Nebraska’s David “Fitz” Fitzgibbon, an iconic creative who joyfully recorded the vibrancy of campus life through a video camera, died Jan. 20 following injuries from a fall.
Fitz, 57, was in his 25th year leading University Communication and Marketing’s videography team. Through his work (most recently as a member of the “Dream Team” with Curt Bright and Mary Jane Bruce), Fitz was responsible for creating thousands of University of Nebraska–Lincoln videos. His work ranged from developing the university’s national television advertisements to heralding individual student achievements.
During his tenure, Fitz worked directly with three chancellors and hundreds of deans, directors and other campus leaders, sharing their messages with Huskers near and far. He remained dedicated to elevating Dear Old Nebraska U’s reputation in whatever way possible, serving as the university’s primary conduit to international productions and TV networks that sought to film on campus.
Fitz joined the university on Jan. 26, 1998, after a successful run reporting and directing news for Lincoln CBS affiliate KOLN. On campus, he continued to foster his news contacts, providing hours of video content about UNL to Nebraska stations and national TV networks.
A few of his more creative projects include advocating for the positive potential in “Tommy Lee Goes to College,” helping a Hollywood film crew convert the Coliseum in Los Angeles into a replica of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium for Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man,” and magically placing then-Chancellor Harvey Perlman into a one-on-one conversation with “Tonight Show” host and Nebraska alumnus Johnny Carson.
Fitz’s calming presence and institutional knowledge were relied upon daily by colleagues within UComm and across campus. Those same traits helped the UComm team maintain momentum when Fitz was called upon to serve as its interim leader in 2017.
Happiest when working in the background, Fitz was beloved for his endless energy, welcoming smile and willingness to always go the extra mile in everything he did — be that working a weekend to finish a project, hauling the university’s “Grit” and “Glory” signs across campus, or consistently being the first to volunteer whenever friends or colleagues needed a helping hand.
That giving spirit continues beyond death, as Fitz was an organ and tissue donor.
His ability to connect with others is showcased through the many friendships he forged within the campus community and beyond.
A renowned deal-seeker — and, please, keep this between us, secret shopper for Amigos — Fitz was especially fond of educating others about the rebate program at Menards, venturing to Runza with his kids on nearly every Temperature Tuesday, and being at the ready to provide Consumer Reports reviews when friends were considering major purchases.
That trait expanded into his work, where Fitz took great pride in being a careful steward of university resources. He also often leveraged his deep knowledge of the university structure to track down information that would ultimately save time for other employees.
Originally from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Fitz was a proud University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumnus, having earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from the College of Journalism in 1987.
Two of his three children — Adam and Grace — join Fitz as Husker alumni (through the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Engineering, and College of Journalism and Mass Communications, respectively). His third child, Chloe, is a senior at Lincoln Southeast High School with plans to join Husker Nation in fall 2023.
Fitz’s friendship and giving extended well beyond work hours, as he loved serving others. He was known for often cooking gourmet meals for his extended family, opening his home to celebratory events (including birthdays for his beloved Westie pup, Lucy), and even hosting the occasional cooking competition.
Fitz is survived by a multitude of family and friends, including his wife, Tina Loseke; and children, Adam, Grace and Chloe.
A celebration of life is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Van Brunt Visitors Center. The celebration will include comments by family and friends at 3 p.m. A livestream will also be available for those who wish to attend remotely.
The family requests donations in memory of Fitz be sent to the University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE, 68508. Checks should be payable to the University of Nebraska Foundation and include on the memo line or enclosed note that the gift is in memory of Dave Fitzgibbon.
Condolences and memories may be left here.