Foundation Awards $178,000 to University of Nebraska at Kearney

Robb Crouch
director of public relations, University of Nebraska Foundation; Office 402.458.1142; Mobile, 402.304.3085;

UNK- The University of Nebraska at Kearney has received more than $178,000 in funding from the University of Nebraska Foundation’s annual grants program.

“Given the current financial climate, we’re especially pleased to award grants in support of projects aligned with campus priorities and the university’s overall strategic framework,” said Brian Hamilton of Grand Island, a member of the University of Nebraska Foundation’s board of directors and chair of the grants committee. “We’re extremely thankful for the ongoing and generous support from donors across Nebraska and the country who make this support possible.”

The UNK Department of Physics and Physical science received a grant of $128,725 for new telescopes and accessories for the  observatory located on the roof of Bruner Hall of Science. This support enhances instruction and research opportunities for classes in astronomy and earth science, reaching more than 300 students each year.

Support for the observatory also extends the university’s outreach activities to schools in the region and to the general public. The observatory is open to the public for scheduled events and programs throughout the year.

The College of Business and Technology received a grant of $50,000 for the industrial distribution program in the Department of Industrial Technology. The financial support will enrich industrial distribution instruction and provide practical learning opportunities for students that mirror operational realities they will find in actual business settings.

The university’s industrial technology department is the only program in Nebraska accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology at the undergraduate level and is one of only 55 programs of its kind in the nation. Earlier this year, the program was named one of the top in the nation by the University Sales Education Foundation, and it was the only Nebraska program listed in Selling Power Magazine’s list of top national and international programs.

UNK Chancellor Douglas Kristensen expressed appreciation for the grants, noting, “Much of what we do at UNK is dependent upon the generosity of friends and alumni and, of course, the University Foundation. Taxes alone cannot bear the entire financial burden; therefore, we are especially grateful for the recent funding to support projects that will advance our priorities, enrich opportunities for students and enhance teaching capabilities.”

The University of Nebraska Foundation’s board of directors awarded $1.17 million across the university system for the 2009 grants program. Much of the annual grant resources are made available from unrestricted donations to the foundation. The chancellors submit proposals annually for the grant money, and the proposals are aligned with the university’s strategic framework, as outlined by the University of Nebraska president.

For a complete list of the grants awarded to the University of Nebraska for 2009-2010, visit

The University of Nebraska Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that has raised private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for 73 years. Last year, it provided more than $130 million—the most ever—for students, faculty, academic programs, research, and for campus and building improvements on all four campuses.