It took only 24 hours.

During that time, close to 4,000 gifts were received from people standing for every state of the country and from places around the world who took part in this year’s Glow Big Red – 24 Hours of Husker Giving. In all, they supplied an outpouring of $436,000 in charitable support for all areas of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The support is culmination of the third annual event held from noon to noon on Feb. 17-18. The crowdfunding effort encouraged those who care about UNL’s service mission to Glow All In this year by contributing and sharing why they glow with pride for the university.

“I am overwhelmed by the great success of this year’s Glow Big Red,” UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “A huge thank you to all those who donated for their tremendous support of UNL.”

The event focused on a wide range of opportunities to support students through scholarships and programs. There were ways to support students in each college as well as to support the university’s many organizations and affiliates. Seventy campus-based student organizations and groups also participated.

“I am so impressed by the outpouring of support for students and student organizations through this year’s Glow Big Red,” said Laurie Bellows, vice chancellor for student affairs. “It’s absolutely inspirational. Thank you to each and every supporter for your kindness. There truly is no place like Nebraska!”

UNL’s Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management shared a video message on social media from Andy Zhang, a sophomore computer science major from Elkhorn, Nebraska, on his thanks to those who supported students.

“The Raikes School has given me the opportunity to grow, not just as a student but as a person, and I’ve met so many wonderful people here,” Zhang said. “I really can’t thank Raikes enough, and a big part of it was just knowing that my family and I could pay these bills. We’re so grateful for the financial scholarships that Raikes and UNL provide, and it wouldn’t be possible without you. I just wanted to thank you on behalf of all Raikes School students and my cohort for your generous donations during Glow Big Red.”

The event has garnered momentum and more philanthropic help for the university each year. Last year more than 2,300 gifts were made with more than $175,000 in support. This year a goal was set of 2,500 gifts, surpassed by almost 1,400 gifts.

Gifts during the event were made at where full results are available.

Largely driven by social media engagement, supporters used #GlowBigRed to share their personal stories and why the university matters to them. The hashtag also helps document the event.

Glow Big Red started in 2019 in recognition of the university’s 150th anniversary.

Private gifts establish learning commons at UNL’s East Campus library

Private donors with a desire to invest in the student learning experience have made it possible for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to move forward with a $22.5 million renovation and redevelopment of the C.Y. Thompson Library on East Campus.

Gifts to the University of Nebraska Foundation for this privately funded project include a leadership contribution from UNL alumni and philanthropists Ruth and Bill Scott of Omaha. Their gift was provided as a challenge to encourage others to contribute and to offer the option for someone to name the new student learning commons.

The Dinsdale family of Nebraska, in response to the Scotts’ lead challenge gift, made a major gift commitment to the project. The gift was made by Sid Dinsdale, Chris Dinsdale and Jane Dinsdale Rogers in honor of their father, Roy G. Dinsdale; and by Lynn Dinsdale Marchese and Tom Dinsdale in honor of their father, the late John “Jack” A. Dinsdale.

The new learning space will be named the Dinsdale Family Learning Commons in honor of the Dinsdale brothers, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

Roy Dinsdale graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1948. Jack Dinsdale, who died in 2010, also attended the university, but his studies were interrupted by World War II and U.S. Army service from 1942 to 1946. As brothers and business partners, Roy and Jack Dinsdale grew the family agriculture and banking businesses into what is today Pinnacle Bancorp Inc., the holding company which includes Pinnacle Bank.

“Students are at the core of what we do, so we are especially grateful for the generosity of Ruth and Bill Scott and the Dinsdale family for recognizing and embracing the vision of a new student learning commons on our East Campus,” said UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green. “This reimagined space designed for 20th-century studying and learning will benefit thousands of students, and we foresee a busy and active area full of engaged students.”

Ruth and Bill Scott said they are pleased to help make attending UNL an even richer experience for students.

