudos to you both.

  9. Pat Hageman says:

    Dave and Sara – what a wonderful gift to benefit our future generations!

  10. Geoff Thiele says:

    As always Dave and Sara can be counted on to step up and help the UNMC Community.
    Thank you both.

  11. Joan Smith says:

    Dr. Crouse and Sara, Thank you for your continued support of the UNMC Community!

  12. Tom McDonald says:

    Great to see that you and Sara have created an endowment that is to support graduation. Now, let’s have others follow your example.

  13. Tom O’Connor says:

    What an awesome gift! Dave and Sara are true ambassadors for UNMC. We are so lucky to have them. Thank you for your amazing generosity.

  14. Mary Haven says:

    Thanks for your generosity and continued contributions to the Graduate College and UNMC.

  15. Kusum K. Kharbanda says:

    Thank you, Dave and Sara, for your generous support of the UNMC graduate studies!

  16. Babu Guda says:

    Thank you, Dr. Crouse, for your continued support for graduate education at UNMC.

  17. Iqbal Ahmad says:

    What a wonderful gift to scientists in making, Sara and Dave!

  18. Ritesh Dey says:

    Thank you so much for supporting Graduate studies

  19. Jayme Nekuda says:

    Graduate students are certainly fortunate to have Sara & David’s support & generosity.

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