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Ed and Betty Cook of Kearney will receive the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Nebraska at Kearney on Friday (May 4) during spring commencement ceremonies at the Health and Sports Center.
The Cooks are the first to receive the prestigious award since UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen became chancellor in 2002. The two are being honored for their commitment to UNK students.
“The Cooks’ commitment to the students of UNK is grounded in their belief that education should be challenging and, in turn, empowering,” Chancellor Kristensen said.
Four years ago, the couple established a significant scholarship that is awarded annually to five talented incoming students. The selected students continue to receive scholarship support throughout their undergraduate careers. Currently, 20 UNK students are Cook Scholars.
The first Cook Scholar to graduate was Alicia Mueller of Grand Island, who graduated cum laude with a B.S. in political science in December.
Three Cook Scholars will receive their diplomas on Friday. The three include Abigail Om, a studio art major from Auburn; Martin “Marty” Demoret, a psychology major from Scottsbluff; and Chance Klasek, a business administration comprehensive major from Western.
The Cooks lived most of their lives in Lexington where Ed was a practicing attorney and then president of the First State Bank of Gothenburg. The Cooks moved to Kearney in 2000.