People of Rotary | Dave Livingston

Dave Livingston describes his beginnings as a humble life in a small town in Kansas. He moved north to Lincoln, Nebraska for graduate school in the department of social psychology and sociology starting his experience with “the good life.” Little did he know that Nebraska would become his home. 
While in graduate school, he met his wife while teaching an introduction to sociology class. Between his master’s and doctorate degrees, he took a job at Emporia State as an assistant professor but still has strong connections to Lincoln. His father-in-law encouraged Livingston to join him in the movie theater business. Without any background in business, Livingston took a gigantic leap, moved back to Lincoln, and began working for Douglas Theaters. He worked for Douglas theaters for 37 years until the company was sold to Marcus Theaters. For the last 17 years of his career, he was the president and CEO of the company. 

Livingston joined Rotary about 36 years ago. He was encouraged to join by Art Knox. Originally, there were two impediments to Livingston joining. First, his career was going full steam and he did not feel as if he had enough time. Second, Rotary did not, at the time, let women be in their clubs. A year or two later, Rotary started to allow women and Livingston joined Rotary 14. His first impression of the club was “holy cow look at the people that are assembled here.” He was blown away by the professions represented and remembers thinking how powerful this group of people could be if they all got aimed in the same direction for a cause. Livingston says that occasionally they do all get aimed in the same direction and he is proud to be a part of that. 
Like so many of the other Rotarians, Livingston is proud of the people of Rotary 14 and the rich history of service that goes back to 1910 with the fundraising campaign for Lincoln general hospital. Throughout his time in Rotary, Livingston has been incredibly involved. He was the principal fundraiser for the Rotary International Foundation and was the 1992-1993 president of the club. He started the NEOS Club to help educate new members of Rotary. Also, he helped found the Rotary 14 Club Foundation which has developed into a systematic way of raising funds and dispersing them to qualified organizations and to college students as scholarships. 
When asked about someone who inspires him, Livingston chose fellow Rotarian Roger Ludemann. Livingston says he is impressed with Ludemann’s outlook on life. He describes Ludemann as the most positive person he has ever met regardless of the unbelievable hurdles he has had to overcome. Through having to give up the Rotary District Governor position and multiple cancer battles, Ludemann has kept a smile on his face and never lets things get him down. Livingston says he strives to emulate this attitude. By talking so highly about a fellow Rotarian, Livignston highlights the power of the members of Rotary 14 to create a welcoming, inspiring, and driven community. 
by Libby Valerio-Boster, Intern with UNL interviewing Rotary 14 members.