Chancellor named Citizen of the Year by scouting community

by Karen Burbach, UNMC public relations | May 07, 2013

Image with caption: Harold M. Maurer, M.D., the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America's Citizen of the Year, with his wife, Beverly Maurer. (Dr. Maurer is wearing a hat he was given by organizers of the event.)

Harold M. Maurer, M.D., the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America's Citizen of the Year, with his wife, Beverly Maurer. (Dr. Maurer is wearing a hat he was given by organizers of the event.)

In his acceptance speech, UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., noted that: "It's a bit unique that someone who has never been a Boy Scout receives this award."

The award referenced -- the 2012 Citizen of the Year Award from the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America -- is given annually to an individual who exemplifies the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America and salutes their outstanding leadership and service to the community.

Video: Community leaders praise Dr. Maurer.

Dr. Maurer -- who has led UNMC to new heights since becoming chancellor in December 1998 -- follows the Boy Scout Law, which includes being trustworthy, loyal, courteous and helpful.

In accepting the award on May 6, Dr. Maurer, however, focused on bravery -- noting how, when he became chancellor in 1998, his big goal was to double UNMC's research funding in five years and triple it in 10. "I believe that a strong research program fuels both education and patient care . . . to gain a national and international reputation, we had to build our research enterprise."

Although he had naysayers, "it's amazing that when you have a vision to be great -- and when you show courage in that vision -- how many people will get behind you."

Among the champions was Chuck Durham, who was active in the scouting community. With his support, other community members got behind Dr. Maurer's vision. In less than 10 years, the two Durham research towers -- almost entirely built with private funding -- anchored the west end of campus and research funding had tripled.

"We must have the courage - the bravery, if you will -- to embrace and invest in change," Dr. Maurer said.

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