Foundation supports future global leaders in water management through generous gift

UNL graduate student Mavuto Banda from Malawi conducts a field experiment on irrigation water flow.
UNL graduate student Mavuto Banda from Malawi conducts a field experiment on irrigation water flow.

The Ivanhoe Foundation of Ojai, California, has made a generous gift to support international graduate students at the University of Nebraska who are preparing for careers in water management. The gift creates new awards for fellowships and research assistance to help students committed to improving water and food security in developing countries.

Upon learning about the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (DWFI) at the University of Nebraska online, Cheryl Ivanhoe Townsend, Chair of the Ivanhoe Foundation, attended DWFI’s 2017 Water for Food Global Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, to learn more about the institute’s work around the world. Impressed with DWFI's global impact, she recommended funding programs for international graduate students attending the University of Nebraska in water-focused areas of study.

This year, the Ivanhoe Foundation presented a $355,000 gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation to establish The Ivanhoe Foundation Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Student Support Fund. The fund will provide needed financial assistance through fellowship awards and research assistance for international graduate students pursuing careers in water management, especially in less economically developed countries. The gift was matched by designated funds within the NU Foundation to create a combined permanent endowment of $710,000. This funding will strengthen and enhance DWFI’s efforts to cultivate future leaders in water and food security.

“The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute will be able to reach many more global students than they could before,” Ivanhoe Townsend said. “We are excited to see the impact these students will make as they use the knowledge gained to tackle these enormous challenges that lie ahead of us. We want to be a part of DWFI’s mission to ensure water and food security for our world.”

DWFI Executive Director Peter G. McCornick added, “It is exciting to see how donor matching can lead to a very significant gift. Water and food security is a complex global challenge, but this gift will enable us to make a greater impact through the University of Nebraska graduate students who will share their knowledge and experience to improve water management in their home countries.”

University of Nebraska Foundation President and CEO Brian Hastings said the university is grateful for the Ivanhoe Foundation’s commitment to this important cause. “The impact of the Ivanhoe Foundation’s generous gift will be tremendous to witness over the years as the young people in whom they are investing are educated and trained to tackle the world’s greatest water resource challenges,” he said.

For more information about ways to support DWFI’s water and food security research and educational outreach, please contact C.K. Duryea at

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