“We hope that this will be a place where students want to congregate to spend time together and that it will be a hub that encourages students, teachers and the broader community to explore, create, collaborate and have some fun,” Ruth Scott said. “We are delighted the Dinsdale family also understands the importance of this student initiative, and we certainly hope others choose to help now as well.”

About the Dinsdale family’s support for the project, Sid Dinsdale said, “With our family roots in agriculture, we think providing resources to upgrade the East Campus makes sense. We consider this a gift that will benefit our entire state, and it is a privilege to partner with the Scott family on this project.”

Few updates have been made to the C.Y. Thompson Library since it opened in 1966, but the way students study and learn has changed significantly. Increasingly, students are interactive learners who depend on having technology available at all times, communicate via social media and study collaboratively.

Construction will launch in August with completion in time for the 2021 spring semester. Renovation and redevelopment of the library will include the new student learning commons to incorporate academics, research and community into one central hub of resources there. Many fundamental concepts of the learning commons will be borrowed from the privately funded Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons located on UNL’s City Campus at Love Library which opened in 2016 and is used by thousands of students each week for studying, peer collaboration and access to learning resources.

The Dinsdale Family Learning Commons will reflect students’ increasing use of online and digital information and research and will enhance interdisciplinary connections through spaces where students can gather to study and collaborate. Plans call for a technologically rich space that will facilitate both individual and group study with virtual access to thousands of e-books, e-journals and academic articles.

The printed word, however, will not go away. A power library will house a 25,000-volume collection of the most recent, unique and active parts of the print collection. Faculty and staff also will benefit from cutting-edge technologies and instruction resources.

The library division within the facility will continue to be named the C.Y. Thompson Library.

Additionally, the redeveloped space will provide a central location for the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, the East Campus Visitors Center and the Student Testing Center.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is seeking additional contributions for the project.

About the lead donors

Ruth and Bill Scott

Bill and Ruth Scott

Ruth and Bill Scott are deeply rooted and invested in the community where they have lived most of their lives and the state they call home.

Over the years, the Scott family has made extraordinary and transformational private investments in the University of Nebraska. Examples of their philanthropy are found on each of the four main campuses of the University of Nebraska statewide system, and they have been instrumental leaders in making the University of Nebraska Medical Center a world-class academic health science center.

In 2009 the University of Nebraska Board of Regents presented Ruth and Bill Scott with its most prestigious award, the Regents Medal, for their extraordinary contributions to the university’s academic programs, scholarships and facilities.

Bill Scott is a 1953 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business. The Ashland, Nebraska, native joined Buffett Partnership in 1959 and Berkshire Hathaway in 1970 where he remained until the early 1990s.

Ruth Scott, also a native of Ashland, earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1951. She went on to teach school and later founded the Omaha Bridge Studio where she teaches “the game everyone should play.”

Jack and Roy Dinsdale

Roy Dinsdale (left) and Jack Dinsdale

Brothers John A. “Jack” and Roy G. Dinsdale were business partners for 63 years with primary interests in banking and agriculture. They were born in Palmer, Nebraska, to George and Rena Dinsdale and graduated from Palmer High School.

Jack Dinsdale attended the University of Nebraska for business administration when his college career was interrupted by World War II. He entered the U.S. Army in 1942 and was discharged in 1946. While in the Army, he met Gretchen Poggemeyer in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and they married and raised two children in Nebraska: Tom and Lynn. Jack Dinsdale died in 2010 at age 92.

Roy Dinsdale met Gloria Stephens, who grew up in McCook and Grand Island, while they were studying at the University of Nebraska, where Roy studied business administration, graduating in 1948, and Gloria studied education, graduating in 1949. They married after graduating and raised three children: Sid, Chris and Jane.

In 1948, Roy and Jack Dinsdale joined their father, George Dinsdale, and their uncle, Tom Dinsdale, in helping lead the family’s businesses, which were founded in the late 1800s. Roy and Jack started expanding their banking business from State Bank in Palmer by purchasing the National Bank of Neligh in 1958. This was the forerunner of Pinnacle Bancorp, Inc., the holding company which includes Pinnacle Bank in Nebraska. Using a community bank model still in use today, Pinnacle Bank has 67 locations across the state.

