New cancer buildings to be named for CL Werner, Suzanne and Walter Scott

Multiple foundations, individuals also make major gifts

Omaha, Neb – A groundbreaking was held today by the University of Nebraska Medical Center and The Nebraska Medical Center for the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. Major donors to the project were announced at the groundbreaking.

A gift from the CL Werner Foundation will name the hospital tower the CL Werner Cancer Hospital. The research tower will be named the Suzanne and Walter Scott Cancer Research Tower, thanks to a gift made by the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation.

CL Werner, honorary chairman of the CL Werner Foundation Board, said he is honored to support this project which will benefit so many people in the community, state and nation, today and for generations to come. 

“I am proud the Cancer Hospital is in Omaha and hope everyone shares my excitement about this state-of-the-art initiative,” he added. “It is my sincere desire this unprecedented collaboration will help alleviate suffering and offer hope to individuals and their families who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis.”

Werner serves as chairman emeritus of Werner Enterprises, Inc., one of the largest truckload motor carriers in the nation. Today, the company maintains its global headquarters in Omaha with offices throughout North America and China. Werner founded the company in 1956 with one truck at the age of 19.

Suzanne and Walter Scott Jr. are well-known Omaha philanthropists and active in community affairs. Currently, Walter Scott serves as chairman of the Board of Policy Advisors for the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute, Heritage Services and the Omaha Zoological Society, among other leadership roles. Suzanne Scott is a director of the Omaha Zoological Society and a former director of numerous community organizations including Joslyn Art Museum, The Salvation Army and United Way of the Midlands.

“Sue and I like to invest in excellence,” said Scott, chairman of the Board of Level 3 Communications and chairman emeritus of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. “This project, and its vision for a new era in fighting cancer, again shows Nebraskans what a treasure they have in our Med Center.”

“We greatly appreciate these significant investments in the cancer center,” said University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken. “CL Werner has been a strong advocate for this project from the beginning, and he recognizes its potential to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families. Walter and Sue Scott’s gift will transform cancer research and bring together the best minds in the country in the search for a cure. We are deeply indebted to the Werner Foundation and the Scott Foundation for their gifts.”

The University of Nebraska’s Board of Regents will vote on the namings at its June meeting.

UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., and The Nebraska Medical Center CEO Glenn Fosdick also recognized other principal benefactors at the groundbreaking ceremony, including:  the Robert B. Daugherty Foundation, Clarkson Regional Health Services, Peter Kiewit Foundation and the Holland Foundation.

Other founding benefactors are UNMC Physicians, Mutual of Omaha Foundation, The David Scott Foundation, Amy L. Scott Foundation, Parker Family Foundation, Dixon Family Foundation, Shirley and Jim Young, Acklie Charitable Foundation, Mammel Foundation, Patti and David Aresty, Iowa West Foundation and HDR. Each has provided a significant gift toward construction of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. Gift amounts are not being disclosed.

In addition, an employee campaign raised more than $322,000 for the project.

The cancer center will be named for Fred and Pamela Buffett in recognition of a gift from Pamela Buffett, through her foundation, The Rebecca Susan Buffett Foundation.

Pamela Buffett’s husband, Fred “Fritz” Buffett, died in 1997 after fighting kidney cancer. Fred Buffett and Warren Buffett were first cousins.

The gifts to the cancer center support the University of Nebraska Foundation’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities.

Construction of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center will cost $323 million, the largest project ever at the University of Nebraska. In addition to the private gifts, the state of Nebraska has pledged $50 million toward the project, the city of Omaha $35 million and Douglas County $5 million. Demolition work began this month toward construction.

More information is available at www.cancercenternebraska.com

 What donors are saying:

 Robert B. Daugherty Foundation

“The Daugherty Foundation’s gift to the establishment of the cancer center is another example of Bob Daugherty’s desire to make a positive impact in Omaha and greater Nebraska,” said Mogens Bay, chairman of the Robert B. Daugherty Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Robert B. Daugherty Foundation is a private foundation, which was established by Robert B. Daugherty, the legendary founder of Valmont Industries, Inc., a global industrial group. The Foundation’s 2010 gift to the University of Nebraska established the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute.

