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Nebraska State College System, Gov. Heineman recognize scholarship recipients


For The Sun-Telegraph

The Nebraska State College System (NSCS) recently awarded over 100 Board of Trustee Scholarships to graduating high school seniors from Nebraska. A Board of Trustee (BOT) Scholarship provides full tuition for recipients and is worth nearly $17,000 over four years.

The NSCS also awarded the Governor’s Opportunity Award to three recipients, one each at Chadron, Peru and Wayne State Colleges, member institutions of the NSCS. The Governor’s Opportunity Award provides half of the college tuition costs and, like the BOT Scholarships, are renewable for four years.

The keynote speaker for the luncheon was Governor Dave Heineman. Married to First Lady Sally Ganem, a 30-year elementary school principle, Gov. Heineman has made education a cornerstone of his record 10-year term as Governor of Nebraska. Gov. Heineman has focused on prioritizing education, increasing parental involvement, improving the college going rate, closing the academic achievement gap, and other important education initiatives, as well as creating high-quality jobs for our youth to stay in Nebraska and be successful.

“I want to applaud the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees for thinking innovatively about ways to boost enrollment and to increase Nebraska’s college-going rate by expanding scholarship opportunities for students,” said Gov. Heineman. “We want to ensure that more Nebraska students attend Nebraska colleges. Ensuring that every high school graduate in Nebraska goes to college is critical to our continued success as a state. Our task is to prepare our sons and daughters to compete in a knowledge-based, technology-driven, global, free-market economy.”

When discussing the value of education, Gov. Heineman recognized the state colleges for their educational and economic contributions to Nebraskans. He encouraged the scholarship recipients to make the most of their education and acknowledged Nebraska as a place for hard working Nebraskans to enjoy, “The Good Life.” 

Governor Heineman was joined at the podium by John Freudenberg who served as the alumni speaker. Freudenberg, a former Chadron BOT recipient, is currently the criminal bureau chief in the Nebraska attorney general’s office. 

With 170 people in attendance at the luncheon, Freudenberg spoke of alumni from all three colleges who have gone on to do great things, including: Chadron State’s Dr. Val Fitch who won the Nobel Prize in Physics, Sheila Dormann who became the first female Vice President at Cabella’s and Danny Woodhead and Don Bebee for their successful NFL careers; Wayne State’s Adrian Mick who became the first female Vice President with OPPD and Dr. Joseph Painter who has been selected as an annual recipient of the American Top Physician’s award; and Peru State’s Mr. Marlan Downey who became the President of Shell International and was knighted by the President of Cameroon for his service to that country in the field of geoscience.

NSCS Chancellor Stan Carpenter served as the emcee of the luncheon and introduced a number of VIPs attending: Senator Jerry Johnson (district 23) and his wife, Arlene; Senator Al Davis (district 43) and his wife, Dottie; BOT board members Cap Peterson (Wayne), John Chaney (Auburn) and Matt Blomstedt (Nebraska Commissioner of Education); and Bill Beavers and Scott Keene (Ameritas).

Following introductions, Carpenter told the audience, “The state colleges are colleges of access and opportunity. We provide safe and caring learning environments. We are large enough to offer a wide variety of programs and degrees, yet we are small enough that our faculty and staff will know your name.” He then reminded the students that he knows of faculty who will search them out if they don’t show up for class.

The Board of Trustees Scholarship recipients are Nebraska residents who have earned a score of 25 or higher on the ACT or a score of 1700 on the SAT college entrance exams. The recipients also provide written recommendation letters from high school teachers or administrators.

The Governor’s Opportunity Award recipients must have an ACT score between 21 and 24 or a score ranging from 1500 to 1650 on the SAT exam.  The recipients also provide a written essay focusing on future contributions to their local community and the state of Nebraska.

In recognition of the achievement of the scholarship recipients, the NSCS invited the students and their families to attend the annual Scholarship Luncheon in Lincoln on April 11. The presidents of the three colleges introduced the students and their families in attendance.

The Nebraska State College System serves nearly 9,000 students through three geographically diverse institutions. Combined, the three Colleges offer more than 200 degree, certificate and pre-professional programs that are accessible on the campuses, via the Internet and in several locations throughout the state. With more than 250 credentialed faculty members and 50,000 successful graduates, the Nebraska State College System provides significant human and intellectual capital that contributes to the current and future strength of the State of Nebraska.


Kylie Ellwanger

Natausha Holtz

Karson Langley


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