Nancy Burnett, a longtime supporter of the University of Central Florida, whose gift with her husband Al Burnett created the College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, passed away last week. The Burnetts have donated $12.8 million over more than 30 years to support UCF students and programs, and the impact of their gifts plus state matching funds totaled nearly $25 million. In addition to the College of Medicine’s Burnett school, the Burnett Honors College and the president’s on-campus home are also named in their honor.
In 2004, when the Burnetts made their $10 million donation to create a new college of biomedical sciences, Mr. Burnett called the gift “a necessary step if we’re going to head in the direction of a full-fledged medical school, which is what I hope we can accomplish in the next five, 10 or 15 years.”
“Their gifts have benefited thousands of students in our classrooms, in our research labs and on our athletic fields, and their generosity will continue to benefit Central Floridians for many years to come,” UCF President John Hitt said. “Please keep Nancy’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”
Family and education were always important to Nancy Burnett. She taught speech and drama in Ephrata, PA, where she met her future husband. The Burnetts moved to Winter Park in 1968 with their family, after acquiring Contemporary Cars. She received an honorary doctorate degree from UCF for her unfailing commitment to the university. She was also an active member of the Interlachen Country Club, a member of 101 and Town and Gown, and actively supported many Central Florida charitable organizations.
“Nancy Burnett was dedicated to family and that extended family including the UCF community,” said Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine. “Every day at the medical school we witness the Burnett family’s generous support as we train the next generation of scientists.”
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorials be made to the American Cancer Society or Hospice of the Comforter.