University Professorships

Overview

University Professorships funded by the Foundation are the most prestigious professorships awarded by the institution. They reflect the following major criteria:

  • An extraordinary level of scholarly or creative achievement and clear potential for continuing major accomplishments that enhance the reputation of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Documented excellence in various aspects of teaching and outreach and demonstrated commitment to the welfare of traditional and non-traditional learners.
  • Extensive involvement and service in furtherance of the several missions of the University (which include activities in national and international organizations in the candidate's field), significantly above the normal level of campus citizenship.

University professorships are awarded for a five-year term, and are renewable upon review. In addition, the holder may be reappointed for the duration of his or her tenure by the Chancellor at the time of review. Holders of university professorships will upon retirement carry the University Professorship designation as part of their emeritus title.

George Holmes University Professorship

George Holmes
George Holmes

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Open | Position: Full Professor

George W. Holmes University Professorships are supported by the University of Nebraska Foundation from the estate of George W. Holmes, a prominent Lincoln businessman, civic leader and philanthropist in the 1920s. Holmes was the nephew of one of Lincoln's earliest businessmen, Silas Burnham, president of First National Bank. In 1911, Holmes was the originating secretary/general manager and later president of the First Trust Co., was a director of Beatrice Foods and the Omaha branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In the 1920s, Holmes' bank guaranteed the loans that allowed the construction of Memorial Stadium. Holmes gave the city a tract of land upon which was built Holmes School, which honored his mother. The family name also lives on in Lincoln's Holmes Park, Holmes Lake and Holmes Golf Course.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2015 Concetta DiRusso Biochemistry
2013 Evgeny Tsymbal Physics and Astronomy
2012 Edgar Cahoon Biochemistry

More recipients

Year Recipient Department
1993 Stephen C Behrendt English
2010 Sherilyn Fritz Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
1987 David Sellmyer Physics and Astronomy
2010 Susan Sheridan Educational Psychology
2001 Anthony Starace Physics and Astronomy

Paula and D.B. Varner University Professorship

DB Varner
D.B. Varner

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Open | Position: Full Professor

The Paula and D.B. Varner University professorship was established in 1986 by the Nebraska University Foundation’s Executive Committee to recognize faculty members with the rank of full professor who has earned distinction as a teacher-scholar and who has demonstrated loyalty to the University through an extended period of distinguished service. The professorship, which carries a $15,000 stipend, is awarded for five-year terms and appointments may be renewed following review in the fifth year.

The professorship was established to honor Paula and D.B. Varner upon Mr. Varner's retirement as chairman of the Foundation. Mr. Varner headed the NU system for seven years before becoming its chief fundraiser. When he arrived in Nebraska from Michigan in 1970 to assume the reins of NU central administration, the CEO position was titled chancellor. Soon, the title was switched to president. He left that position in 1977 and became chairman of the NU Foundation until his official retirement in 1987.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2012 Amy Nelson Burnett History

James Hewett University Professorship

DB Varner
James Hewett

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Chemistry | Position: Full Professor

The James Hewett University Professorship was established in 1998 by a gift from James and Kathryn Hewett to recognize and provide necessary funding to support a professor in the Chemistry department at UNL. The professorship, which carries a $15,000 stipend, is awarded for five-year terms and appointments may be renewed following review in the fifth year.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from NU and his master’s degree and doctorate from Purdue, James Hewett worked at DuPont for the majority of his career. He believed that his undergraduate professors provided him with thought processes that helped him supervise development projects for products such as Lycra and Nomex fibers. Hewett’s group also developed the composition, structure, and manufacturing process for the hollow filament barriers used in Permasep, a reverse osmosis permeator for water desalination.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2012 David Hage Chemistry

Eugene W. Price University Professorship

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Biotechnology | Position: Full Professor

The Eugene W. Price University Professorship was established in 1992 by a gift from Eugene W. Price to the University of Nebraska Foundation to recognize faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and/or extension related to Biotechnology.

