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Creighton remembers Bill Scott, Bruce Lauritzen

Apr 17, 2024
2 min Read
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In February, Creighton mourned the loss of two Omaha business leaders, philan­thro­pists and longstanding supporters of the University with the deaths of J. William “Bill” Scott and Bruce Lauritzen, HON’23.

Scott’s Impact to be Felt for Generations

Bill Scott
William “Bill“ Scott

Philanthropist and business leader J. William “Bill“ Scott, a key figure in shaping Creighton’s Omaha campus, died Feb. 27 at the age of 93.  

“The Scotts’ vision and investment have not just enhanced our facilities, but also student scholarships, our athletic programs, and Creighton community-based programs designed to assist Omaha residents in need,“ said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD.

Through personal gifts he made with wife of 73 years, Ruth, or their family’s foundation, Bill Scott contributed significantly to the School of Dentistry building, the CL and Rachel Werner Center for Health Sciences Education and the entirety of the east-campus athletic corridor — the Championship Center, the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center and D.J. Sokol Arena, The Ruth (named after Ruth Scott) and the Rasmussen Fitness and Sports Center (named after the Scotts’ close friend, former McCormick Endowed Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen).

The Scott family has likewise supported scholarships for medical students and student-athletes. They’ve also established innovative services across multiple schools and colleges — from an After-hours Clinic in the School of Dentistry to a financial literacy program in the Heider College of Business to student-attorney-run legal clinics in the School of Law supporting juvenile clients and Omahans filing for bankruptcy.

Beyond Creighton, Scott and his family have given tens of millions of dollars to more than 150 local and statewide organizations, with much of their support extended to higher education.

Lauritzen’s Dedicated Service Helped Creighton Grow  

Bruce Lauritzen Creighton
Bruce Lauritzen, HON’23

Bruce Lauritzen, HON’23, an emeritus member of Creighton’s Board of Trustees, died Feb. 21 at the age of 80, leaving behind an indelible legacy at Creighton and in the Omaha community. Lauritzen served on Creighton’s Board for more than three decades, from 1987 to 2023.

“Bruce’s support for our mission and his service to both students and the community were grand in both scope and longevity,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD. “Bruce and the Lauritzen family played no small part in helping grow Creighton’s physical footprint and visibility on a national scale.”

Lauritzen was a fifth-generation banker at First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), serving as president for 19 years. In the 1990s, Lauritzen’s investment in the 45-story First National Bank Tower, the tallest building in Nebraska, redefined Omaha’s skyline.

As chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, he helped lead the development of Heartland of America Park and the Riverfront, which led to future enhancements of downtown Omaha.

He and his family were instrumental in establishing Lauritzen Gardens and supported construction projects across Omaha, including the recently opened FNBO Bridge connecting Creighton’s Criss Complex and the new CL and Rachel Werner Center for Health Sciences Education.

An Omaha World-Herald Midlander of the Year, honorary king of Aksarben and Omaha Business Hall of Fame inductee, Lauritzen received an honorary Doctor of Business Administration from Creighton in May 2023.