The entire Dinsdale family and their primary business, Pinnacle Bank, are known for their generous contributions of time and philanthropic support to the University of Nebraska and various other organizations and community endeavors.

About the University of Nebraska Foundation

The University of Nebraska Foundation grows relationships and resources that enable the University of Nebraska to change lives and save lives. Among U.S. public universities, total annual gifts in support of the University of Nebraska and its affiliates rank in the top 15, and its $1.7 billion total endowment is in the top 25. Donors restrict 99 percent of all gifts and assets to a specific use by the university. The foundation was named to America’s Favorite Charities in 2018 by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. More information is at

Food and shelter insecurities are an unfortunate reality for students at Nebraska and nationwide.

Those inspired to support the University of Nebraska–Lincoln during the communitywide Give to Lincoln Day on May 30 are encouraged to contribute to the the Huskers Helping Huskers Pantry+.

One in three students at Nebraska worries about not having enough food to eat. Gifts will benefit the Huskers Helping Huskers Pantry+ and support its work in providing free food and hygiene supplies to students in need throughout the year.

Huskers Pantry has helped more than 800 students since it opened in 2017 with more than 5,500 people visiting the pantry. During the last semester alone, an average of more than 92 students visited Huskers Pantry each week.

Gifts can be made on May 30 or any time before then.

Huskers Helping Huskers Pantry+ is partnering with the University of Nebraska Foundation to promote the support on May 30 for university community members who are in need.

Give to Lincoln Day is an annual 24-hour event that encourages people to contribute to Lincoln and Lancaster County nonprofit organizations on May 30, 2019. Give to Lincoln Day at is coordinated by the Lincoln Community Foundation in partnership with local nonprofit organizations.

Every donation makes a bigger impact on Give to Lincoln Day, because nonprofits also get a proportional share of a $450,000 match fund made possible by LCF and generous sponsors.

ABOUT THIS PHOTO: Casey Seger, museum registrar (left), Fred Hoppe, museum benefactor; Erin Jones Graf, museum artists-in-residence; Julie Hoppe, museum benefactor; and Ashley Hussman, museum administrator and curator, celebrate “Among the Purple Lupine,” a painting by Jones Graf that joined the museum’s collection. The Hoppes’ provided a donation that enabled the museum to develop a permanent space for its Elizabeth Rubendall Artist-in-Residence program. Jones Graff is the first visiting artists to use the new space designed as an art studio and public education lab.

The Great Plains Art Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln held a grand opening for the new Elizabeth Rubendall Artist-in-Residence Studio and Education Lab on April 5, 2019.

Fred and Julie Hoppe of Lincoln provided a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation which made the development of the studio and public education lab possible. The space is named in honor of Fred Hoppe’s aunt, Elizabeth Rubendall, and is located on the lower level of the museum.

Since its inception in 2006, the Elizabeth Rubendall Foundation has funded the artist-in-residence program, which allows museum visitors and school groups to see an artist in action. The program brings an artist to Lincoln each year to create a piece of artwork at the museum that will become part of its permanent collection.

Erin Jones Graf, a fine art oil and pastel painter from Bozeman, Montana, is the 2019 Elizabeth Rubendall Artist-in-Residence and is the inaugural artist-in-residence for the opening of the new studio and education lab.

“I was beyond surprised at the enormity and functionality of the space when I walked in,” said Jones Graf, whose work largely depicts the landscapes in which she grew up surrounded by where she lives currently. “The opportunities of what can happen in the studio are vast.”

Over the past two weeks, museum visitors including community members, students and faculty had the opportunity to experience Jones Graf’s exhibition “Montana: Prairies to Peaks.” They also had the opportunity to talk to her about her work and see her new painting titled “Among the Purple Lupine” which is the newest addition to the permanent collection of the Great Plains Art Museum.

