Buckle Excellence Scholarship announced for UNK students

Robb Crouch
director of public relations, University of Nebraska Foundation; Office 402.458.1142; Mobile, 402.304.3085; rcrouch@nufoundation.org

Derek and Rachel UNK Students
University of Nebraska at Kearney students Derek McNeil and Rachel Decker, both of Kearney, Neb., are website systems development interns at Buckle.

The company long known for helping young adults look their best is also helping them learn the best with a new scholarship and career development program created by The Buckle, Inc. (“Buckle”) at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

A permanent endowment in the name of Buckle has been established with a $150,000 gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation to provide annual scholarship awards for students interested in careers related to computer science or information technology.

Each year, two $3,000 scholarships will be awarded to students in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems who meet certain academic requirements. A scholarship will be awarded every year to an incoming freshman, and a second scholarship will be awarded during the student’s sophomore year based on academic achievement.

John La Duke, dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences, expressed appreciation to Buckle’s management and IT professionals for supporting students.

“Our Department of Computer Science and Information Systems faculty work very hard to not only train but also mentor students to be professionals,” La Duke said. “Buckle’s interest in helping our students excel is admirable, and we look forward to strengthening this interaction.”

La Duke also lauded the company for starting a student internship program and for hiring numerous computer science and information systems graduates over the years. Buckle also offers its employees for classroom presentations and gives students opportunities to visit the company’s headquarters and operations.

Dennis Nelson, president of Buckle, said, “Buckle recognizes the importance of establishing a strong technical workforce in Nebraska. By supporting the computer science program at UNK, Buckle hopes to encourage and support the growth of that workforce and the development of future IT professionals. Buckle’s IT teams provide innovative solutions that impact all functions of our business. So, naturally, we’re excited to support the growth and development of computer science students and strengthen our relationship with UNK going forward.”

The company is also involved with UNK’s Computer Science and Information Systems Advisory Council, which provides leadership and advice to the department related to programs and student needs.

The endowment created by the company supports the university’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, and its goal to raise $50 million for UNK needs. Increasing available student scholarships is a top campaign priority for the university.

Offering a unique mix of high-quality, on-trend apparel, accessories, and footwear, Buckle caters to fashion-conscious men and women. Known as a denim destination, each store carries a wide selection of fits, styles, and finishes from leading denim brands, including the company’s exclusive brand, BKE. Headquartered in Kearney, Neb., Buckle currently operates 439 retail stores in 43 states.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has connected the dreams and passions of donors to the mission of the university for more than 75 years. In 2011, donors gave a record $172 million in gifts for scholarships, academic programs, medical research and other priorities at the university. The foundation’s fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, concludes in 2014. For more information, visit campaignfornebraska.org.