LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has received a $4 million gift from the estate of Glenn Korff to help bring top Broadway shows to Nebraska.
The gift establishes the Glenn Korff Broadway Endowment at the University of Nebraska Foundation to forever enhance the Lied Center’s Broadway programming, visiting artists program, commissioned theater projects and more. In honor of his legacy and support, major Broadway productions at the Lied Center will be part of the newly created Glenn Korff Broadway Series.
The gift comes a year after Korff, a Nebraska native and UNL alumnus, announced an $8 million gift to the university for the Glenn Korff School of Music at the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. The gift created a permanently endowed fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation to provide annual support for students, faculty and programs. In recognition of this investment, the school was named in his honor.
“We’re most grateful for Glenn’s remarkable generosity, and the university is honored to forever recognize his legacy to enrich the human spirit through the arts,” said UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman.
The Korff endowment will position the Lied Center to secure the most popular touring shows directly off Broadway, including the most recent Tony Award-winning productions, said Bill Stephan, executive director of the Lied Center for Performing Arts.
“The Lied Center is so grateful to receive this incredible gift from the Glenn Korff estate,” Stephan said. “This endowment will enable us to bring the newest, best and most in-demand Broadway shows to the Lied Center. It will take our Broadway programming from great to exceptional.”
Korff’s passion for performing arts began on campus as a member of Kosmet Klub, a male musical and comedy ensemble, which he served as a set designer.
“Glenn’s experiences with theater at the university were among his most cherished memories,” Stephan said. “The Lied Center was selected to receive support with the hope that a stellar lineup of Broadway performances might bring students and Nebraskans the same joy and enrichment that his involvement with musical theater brought to his life.”
Before his death on Aug. 27, 2013, Korff said about his support for the university, “I am honored to be able to make this contribution in order to provide future programs that will enlighten and entertain families and generations of Nebraskans for years to come.”
Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation, said Korff’s legacy is also permanently linked to the success of the Campaign for Nebraska, the university’s comprehensive fundraising initiative that concludes on Dec. 31.
“When we look back on the many ways the Campaign for Nebraska remarkably affects the lives of so many who are connected to and touched by the University of Nebraska, we will certainly always remember Glenn Korff and his most kind and generous contributions,” Hastings said.
A native of Hebron, Neb., Korff lived in Boulder, Colo., and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1965 with a chemistry major and was a member and past president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He received an MBA in finance from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and enjoyed a long career in the area of finance and investments, retiring from Goldman Sachs.
Over the years, Korff expressed gratitude for the education received at Nebraska by giving of his time through various volunteer positions and as trustee of the University of Nebraska Foundation. He and his family also generously supported the university through gifts to create the Paul W. and Esther L. Korff Family Fund and the Richard D. Brenning Memorial Scholarship Fund. Korff and his brother, Ken Korff, also made a gift to support the UNL College of Business Administration’s new building initiative with a gift to name an auditorium in honor of their father, Paul Korff.