Defining Creighton's Future

Jul 14, 2021

More than 140 years of Creighton’s history is built on the foundation of a single generous act. Today, Creighton faculty and staff help define our future through their countless commitments and generous gifts.

Featured Testimonial About Creighton University

I want faculty and staff donors to know that I notice all the ways they go above and beyond at Creighton. Their generosity motivates me to be the best student, pre-professional, and person that I could possibly be. Their gifts to the programs and causes that I have benefited from have made my college experience truly transformative and because of them, I will graduate a more resilient, hardworking and compassionate person.

Maddie Quinonez, Class of 2022

By Nichole Jelinek

Creighton’s faculty and staff donors deliver a life-changing education to our students. Last year, more than 600 faculty and staff supported 167 areas across Creighton's campus. This page is dedicated to them.

Brian Kokensparger, MCS, MFA, PhD

College of Arts and Sciences
Associate Professor of Computer Science, Design and Journalism
Number of years employed at Creighton: 33 years
First gift: 1994

Brian Kokensparger, MCS, MFA, PhD

What impact do you want to make through your gifts?

I think the best gifts are those that are given with no strings attached. Those gifts say, “I trust you to use the money well,” and allow students (and their moderators) to put the money towards those things they know they need.

What are some of the causes or programs you’re passionate about?

I am passionate about supporting programs where most of the donation goes directly towards student learning, which is what we are all about. I’m really passionate about the Backpack Journalism program because I’ve seen the effect this program has on our students, the students with whom they associate in the department and the department itself.  The Backpack Journalism program makes our entire department better.

Why is it important for you to give to these areas?

Sometimes the little things fall through the cracks. Like, for example, this year I donated to the Chamber Choir.  These students work hard at their music and have needs. Every gift is a prized donation by these students, and I think they are thankful for any amount that donors can give.

How would you summarize your own Creighton experience?

I always tell prospective students (and their parents) that I came to Creighton as an undergraduate student in 1985 and fell in love with the University and Omaha and never left. It’s a place of unlimited opportunity for those who share the qualities of our Creighton family founders: a willingness to work hard and to keep a vigilant eye open for an unexpected opportunity to arise at any moment. As Father Gillick once told me, one of the more important Ignatian charisms is to let God find us in all things. That’s easy to do here at Creighton.

Nearly 9,000 students attend Creighton University. But more than 140 years ago, classes began at the new Creighton College with just five Jesuits, two lay teachers and 120 students. Creighton University started as the vision of one family.

“I’ve been known to tell students and fellow alumni that because neither Creighton couple had children who survived past the age of five, we are the descendants of the Creightons and must help live out their legacy.”
— Katie Wadas-Thalken, EdD, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. Read more. 

At Creighton, you see tangible reminders of our traditions wherever you look. You see it in our tens of thousands of alumni living lives of service and justice in their own communities.

“There are no strings attached to my giving. Students are not only the future of Creighton, but of the world. If they become good citizens and serve others with honesty, integrity and compassion, I believe this is success.”
— Alekaha Dash, RPH, PhD, Professor Read more.

Nearly 99% of our students rely on scholarships or financial aid. Scholarships give our best and brightest a transformative sense of belonging, purpose and personal growth.

“I don’t believe anyone has it within themselves to accomplish most of life’s meaningful milestones without the support and encouragement of those around us.” 
— Michael Miller, EdD, Director of EMS Education and Assistant Professor
Read more.

More than 140 years of Creighton’s history is built on the foundation of a single generous act. Today, Creighton faculty and staff define our future through their countless commitments and generous gifts.

“We recognize that others have helped us get to where we are and I’m trying to pay it forward, I never feel like I’m working because my work resonates with who I am. It’s important to feel like I’m helping another student find their path.”
— Leland Barker, PhD, Assistant Professor Read more.

Would you like to share your donor story? Click here.