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President's Letter: Remembering Founder Walter Scott, Jr.

Posted On Sep 30, 2021, 14:50 PM by Joan Squires

The late Suzanne and Walter Scott — Scott Recital Hall, Holland Performing Arts Center  

September 27, 2021 

Dear O-pa Friends, 

This past weekend, Omaha lost an extraordinary leader, philanthropist and community leader. It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of O-pa Board member Walter Scott, Jr. who passed away on Saturday, September 25, 2021. 

A founding member of the Omaha Performing Arts Board of Directors, Walter — along with the late Dick Holland and Chair Emeritus John Gottschalk, led the formation of our organization and the design and construction of the Holland Performing Arts Center and renovation of the Orpheum Theater through his leadership of Heritage Services. As an O-pa board member for over 20 years, Walter provided vision, insight and guidance that elevated our organization and helped transform the community. His tremendous generosity supported our organization and a variety of projects, including the Scott Recital Hall named in his and his late wife Suzanne’s honor. Walter focused on the future, and his most recent leadership gift through the Walter Scott Family Foundation for the new Steelhouse Omaha live music venue helps set the stage for the next generation.   

Most of all, I will miss Walter personally, especially his advice and guidance. He appreciated what the arts brought to the community, and he counted among his close friends a variety of talented national performers. We are deeply grateful to him and his family and the support of the foundations he formed — the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation, and the Walter Scott Family Foundation. 

Walter’s contributions are immeasurable, and his legacy will be remembered across our community and beyond. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. 

With deepest sympathy, 

Joan H. Squires

Joan H. Squires 

President, Omaha Performing Arts