UNMC to honor three individuals at May 4 commencement

At its May 4 commencement exercise the University of Nebraska Medical Center will recognize three individuals for their commitment to serve Nebraskans through their support and promotion of campus growth, service to our armed forces and citizens in rural communities.

Maj. Gen. Kimberly A. Siniscalchi, Bruce Lauritzen and Kenton Shaffer, M.D., each exemplify the mission of UNMC. The commencement ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the Ralston Arena.


As assistant surgeon general for medical force development, Maj. Gen. Kimberly A. Siniscalchi develops, plans and reviews all personnel policies and programs covering all life cycles of military medical force development for 44,000 military and civilian medical personnel.

And as assistant surgeon general of nursing services, Maj. Gen. Siniscalchi develops plans and reviews all nursing policies and programs for 19,000 active duty, reserve and guard nursing personnel. She has held both posts since 2008.

A 1988 alumna of the UNMC College of Nursing where she earned her master of science in nursing, Maj. Gen. Siniscalchi embodies the level of dedication to patient and profession expected of a graduate.

For her contribution to our country’s health care and to our country’s defense, Maj. Gen. Siniscalchi will receive the Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences degree.


Bruce Lauritzen is being honored with the UNMC Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award for his longtime support of UNMC and its hospital partner, The Nebraska Medical Center, and for his commitment to patient care, education and research.

Lauritzen is well known for his role as chairman of First National Bank of Omaha, its holding company, First National of Nebraska and Lauritzen Corporation, but his name is also synonymous with philanthropy and growth.

At the Medical Center, he was on the team that merged Clarkson and University hospitals to form The Nebraska Medical Center. He is a key member of UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D.’s kitchen cabinet and serves on both the board of the Cancer Center Development Corporation, a non-profit dedicated to the project’s planning, development and construction, and on the executive committee of the University of Nebraska Foundation’s Campaign for Nebraska.

The Distinguished Service Award is given to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated outstanding support for UNMC by way of personal service, private contributions or other meritorious advocacy for the campus mission.


Kenton Shaffer, M.D., is being honored with the J.G. (Jack) Elliott Award, for his decades of service to Nebraska as an outstanding physician, leader, educator and innovator.

Dr. Shaffer has worked in private practice, at Kearney Clinic, P.C., since 1974. He has also served as active staff at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney since 1975. He is known statewide as a vital resource in his specialty of pediatrics and adolescent medicine.

He is a graduate of Holdrege High School and alum of Hastings College. He earned his medical degree with high distinction at the UNMC College of Medicine. He continues to serve as volunteer faculty training the next generation of practitioners.

Dr. Shaffer and the Kearney Clinic are playing a key role in a UNMC study looking at a new treatment model to help positively impact clinical outcomes for hypertension and type-2 diabetes patients. The two-year project was launched April 1.

The J.G. Elliott Award is given annually in memory of Jack Elliott, a former Scottsbluff resident, who served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents for 20 years until his death in 1974.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.



Lisa Spellman
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4353