Charles W. “Chuck” Durham was a civil engineer, built-environment pioneer, noted philanthropist, and civic leader in Nebraska and Iowa.
Chuck was one of Omaha’s outstanding residents. He was a community leader, visionary, philanthropist, businessman, and family man. He loved the City of Omaha, and the Omaha community loved Chuck and Margre Durham for their humble, genuine ways, in addition to their many gifts to the city.
Chuck Durham was raised in Ames, Iowa and attended Iowa State University, where he acquired two important assets–a degree in engineering and his wife and lifelong companion, Margre Henningson. He joined the Omaha-based engineering firm of Margre’s dad and built the firm into one of America’s largest engineering firms–HDR Inc.
HDR Inc., under the leadership of Chuck Durham, became an international powerhouse architectural and engineering firm, designing medical, military, and public works projects around the world. One area of expertise of the firm was designing hospitals and medical facilities, and many of the Omaha hospitals, notably Omaha Methodist Hospital were designed by HDR Inc.
The Durham Research Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in midtown Omaha is one of the most advanced medical research centers in the world, but it is just one of the facilities in Omaha that benefited from the generosity of Chuck and Margre Durham. The Henry Doorly Zoo, the Durham Museum, and the Durham Science Center at the University of Nebraska–Omaha are among many facilities that Chuck Durham brought to reality.