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Campaign for Nebraska. Unlimited Possibilities

The Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities

The best of 2013

We're thankful that so many great people shared their stories with us in 2013. We're thankful for you, too, for reading them and sharing them with your friends on social media and sending us notes and comments.

We feel lucky when you add your own comments to these stories, as "proudhusker" did in his comments after reading last month's story on World War II veteran Don Swanson:

What a great story... a good man doing good things. There IS no place like Nebraska.

Or this e-mail we received in October from a woman named Lucille:

This is a fabulous mailing, interesting and informative. I'm a 1946 graduate, widow, living on pretty much fixed income, but will be sending a gift when I can.

So as we wind down this year and get ready for another, we partake in an end-of-year tradition – compiling a "best of" list. Here then are the most clicked, most shared and most viewed stories of 2013:

  1. Buffett gives students priceless advice.
    A young woman stood before the third-richest man in the world – Warren Buffett – one day this past May and asked him about something almost everybody in the world wants:


    Here's what he told her.
  2. Generous donor was born. He lived. He gave.
    Don Swanson keeps a small treasure in a box in his bedroom.

    "I wouldn't ever think of parting with it," the 91-year-old says. He smiles.

    It's a piece of shrapnel.
  3. Married best friends feel it's good to give.
    They fell in love at UNL. On graduation day, they kissed in caps and gowns in front of Love Library. His gown still had the wrinkles from the box. Her gown was neatly pressed. (She was a home-ec major.)

    Roy and Sharon Smith owe a lot of their happiness to the university.

    So they decided to help students like the ones they used to be.
  4. UNK's bad storm damage brings out good in people.
    The phone call came at 3:30 a.m. with the shocking news:

    The storm blew the roof off the library.

    My library?

    That was Janet Stoeger Wilke's first thought. She is the dean of the library at UNK. She phoned Dee Urwiller, who coordinates the emergency plans for the library, and both rushed there to help save its books.
  5. Gift enables professor to discuss the evil that men do.
    The German police officers of Battalion 101 were normal men, not monsters. Before the war they had been farmers and factory workers, truck drivers and teachers, husbands and fathers... Not rabid Nazis.

    Yet these normal men shot thousands of Jews point blank, including children, even though their Army leader had told them they didn't have to.

    Step away if you can't stomach it.

    Most didn't. Why?

    "Why is this so important?" asks the professor standing at the front of the classroom, who looks the same age as his students despite a bowtie and beard.

And here is a list of another kind.
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when you are feeling sad (because you have people on your holiday shopping list and you have no idea what to get them), simply remember a few of our favorite things:

  1. Help Archie stand tall at Morrill Hall.
    A gift to the Morrill Hall Fund would help the popular museum at UNL with what its main needs are right now.
  2. A top-shelf selection.
    Help the libraries at UNL, UNK, UNO and UNMC.
  3. Help the heroes.
    Military Times recently ranked UNO as the top public university in the nation for military friendliness for 2014, and the second-ranked university overall. Maybe make a gift to the UNO MaV USO Military and Veteran Fund for Excellence?
  4. Be part of a legend.
    The Nebraska Legends Scholarship brings the brightest students to UNL and is a big part of UNL's efforts to reach 30,000 students by 2017.
  5. Make a school kid smile.
    The Dental Day Fund supports the UNMC College of Dentistry's annual day of dental care for underserved children.
  6. Share your blessings with these people.
    The UNMC Sharing Clinic provides high-quality, low-cost health care and human services to people in need who live in the greater Omaha area.
  7. Because we'll all need a nurse.
    The Lincoln Division of the UNMC College of Nursing turns away many qualified applicants each year because of inadequate facilities. Consider helping the University of Nebraska raise $5.5 million in private funds in order to secure the $12 million in public funds appropriated by the Legislature to build a new building for nursing students in Lincoln.
  8. Danke! Gracias! ... Misaotra betsaka! (If you're in Madagascar.)
    Global Engagement is one of the top priorities of University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken and one of the top goals of the Campaign for Nebraska. One reason is because it enriches Nebraska in so many ways.
  9. Be the book thief...
    And consider buying a book for the kids who come to UNL's Schmoker Reading Center on East Campus, where students learn teaching skills while helping kids learn to read.
  10. Bridge the distance between here and Israel.
    UNO's Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish studies hopes to expand knowledge about Judaism and Israel, both on university campus and in the broader Nebraska community, and promotes collaboration in teaching and research with academic institutions in Israel.
  11. One room. One Teacher. One wall of honor.
    Join others in UNK's popular One Room. One Teacher program that honors one-room teachers, and consider adding a teacher's name to the wall of honor.
  12. Help mend a broken heart.
    Regenerative medicine is a broad definition for innovative therapies that will enable the body to repair, replace, restore and regenerate damaged or diseased cells, tissues and organs. UNMC's Regenerative Medicine scientists are on the forefront of this research – including research on how to repair a damaged heart after a heart attack.
  13. Build a home for the future Warren Buffetts.
    A gift to the UNL CBA Building Fund would help support the new College of Business Administration building that UNL plans to build on City Campus.

Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

Campaign for Nebraska. Unlimited Possibilities

The University of Nebraska Foundation is involved in a comprehensive fundraising campaign to fund university priorities such as student scholarships, faculty recruitment, research and program support. To learn more about the Campaign for Nebraska, or to contribute, go to

Donate Now

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska. In 2013, donors provided $236.7 million for scholarships, research, academic programs, faculty and facilities. The foundation's comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Nebraska, concludes Dec. 31, 2014.

For more information, visit

Donate Now

Thank you

"I am very grateful to have received this scholarship and I will work hard to make good use of it. Receiving this scholarship helped me answer the question as to whether or not I would be able to attend college. Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the University of Nebraska."

- Eric A. Skiles

Read more messages from students at:
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Campaign priorities

Student Support
Early Childhood
Water for Food
Agriculture & Life Sciences
Architectural Engineering and Construction
Global Engagement
Faculty Support

Campus-based priorities

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of Nebraska at Omaha
University of Nebraska Medical Center
University of Nebraska at Kearney

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