Omaha philanthropist Dick Holland, a tireless advocate for young children and a great friend to the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, passed away August 9. He was 95 years old.
Buffett Institute Founding Executive Director Samuel Meisels said the Institute is deeply saddened by the loss of Holland.
“As long as I’ve known Dick, there was never any question in his mind about the importance of helping children in their earliest years of life,” Meisels said. “He would say, over and over, that we’ve got to make sure all children get off to a good start. For him, this issue wasn’t in need of further research or empirical data. For him, the data were self-evident. Children living in poverty were not thriving, and we know what to do to make a difference in their lives. Dick had a deep desire to use every means and every person available to help those children.”
Holland’s family has selected several charities for his memorial, including the Richard Holland Early Childhood Institute Workforce Development Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation. This fund, which Mr. Holland generously supported during his lifetime, supports the work of the Early Childhood Workforce Development Program, one of two signature programs at the Buffett Institute. The program’s goal is to ensure a skilled, informed, and diverse workforce is available to all young children. Children with the greatest needs were one of the issues Holland held closest to his heart.
A gift to this memorial fund may be made here.
Additionally, Dick Holland’s philanthropy included support of other University of Nebraska colleges and affiliated organizations. His gifts to the University of Nebraska Omaha to support Baxter arena, the College of Fine Arts and Media and the UNO Alumni Association and to University of Nebraska Medical Center to support regenerative medicine, public health, cancer, health science education, and basic research, have made the university and the state of Nebraska a better place for all.
Holland founded the Holland Children's Movement and Holland Children's Institute in his effort to improve the lives of low-income families and children. Visit the Holland Children’s Movement website to learn more.