Clarkson Regional Health Services

“We believe this comprehensive cancer center will transform the medical center into a powerful regional cancer care organization stretching far beyond its current reach,” said Bruce Lauritzen, chairman, Clarkson Regional Health Services Board of Directors.

Clarkson Regional Health Services, Inc. (CRHS) and Affiliate is a not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to establish and maintain, directly or indirectly, institutions to provide for the economical and efficient delivery of health care and related services, including providing research, educational and training programs. Its assets and invested funds are invested and utilized for various charitable, health care and educational endeavors.

Peter Kiewit Foundation

“Peter Kiewit believed there was no better place to live than Omaha,” said John Hancock, a member of the Peter Kiewit Foundation Board of Trustees. “He attributed his success to the work ethic, loyalty and perseverance of Nebraskans, and he wanted to return his wealth to their communities. Because of this project, Omaha will be an even better place to live with the best cancer research and care in the country. Mr. Kiewit would be pleased. And the trustees of the Peter Kiewit Foundation are proud to support this terrific project.”

The Peter Kiewit Foundation is a private, independent philanthropic trust created from the estate and vision of the late Peter Kiewit. Since 1980 the foundation has awarded nearly $583.5 million in grants and scholarships in the areas of arts, education, children and families, community development, health and human services.

Holland Foundation

“This building and its skilled people will put UNMC at the forefront of one of the most devastating diseases known to man," said Richard Holland.

The Holland Foundation was established by Richard Holland and his late wife, Mary. The Hollands have been longtime supporters and contributors to the Omaha community, particularly in the areas of medical research, the arts and youth. Richard played an instrumental role in founding the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures as well as Building Bright Futures. The Hollands also made the lead gift to the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Omaha that bears their name.

What others are saying:

“Sue and I like to invest in excellence. This project, and its vision for a new era in fighting cancer, again shows Nebraskans what a treasure they have in our Med Center.”

— Walter Scott Jr., chairman of the Board of Level 3 Communications
and chairman emeritus of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc.

“Today is a remarkable and historic day for the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the State of Nebraska as we break ground on a facility that will provide hope and healing. The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center will be a world-class institution for medical research and treatment.”

— Gov. Dave Heineman

“This is a collaborative effort to bring a sizable amount of economic development to our community and state.”

— Mike Yanney, Omaha philanthropist and co-chair,
UNMC committee, University of Nebraska Foundation campaign 

Great cities invest in themselves. The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center is an investment in our future. This project will put Omaha at the forefront of cancer research worldwide, boost economic development in our Midtown neighborhoods and create thousands of new jobs. The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center will move our city forward. My thanks to the Omaha business community, our elected officials, and UNMC leadership for showing the courage to make this project a reality.”

— Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle

"The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center will elevate the superior care that's right here in our backyard. And it's going to impact all Nebraskans, not just the ones with cancer. From a patient's point of view, going from one clinic to the next to the next can be very trying. The whole idea of having physicians, scientists, clinics and treatment facilities in one place is going to be so much more convenient for patients, for loved ones, for family members. And to have that here in Nebraska is absolutely unbelievable."

— Chris Pilcher-Huerter of Omaha, a two-time Hodgkin lymphoma survivor
who will celebrate the fourth anniversary of her stem cell transplant on May 11

“Historically, the majority of advances for cancer diagnosis and therapy have come through the approaches taken by the NCI-designated cancer centers. The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center will provide the most needed comprehensive cancer services and resources to not only the Omaha area, but also to the entire state of Nebraska as well as to nearby states which lack an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer program. Thanks to our longstanding connection and research infrastructure ties with the Eppley Cancer Institute and the University of Nebraska, Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center has been a national player in cancer care delivery, clinical trials and research. This project will be a great asset and resource for our cancer program, enabling our patents to take advantage of breakthrough discoveries without leaving their home.”

— M. Sitki Copur, M.D., medical director of oncology,
Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center, Grand Island


Dorothy Endacott
University of Nebraska Foundation
(402) 458-1141
(402) 480-0680

Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)

Taylor Wilson
Nebraska Medicine Media Relations
(402) 559-7037
(402) 871-8338