Beavers awarded UNK Cope Cornerstone of Excellence award

Contact: Kelly Bartling, communications and community relations, 308-865-8455,

Kearney, Neb., May 8, 2013 – Longtime University of Nebraska at Kearney supporter Bill Beavers of Omaha is the 2013 recipient of the Ron and Carol Cope Cornerstone of Excellence Award. UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen presented Beavers the honor on May 3 during commencement exercises.

The Ron and Carol Cope Cornerstone of Excellence Award was established in 2003 and is presented to individuals who have provided significant service, support and promotion of UNK, the greater Kearney area, the state of Nebraska, and the objectives of higher education. Like the Copes, the recipient must be a true “cornerstone” of the university.  This is a universitywide award reviewed and approved by the Board of Regents. It is UNK’s highest campus honor.

Beavers is native of Kearney, a graduate of Kearney High School, and a 1958 graduate of Kearney State College where he was a four-year letter winner in basketball and track, a member of Phi Tau Gamma fraternity, and was elected Student Council President. He taught in Sutherland following graduation, then served in the U.S. Army before continuing his teaching career in Omaha. Later he joined Chiles and Company in Omaha and stayed as it evolved over the years to Ameritas Investment Corp. where he is currently a senior vice president.

Kristensen said, in bestowing the award: “Personally and professionally, Bill Beavers is both a generous and visible supporter of the University of Nebraska and a dedicated public servant.”

Beavers is a member of the NU President’s Club, the UNK and UNL Chancellor’s Circles, UNO Chancellor’s Club, and the Burnett Society. He has served as an NU Foundation Trustee since 1992 and as a member of UNK’s Campaign for Nebraska Committee since 2005. He created the Bill and Mary Ann Beavers Excellence Fund for the benefit of all NU campuses and the Bill and Mary Ann Beavers Basketball Fund for the benefit of UNK student athletes. He received the UNK Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987 and also served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Among his civic engagements is service with the Nebraska Diplomats, including two terms as president. He is currently secretary/treasurer of the Alegent Creighton Health Foundation Board.

“Bill has distinguished himself as a pillar of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the University of Nebraska as a whole, and of greater Nebraska. He exemplifies everything for which the Cope Award was created,” Kristensen said.