NU Foundation honors Roger Jones with Distinguished Development Service award

Kathy and Marc LeBaron of Lincoln and Roger Jones of Minden have received the top service awards of the University of Nebraska Foundation.

A University of Nebraska at Kearney alumnus, Jones received the Harlan J. Noddle Award for Distinguished Development Service. It is given to a former or current university or foundation employee who provides exemplary service in development while demonstrating values of integrity, commitment, initiative and more.

Jones oversaw the integration of the Kearney State College Foundation with the University of Nebraska Foundation when the Kearney campus joined the University of Nebraska system in 1992. Long before the integration, he built relationships and the trust needed to merge the two foundations and continued to lay the groundwork for future fundraising success for UNK.

Roger Jones, with his wife Rita, received the Harlan J. Noddle Award for Distinguished Development Service. It is given to a former or current university or foundation employee who provides exemplary service in development.

He retired from the University of Nebraska Foundation in 2006.

“Roger has been extremely helpful to the UNK Alumni Association and University of Nebraska Foundation because he has known just about every UNK graduate from 1960 and on,” said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “Roger knows everybody. That was a great asset as he helped us develop a true major gift development enterprise following our integration with the university system. He helped people see the impact that could be made through philanthropy.”

The LeBarons received the Perry W. Branch Distinguished Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes the foundation’s top volunteers.

The LeBarons are alumni of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Kathy LeBaron served on the foundation’s board of directors and is a founder of Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN), which provides funds to worthy projects at the university and across the state.

Marc LeBaron was an original member of 2015 Vision, a coalition of Lincoln business and civic leaders who pledged and raised support for projects to strengthen research and education, create jobs and open new opportunities for Lincoln and Nebraska. Among the projects backed by the group was the creation of Pinnacle Bank Arena, which is home to Husker basketball. LeBaron is also the chair of NUtech Ventures, the technology commercialization affiliate of the University of Nebraska.

The LeBarons have been trustees of the University of Nebraska Foundation since 1991.

“Kathy and Marc LeBaron have been incredibly generous to UNL, including support for the College of Business and helping to build its new home, Howard L. Hawks Hall,” said UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green. “They have generously supported the Sheldon Museum of Art, and they supported the construction of Pinnacle Bank Arena and the John Breslow Ice Hockey Center—game changers for our university, impacting our ability to recruit and retain students and faculty and engage with our campus and broader community. We also greatly appreciate Kathy’s involvement with Women Investing in Nebraska.”

University of Nebraska Foundation President and CEO Brian Hastings said the awards recognize great individuals who have given back to the University of Nebraska.

“There are a lot of things that people could learn from Kathy and Mark LeBaron,” he said.” I don’t know if it’s just about their volunteer spirit as much as it is about their character and the type of people they are. Roger Jones’ reputation is that of a problem solver. He brought people together at an important time to advance the Kearney campus. We are proud to honor Roger Jones and Kathy and Marc LeBaron with our top service awards.”

The awards were presented at the University of Nebraska Foundation’s annual meeting of trustees on Friday.