Monday, October 26, 2020 - 12:15pm
Greg Jensen, senior director of development for the University of Nebraska Foundation, will retire on Oct. 31, 2020, after 31 years.
Greg Jensen did not start out to be a fundraiser. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master's Degree from the Princeton Theological Seminary, Jensen joined the clergy and spent eight years a pastor in Murray, Nebraska; Omaha Nebraska; and Kansas City, Missouri.
After leaving the clergy, Jensen joined the Great Plains Health Network as its executive director. But in 1989, Jensen found his life's work and joined the NU Foundation as an associate director of planned giving. In the intervening 31 years, he has held many roles with the NU Foundation and has been involved in many projects that have impacted the university, inspired students to succeed and provided the foundations for groundbreaking research.
In addition to a planned giving officer, Jensen has been the primary liaison for several campus colleges, including the Architecture, Journalism and Mass Communications and Education. He has also served as the campus-wide gift officer, raising funds for important campus-wide projects. "Greg has held many roles at the foundation and been a part of many of the campus achievements in the past 30 years," said Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. "But our college is the only one that has had the pleasure of working directly with Greg during two periods of his illustrious career."
The first time Jensen served as the liaison for the College of Journalism and Mass Communications was during an important transition in location for the college. At the turn of the 21st century, the college had outgrown its cramped spaces in Avery Hall, where it was located during the latter half of the 20th century. Jensen led the fundraising campaign that allowed the university to purchase and renovate the Securities Mutual Life Insurance Building on Lincoln's Centennial Mall. In 2001, Harold and Marian Andersen Hall opened its doors and provided the college with state of the art facilities to teach future journalism and mass communication professionals.
Jensen was also a lead fundraiser on many other important campus projects, including the International Quilt Study Center, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Visitor Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center Low Vision Center and the Nebraska College of Dentistry research addition. In 2017, Jensen rejoined the College of Journalism and Mass Communications to finish out his career.
"Greg's work has changed the face of the University and our college," said Dean Veil. "We will be forever grateful to him for all he has done for our faculty, staff and students."
Clarey Castner, Terry Fairfield and Greg Jensen in front of the newly dedicated Andersen Hall in October 2001.