“Julie and I are proud to have donated the Rubendall Artist-in-Residence Studio and Education Lab which will give the Great Plains Art Museum dedicated space for educational activities,” Fred Hoppe said. “The purpose of an artist-in-residence is to share talent, technique and inspiration. It is hoped that this new space will make interactivity between artist and onlooker simple, direct and comfortable; thus, enhancing the experience.”

Ashley Hussman, Great Plains Art Museum administrator and curator, said the new space will positively impact the community.

“This new studio not only provides a beautiful and functional space for our annual artist-in-residence, but it also allows the museum to expand its educational programming and collaborations with campus and the local community,” Hussman said. “We are so thankful for the Hoppes’ generosity and their continued support of the museum.”

The Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St., is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and admission is free. For information call 402-472-6220.

This article was written by Jessica Moore, public relations intern at the University of Nebraska, who studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Students still benefit from first endowed scholarship created in 1930s

ABOUT THIS PHOTO: Chloe Christensen (left) and Justin Tran are 2018-19 recipients of the Edward J. Cornish Scholarship, which is the oldest endowed scholarship at the University of Nebraska Foundation.

For many students, a scholarship award means much more than life-changing financial support.

These students hear about luncheons and award ceremonies where student recipients are able to thank the donors who generously established scholarship funds. They picture themselves at these events in their most respectable clothes, shaking hands with the person who will impact their education.

When University of Nebraska–Lincoln junior Justin Tran found out he received the Edward J. Cornish scholarship, he had that type of moment.

The food science and technology major said that if he could, he would sit down with Mr. Cornish, tell him how appreciative he is for the scholarship he received and talk about his journey as a college student and how he has been progressing throughout the years.

The late Edward Cornish graduated from the University of Nebraska and became chairman of the National Lead Company in New York. In 1937, a year after the University of Nebraska Foundation was founded, he made a gift to establish the first permanently endowed scholarship fund there to forever support the education of Nebraska students.

At the time, his gift was valued at $14,400 and was comprised of cash, stocks and some Jersey cattle. Today, his investment has a market value of about $90,000. Annual income from the endowment provides one or two scholarships a year to students studying in the UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

As a first-generation college student, Tran didn’t always plan on attending UNL. He started out in culinary school and graduated, but he was seeking something more. After some research, he chose to enroll in the food science program at UNL where he is learning the science behind food.

“I’m extremely grateful for it, because it does help me stay more focused on school rather than focusing on going into work,” Tran said about receiving a Cornish Scholarship. “It helps pay for many things around school: tuition, books — anything a student would need money for. You can imagine how tough it might be without a scholarship.”

In contrast to Tran’s experience, many of Chloe Christensen’s family members are University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumni. As a Lincoln native, Christensen knew she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother and older sister and join the sea of red.

A junior studying food science technology, Christensen said her passion for food science came from watching her mother deal with food intolerances.

“When she first started getting sick, I became interested in what goes into food and what kind of regulations they put on food,” she said.

Christensen was relieved when she found out she received the Cornish Scholarship. She said going into debt as a 20-year-old isn’t something she wanted to face and wishes she could thank the donor for impacting students throughout the years.

“I think it’s really amazing that it’s still around and something that’s really relevant today,” Christensen said. “Someone who has donated to this school really sets a precedence for what we do here at the university. It’s just a really big part of my life, and I feel really thankful for anyone who donates.”

In the future, Christensen hopes to pursue food product development or quality.

Tran wants to be involved with food research and development.

Both of them share gratitude for a fellow Nebraska graduate they will never meet who had the desire and foresight to invest in their education back in 1937.

If you’re interested in establishing your own named scholarship fund, please contact us at or call 800-432-3216.

This article was written by Jessica Moore, public relations intern at the University of Nebraska Foundation. She hails from Kansas and is a senior at the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications.