04/11/2016 “Our Students, Our Future” initiative to raise $200 million in support of NU students
“Our Students, Our Future” initiative to raise $200 million in support of NU students

Increased access and success for current and future students is the focus of a two-year, $200 million fundraising initiative announced today by the University of Nebraska and University of Nebraska Foundation.

The “Our Students, Our Future” initiative, which will conclude at the end of 2017, will provide direct support for university students through need- and merit-based scholarships that will make their college education more affordable; support for programs that improve student outcomes, particularly among traditionally underrepresented students; improvements to facilities that will enhance the learning experience; and other student-focused priorities.

Our Students, Our Future seeks to not only advance the university’s highest priority of affordable excellence, but also position the university to attract more students in support of its goals to significantly grow enrollment and produce more graduates for Nebraska’s workforce.

“I’ve been fortunate to experience firsthand the transformative power of higher education. My goal is for the University of Nebraska to be accessible to every student who wants to change their life in the same way education changed mine,” said NU President Hank Bounds. “The university is doing great things to advance the Board of Regents’ priority of affordable excellence. Yet we know unmet need remains. With support from generous alumni and friends, Our Students, Our Future will help us become a giant in higher education, doing even more to ensure affordability and success for our students – the future leaders of Nebraska.”

Bounds noted that because of stable support from the state, the university has been able to keep tuition and fees across the campuses at least 25 percent below the peer averages. More than half of all NU undergraduates receive financial aid. Still, most NU students – including 77 percent of UNK undergraduates, 72 percent of UNO undergraduates and 62 percent of UNL undergraduates – apply for need-based financial aid, demonstrating that need remains high. To help ensure that the university remains accessible for students and families, and to be successful in growing enrollment, which this year reached a 22-year high, the university must maintain its focus on supporting students, Bounds said.

Our Students, Our Future seeks gifts that will increase both immediate, expendable funds available for student scholarships, as well as permanently endowed scholarship funds that will enable the university to support many generations of students. In addition, the initiative seeks funding for university programs focused on helping students stay in school and complete their degree, as well as support for learning facilities that meet student interests and enhance the learning experience.

“Past and current support from University of Nebraska alumni and friends has been nothing short of phenomenal, and that generosity has helped position our university to meet the needs of our state and citizens,” said Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation. “Our Students, Our Future will build on that momentum through strategic, targeted investments in our students that will ensure affordable access to an excellent education, aid the university’s enrollment growth objectives, assist with student completion and success initiatives, and enhance the learning environment and student experience.”

Objectives of Our Students, Our Future include:

  • Learning communities at UNO and UNK, which allow students in the same academic programs to live and study together, improving their chances of success.

  • Campus support services for military and veteran students at UNO, which is currently ranked as the most military-friendly university in the country.

  • UNO’s Strauss Performing Arts Center, where expanded classroom and performance space is needed to meet the needs of the growing number of music majors on campus.

  • Scholarships for students enrolled in programs of emphasis at UNK, including health care, business, education, math, engineering and science, as well as the Honors Program, which attracts top student talent.

  • The Nebraska Legends scholarship program at UNL, which helps attract students within and beyond Nebraska, and scholarships for the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management, which draws top students with computer science and interdisciplinary business knowledge.

  • Renovation at UNL’s Love Library to create a learning commons area that will provide a space for student use 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and creation of a commons area on East Campus that will create collaborative community space for student and faculty interaction. Plans include renovation at the Nebraska East Union and Food Industry Complex/Filley Hall, as well as a new plaza, student housing and renovation of the C.Y. Thompson Library.

  • UNMC’s Interdisciplinary Experiential Center for Enduring Learning (iEXCEL), a “virtual reality” education center that will allow students to learn and test their skills in a life-like environment.

  • Programs at UNMC that expose high school and undergraduate students to opportunities in health care, thus creating a stronger pipeline of future health workers, as well as scholarship programs for rural, low-income and other underserved students.

  • Scholarships for graduate students at UNMC, for whom fellowships and stipends are a key tool for recruitment and retention.

“The focus of programs and initiatives on each campus may be unique, but the end goal is the same: a direct impact on our students and an enhancement of their University of Nebraska experience,” Hastings said.

Any gift made to the University of Nebraska Foundation in support of a student scholarship fund or student-oriented program before the end of 2017 will count toward the $200 million goal. To learn more about Our Students, Our Future, or to give online, visit nufoundation.org/ourstudentsourfuture.

Our Students, Our Future comes on the heels of the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, a nine-year comprehensive fundraising campaign that ended Dec. 31, 2014, after raising more than $1.8 billion for the University of Nebraska. Student support was among the highest priorities of the campaign, and donors contributed more than $273 million for scholarships, fellowships and other forms of student support. Our Students, Our Future will build on that momentum, expanding affordable access even further for students and families.

About the University of Nebraska Foundation
The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has raised private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 79 years. During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, donors provided the university with $258.1 million for scholarships, academic programs, medical and other research, faculty support and facilities. Our Students, Our Future is the foundation’s current initiative to secure broad support for students. For more information, visit nufoundation.org.

Media Contact
Melissa Lee
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Date Recipient
04/06/2016 Advancement CRM Newsletter
02/24/2016 UNL Chancellor Finalists Campus Visits and Public Schedule
UNL Chancellor Finalists Campus Visits: Public Schedule
UNL Chancellor Finalists Campus Visits and Public Schedule

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds welcomes your input on the finalists for chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Share your feedback below.


03/22/2016 Advancement CRM

Advancement CRM Objective

The University of Nebraska would like to give each friend, donor and alumnus of the university the best possible experience. One aspect of providing a great experience is having all critical information about our friends, alumni and donors in one place. The university, with the foundation, is embarking on an effort to create an Advancement Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system to create “one source of truth” about each and every individual.

Being able to capture the preferences of each individual and all interactions with those individuals and then having the ability to access that information anytime and anywhere allows the university to have the smartest conversations possible with our donors and alumni and will provide a customized, consistent experience for each friend of the university.

The Advancement CRM will be available to all colleges, campuses, alumni associations and the foundation in order to facilitate university advancement efforts.

Project Name

After a naming contest conducted across the university community, the Advancement CRM has been nicknamed “Ali,” short for Aletheia. In the Greek language, Aletheia is variously translated as unclosedness or unconcealedness. In Greek mythology, Aletheia is considered the Goddess of Truth.

Project Timeline

View the Project Timeline

Steering Committee

Brian Hastings University of Nebraska Foundation
Mike Bird Foundation Development
Shelley Zaborowski Alumni Associations
Mark Askren University of Nebraska Information Technology
Larry Hartley Foundation Information Technology
Dorothy Endacott Foundation Marketing Communications
Celeste Knapper Foundation Finance
Connie Soucie Foundation Talent, Culture & HR
Ben Storck Foundation Operations & Special Projects
Ben Kriegler Foundation Research, Reporting & Analytics

Issue 6 | September 29, 2016

View the Newsletter Archive

University of Nebraska Central Administration
University of Nebraska Foundation
Blackbaud Solution Provider
January 2017 CRM Survey
Ali CRM Q&As
Ali CRM Introduction

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Aletheia is a constituent records management system that will be used to store and track information related to advancement of the University of Nebraska through engagement with alumni, donors and friends of the University. The system (and all data stored therein) is owned by the University of Nebraska Foundation.

01/29/2016 The Road Ahead Starts Right Here

The Road Ahead 
Starts Right Here

Creating a better future is the perfect challenge for Nebraska’s only public research university. Each of the University of Nebraska's four campuses has unique strengths—from metropolitan to rural, land grant and research to academic medicine. These strengths create a breadth of expertise that is unmatched. Together, we are making an impact—for our state and for our world.


A unified battle against cancer: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center

The statistics are staggering. It’s estimated that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men will develop cancer in their lifetime.

Yet there’s still no hope for a cure. But there is a new way in which the research and treatment of cancer will change the lives of patients and their family members. It will happen at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.

Here, silos will be broken, bringing patients together with scientists focused on cancer research and the physicians treating these patients. They will work in a common space in order to reach a common goal— finding breakthroughs in cancer therapy. At the helm will be Sarah Thayer, M.D., PhD, a physician and -scientist with international notoriety who embodies clinical care and research happening side-by-side.

Together, this team of brilliant minds is determined to make great strides in cancer diagnosis, treatment and healing. Every patient will be treated individually. Every case approached differently. And every recovery one step close to winning the battle.

More on Buffett Cancer Center More on UNMC

Breakthroughs in helping people move again: Dr. Nick Stergiou

It’s morning. Your alarm clock blares its wake-up call. You sit up, reach to turn it off, swing your feet over the side and stand up. You walk to the bathroom, taking step after step. You brush your teeth, moving the toothbrush back and forth. Up and down. You bend over to rinse.

All this movement—involving muscles, brain, senses and environment—takes place in the span of minutes and continues to happen as you go about our day. Yet, the majority of us never think about how we move. But for Dr. Nick Stergiou and his visionary team at the University of Nebraska Omaha, it’s all they research—biomechanics, which is the study of human movement, and the forces that produce it.

But why?

If Dr. Stergiou and his team’s previous groundbreaking research is any indication, their work is vital to those suffering from movement-related disorders. Their lab incorporates principles from engineering, physiology and mathematics to understand the complexity of how humans integrate muscles, nerves, and the environment to accomplish movement. It’s housed in UNO’s Biomechanics Research Building—the first ever structure dedicated to the study of movement and home to the world’s first ever Center for Research in Human Movement Variability.

Their research has led to interventions for infants with cerebral palsy and to new treatment strategies for diseases like autism, multiple sclerosis and peripheral arterial disease. It’s helped those with problems moving due to an amputation, aging or stroke. It’s even helped astronauts regain natural walking patterns that are commonly disrupted after long trips in space.

What the team has accomplished has greatly influenced techniques in robotic surgery and rehabilitation. And, it’s given hope to millions who suffer while moving.

More on Biomechanics Research More on UNO

Cultivating a thriving startup culture: UNL’s Raikes School

Welcome to Silicon Prairie, a growing, thriving tech community that’s teeming with savvy startups and entrepreneurs—located right here in Nebraska.

At its center is Hudl, a sports video software company that’s now on Fast Company’s list of 50 most-innovative companies of 2016. It’s been said that Hudl is changing the game for coaches and players. It’s certainly changing the landscape for other progressive startups that are inspired by its achievements.

Other cities have tried to lure Hudl away—the company had its pick of either coast, yet chose to stay right here. The reason is simple: Nebraska’s expansive support system has helped it succeed. Couple that with a reasonable cost of operation, a burgeoning downtown, a family-friendly environment and the University’s backing—and it’s easy to see why Hudl is not packing its bags anytime soon.

Hudl’s three founders met at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln’s Raikes School of Computer Science and Management, where the idea for the company took shape. They were able to easily transition from college students to successful business owners. Not to mention they had a strong alumni system—including some of their initial investors—to lean on.

Another milestone for Hudl—and for Nebraska—is the company’s planned headquarters, which will be a seven-story, 110‐foot‐tall building. It will be the second largest building downtown and a new home to more than 300 employees from across Nebraska and across the country. Thanks to companies like Hudl, the best and brightest are happy to call Nebraska their home.

More on Hudl More on UNL

In search of alien life-form: Dr. Adam Jensen

Did you ever look up at a brilliant night sky and wonder… are we alone?

That is one of the many questions that NASA would like to answer. To do so, it’s established Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, an unique collaboration between several groups of experts spanning a variety of specific fields. Together, they’re tasked with searching for life beyond our solar system.

One of the groups on this mission is headed by Dr. Adam Jensen, a physics professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Dr. Jensen’s work on exoplanetary atmospheres has earned him a spot leading a diverse team that will explore the existence and evolution of exospheres. The group brings together earth scientists, planetary scientists, heliophysicists and astrophysicists in the hopes that interdisciplinary partnerships will provide a more complete picture of exoplanets. Put simply, an exoplanet is a planet beyond our solar system that orbits around a star.

The ultimate goal of the NASA team is to observe smaller exoplanets—ones that are earth‐sized—assess their atmospheres and determine if they are habitable. Then we might finally know if, in fact, we do have extraterrestrial neighbors—and where we can find them.

More on Dr. Jensen’s work More on UNK

Harnessing the Power of the Sun: Jinsong Huang

Energy. It's on everyone's mind as energy costs continue to climb. Many are concerned world energy demands will outpace production. The search is on for affordable, renewable power sources—and that search is transforming the technologies that power our nation. Yet, solar power remains just beyond reach as a widely-used energy source.

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineer, Jinsong Huang, is making big strides in his effort to harness the sun’s power. Current solar cells are too expensive and not efficient; his goal is to cut their cost in half—so they can compete with fossil fuel energy. And, he's tackling that goal with several million dollars in federal grants…and groundbreaking approaches to creating new material for solar cells.

Huang believes that renewable energy is the number one issue for the future. And although solar energy has a long way to go, he plans on being part of making renewable energy a major part of the solution. By lowering solar energy’s cost and increasing its efficiency, Huang—and UNL—can help meet the world’s growing energy demand.

More on Dr. Huang More on UNL

Empowering the Homeless: Kurt Borchard

Homelessness is a problem in many cities. In urban areas with high costs of living and high unemployment rates, the problem grows. Living on the street is unsafe, yet there isn’t enough room in homeless shelters to accommodate the number of people who are homeless. Now, a fascinating way of addressing the issue has surfaced—and Kurt Borchard, a professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, is taking a closer look.

Borchard is in the middle of a yearlong sabbatical to interview individuals in two city-sanctioned homeless encampments in Portland, Oregon—a city that struggles with homelessness. On any given night, over 1,900 people sleep on the streets. A loophole in that city’s laws has allowed the homeless population to form encampments, where camp residents have banded together to create a legal and political foundation. They can draw up contracts and negotiate with the city, giving homeless people basic rights and a safer place to live.

“It’s an innovative way to address the ongoing problem of homelessness,” Borchard says. “This problem is not going away.” His hope? To better inform people about the issue of homelessness. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and Borchard’s work shows how one group of homeless men and women have found a way to live with a greater sense of dignity.

More on Dr. Borchard More on UNK

Engaging Girls in the World of IT: Code Crush

IT is one of the fastest-growing job sectors in the US. However, many of these jobs may go unfilled—because there aren’t enough college graduates with computing-related degrees. And, very few women are pursuing career opportunities in IT. In 2015, only 18% of all computing and information science degrees were earned by women.

This is where “Code Crush,” an immersion experience for middle- and high-school girls at UNO's College of Information Science and Technology, comes in. The four-day program introduces girls from across Nebraska to information technology in a friendly and engaging environment—at no cost. The girls learn how no matter what their career aspirations are—there’s a place for them in IT. They program robots, make digital music, learn about innovative thinking, create mobile applications, and meet role models in IT.

UNO's CodeCrush—just one way that NU is working to diversify the IT landscape—and help fill the IT workforce deficit.

More on Code Crush More on UNO

Training The Nation For Ebola And Other Emerging Threats: UNMC

in 2014, the Ebola outbreak turned into an epidemic and spread like wildfire throughout Africa, reaching into Europe and across the sea to the US. Anyone willing to treat Ebola victims risked becoming one. But a few were brave enough to step up. Among those were healthcare professionals from UNMC’s biocontainment unit, armed with 10 years of training and preparation.

These individuals risked their own lives in order to save Ebola patients—because they knew how much they were needed. And, as a result, UNMC and its clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine, were recognized as a national asset and referred to as the “gold standard” for treatment and development of safety protocols in handling Ebola.

In the months since, medical centers and hospitals from all over the world have come to the UNMC experts to be trained for the next highly infectious disease outbreak. And, in July of 2015, UNMC was awarded a $12 million grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish and co-lead the nation’s National Ebola Training and Education Center.

When given the opportunity to make a difference, UNMC always takes it. The situations may change and the infectious diseases may vary—but as leaders in the field, they continue to tackle challenges with boldness and heart.

More on Ebola Training More on UNMC
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