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Creighton College of Arts and Sciences receives $10 million gift for academic programs and laboratories

Gift is the largest ever to support the University’s College of Arts and Sciences

HaddixThe Creighton University College of Arts and Sciences has received a transformational $10 million gift from alumnus and former faculty member George Haddix, PhD, MA’66, and his wife, Susan, that will be used to build and enhance academic programming in the College, Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, announced today. It is the largest single gift to support academic programming in the University’s 139-year history.

The Haddixes’ significant investment will build upon and enhance the University’s reputation as a leader in undergraduate education in the first and oldest of Creighton’s nine colleges and schools, and the one that informs so much of the University’s core curriculum. This gift will be the cornerstone of four distinct academic initiatives in the college:

  • The Haddix Faculty Innovation Fund, including renovation and modernization of the Rigge Science Building laboratories;
  • The Haddix Faculty Research Incubator;
  • The Haddix 24th Street STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Corridor; and
  • The Haddix Ignatian Advising Program.

“Susan and George’s generosity will not only impact generations of students in the College of Arts and Sciences, but it will also build and enhance a legacy of faculty support George created many years ago, by giving our professors the resources to create new knowledge for our world, and enhance our preeminence in the country for providing research opportunities to undergraduates,” said Fr. Hendrickson. “This is a historic gift for the University, but it is also an investment in the community. Creighton is in and of the fabric of Omaha, especially its downtown community, and this gift allows us to keep working with and positively influencing our neighbors and the city.” 

The Haddix 24th Street STEM Corridor brings Creighton’s mission into the community, while introducing high-achieving high school students to what an outstanding undergraduate degree in the sciences offers them.

Under the program, Creighton will nurture approximately 10 top high school science students annually. Omaha North, Omaha South, and Omaha Central students will work summers with the University’s accomplished STEM faculty. Programming will include workshops on designing a career in a STEM field and networking with Creighton alumni.

“The Haddixes’ remarkable gift will afford talented Omaha high school juniors interested in science the opportunity to work side by side with our faculty,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bridget Keegan, PhD. “The inspiration provided through these interactions can truly change lives, and that is what Jesuit higher education is all about.”

“I believe the strength of an institution rests in the quality and dedication of its faculty, and Creighton is a very special place,” said Dr. Haddix. “It draws in professors who are teachers first – and who are motivated by Creighton’s mission to mentor students who are not only equipped to go on to successful careers, but are formed by a Jesuit education that allows them to be steeped with a sense of ethics, and the ability to think critically. It is the Creighton difference.”

The additional programs supported through the Haddixes’ gift will contribute to the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University in significant ways:

  • The Haddix Ignatian Advising Program will support a unique and comprehensive approach to academic advising, highlighting the role of faculty mentorships and supporting the development of the student as a whole person, thereby underscoring Creighton’s outstanding national reputation in the liberal arts and sciences and attracting the best students from across the nation.
  • The Haddix Faculty Research Incubator will signal to seasoned and beginning professors that Creighton values the teacher-scholar model. The Haddix Faculty Research Incubator will afford professors dedicated time to concentrate primarily on research. Competitive pre-tenure sabbaticals and fully funded, full-year sabbaticals will honor the top-tier faculty Creighton recruits and seeks to retain.

“As a trustee, I see firsthand the momentum Fr. Hendrickson has brought to campus, and his vision for what Creighton can and will be through the fine work in the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Susan Haddix. “George and I believe that faculty need the resources to dedicate time to research, to mentor students, and to challenge our students, and we need the laboratories that reflect our national reputation for preparing the scientists of the future.”

In addition to the impact George and Susan Haddix will make through the new gift, they continue supporting other important initiatives at the University, including:

  • The Dr. George F. Haddix President’s Faculty Research Fund: This fund enhances the research and scholarly productivity of faculty by providing seed funding for promising faculty researchers.
  • The Center for Mathematics of Uncertainty: The mission of the Center for Mathematics of Uncertainty (Fuzzy Math) is to support the paradigm shift in the sciences involving uncertainty and to support colleagues in developing countries.
  • Omaha North High School Scholarship program: This annual renewable scholarship gift provides four incoming freshmen, graduating from Omaha North High School, with a full-ride scholarship to the University. Dr. Haddix is a 1957 graduate of Omaha North High School.

Nationally, for the fourth year in a row, Creighton was one of 42 universities in the U.S. to be acknowledged by U.S. News & World Report magazine for an emphasis on undergraduate research/creative projects. Creighton is the lone Catholic university on the list.

For the 15th consecutive year, Creighton University has earned the No. 1 ranking for Midwest Regional Universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “America’s Best Colleges” edition.


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