Price was the valedictorian of O'Fallan High School in Nebraska, but because of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, he was unable to continue his education until much later. He joined the Army in 1941 and was stationed in Kodiak, AK where he was on the ski team before being sent to Europe. After his discharge as a Captain, Price graduated first in his engineering class of Montana School of Mines, now Montana Tech. After graduation, he worked as an engineer for Allis Chalmers until his retirement in 1977. Over the years, Price received 5 US Patents, was published in various engineering journals and served as the Team Captain for the Allis Chalmers Golf Team winning many championships over the years. In 1985, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Montana Tech.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2011 Thomas Clemente Agronomy & Horticulture

Charles J. Mach University Professorship

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Open | Position: Full Professor

The Charles J. Mach University Professorship is supported by the University of Nebraska Foundation from the estate of Charles J. Mach, a rancher from Hyannis, Nebraska, who left his entire estate to the Foundation.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2011 James Takacs Chemistry
2004 John Turner Classics & Religious Studies

Foundation Regents University Professorship

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Open | Position: Full Professor

The Foundation Regents University Professorship was established in 1961 by the University of Nebraska Foundation to administer funds for such purposes as increasing faculty salaries, creating special chairs and for encouraging and rewarding research activities for the faculty at the University of Nebraska.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2001 John Hibbing Political Science

W.W. Marshall Family University Professorship

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Biotechnology | Position: Full Professor

The W.W. Marshall Family University Professorship was established in 1988 by a gift from William Marshall Jr., a long-time Grand Island banker. The W.W. Marshall Family University Professorship is limited to faculty affiliated with the Center for Biotechnology with research in the area of life sciences and/or biotechnology.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2009 Andrew Benson Food Science & Technology

Hillegass University Professorship

Cliff Hillegass
Cliff Hillegass

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: English | Position: Full Professor

The Hillegass University Professorship was established by the Cliffs Charitable Foundation to provide funding for in the English department in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln by offering a selected professor an annual salary stipend as well as research and program support.

In 1958, Cliff Hillegass founded Cliffs Notes with a $4,000 loan and a unique idea. He began creating study guides in the basement of his Lincoln home. Almost immediately the guides became a hit and the company grew. His success has continued during the past 40 years. In 1992, the NU Foundation received the first gift from the Cliffs Charitable Foundation. This contribution of $52,000 funded many projects at UNL, ranging from a writing project in the department of English to a scholarship for gymnastics students. Although the Hillegasses gave more than $250,000 to the NU Foundation before the establishment of the Cliffs Charitable Foundation, this gift further symbolized their commitment to education and the University, a commitment that still stands as they serve as NU Foundation trustees.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2000 Kenneth Price English

Lewis Lehr/3M University Professorship

Lewis Lehr
Lewis Lehr

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Open | Position: Full Professor

The Lewis Lehr/3M University Professorship was named for Lewis W. Lehr, past chairman and chief executive officer for the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (3M) Company.

Lewis Lehr was born in Elgin, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1947 with a degree in chemical engineering. After graduating, he applied for a job at the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company where he obtained a position working in 3M’s Tape Division testing adhesives. He later went on to become chairman and chief executive officer of the company.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
1996 Charles Wood School of Biological Sciences

William B. Allington University Professorship

Stipend: $15,000 | Discipline: Plant Pathology | Position: Full Professor

The William B. Allington University Professorship was established in 1985 by a gift from Instrumentation Specialties Company (Isco, Inc.), to recognize a faculty member and provide a professorship in the department of plant pathology.

The purpose of the gift is to commemorate the professional career of Dr. William B. Allington, professor and chairman of Plant Pathology at the University of Nebraska from 1948 to 1968. Allington’s research and leadership were significant contributions to the progress of agriculture in the State of Nebraska and the nation, and whose inspiration, encouragement, and creativity were instrumental in the foundation of Isco, Inc., a company founded by his son, Robert W. Allington.

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
1986 James Van Etten Plant Pathology

Chancellor's Professorship

Stipend: Varies | Discipline: Varies | Position: Varies

Current Professorships

Year Recipient Department
2018 Rick Bevins Psychology
2016 Stephen Cooper Raikes School of Computer Science & Management
2016 Kwame Dawes English
2011 Margaret Jacobs History
2016 Victoria Molfese College of Education & Human Sciences
2016 Xiao Cheng Zeng Chemistry