By TYLER ELLYSON
KEARNEY – Nate Grimm wants his fellow University of Nebraska at Kearney graduates to stop and smell the roses.
“But I’ll never say that,” he notes, “because I think I’d get a lot of eye rolls.”
Maybe those exact words are a little too cliché, but his address during UNK’s spring commencement will convey the same message.
He’ll talk about slowing down and taking a moment to appreciate the day and celebrate everything they’ve accomplished.
“I tried to have my time at UNK be the best it can be, and I’m thankful for it all,” Grimm said.
The Fremont native graduates Friday with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in coaching. He was selected to speak at the ceremony, giving him the perfect platform to reflect on the past four years.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here,” he said. “I definitely made the right choice by going to UNK.”
Grimm excelled academically, posting a perfect 4.0 GPA, but the opportunities he had outside the classroom are what really stand out.
“A lot of the lessons and skills I’ve learned have come from being in organizations and being in leadership positions,” he said. “That’s something I knew I wanted to do going into college. I’ve always been someone who wants to take advantage of every opportunity.”
Grimm didn’t have any trouble finding ways to get involved at UNK. He joined the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity during his first semester on campus and went on to hold various leadership positions within the chapter, including president. He also served as an executive member and delegate for the Interfraternity Council and was named UNK’s Greek Man of the Year for 2021-22.
“Once you get involved in campus organizations, more opportunities come up,” he said. “It’s easy to branch out into other areas.”
Grimm’s involvement extended across campus. He was a member of the UNK Honors Program, Chancellor’s Ambassadors, Loper Leaders, Greeks Advocating for Healthy Lifestyles and several honor societies.
As an Undergraduate Research Fellow, he studied student-athlete mental health and presented his work at the Great Plains Psychology Convention and Midwestern Psychological Association annual meeting. He also served as the human subjects coordinator for the Department of Psychology and tutored students through the UNK Learning Commons.
In the community, Grimm volunteered with TOPSoccer, Buddy Bowling, Habitat for Humanity and the Residential Assistance to Families in Transition program, and he’s been an assistant track and field coach at both Gibbon Public Schools and Kearney High School.
“That’s something I wanted to experience,” he said. “I knew what it was like to be an athlete, but I wanted to see what it takes to be a coach.”
A homecoming royalty finalist and recipient of the UNK Alumni Association’s Outstanding Senior award, Grimm plans to pursue a master’s degree in sport, exercise and performance psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Professionally, he wants to work with collegiate athletes through a university athletic department.
“I think my experience at UNK prepared me to take that next step,” he said.