Last updated March 20, 2020

This is information about how the University of Nebraska Foundation is responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis as we continue our commitment to serving each of our valued stakeholders.

Given the challenges our state, country and world face now, the foundation remains more committed than ever to our extremely relevant mission to grow relationships and resources that enable the University of Nebraska to change lives and save lives.

“We are a team, and in times like this, teams rally,” said Brian Hastings, president and CEO. “I have every confidence that we will come through this situation as a stronger organization and with an even greater commitment and appreciation for our mission.”

How we’re responding

Our top priority is the health, safety and well-being of our team members, supporters, alumni and friends. While most foundation employees have been directed to work remotely, our offices — located in Kearney, Lincoln and Omaha — remain open. As we continue to receive and acknowledge all gifts made through the mail or online here at nufoundation.org, our commitment to our mission has become more important than ever.

For the safety of all involved, the foundation has suspended all travel by our team members outside Nebraska and has canceled or postponed gatherings and events, including those held in partnership with the University of Nebraska. In addition, meetings and direct interactions with donors, alumni, university personnel or other stakeholders will be held via video or phone or postponed to a later date.

The NU Foundation is monitoring the latest public health advisements and following updates from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, local health departments and our own experts at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and evaluate additional measures as needs arise.

Each campus — UNL, UNMC, UNO and UNK — has information available for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to help navigate this situation as best as possible. We’re especially proud of the important role that the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine, are taking in the battle against the coronavirus.

The University of Nebraska continues to be an information resource for the news media, including Esquire, CNN, Time, The New York Times and others.

How you can help during this uncertain time

A national emergency declaration in response to a pandemic virus is new to all of us, and as a fundraising organization, we want to be sensitive to the unique situation of every single student, every alumnus and every friend of the University of Nebraska.

With economic uncertainty a reality for many, we ask for financial support with extreme hesitation and prudence. At the same time, some in our university family have asked us how they can help. We’ve highlighted some funds on our website that allow you to help our students, patients and communities during this public health crisis.

From all of us at the foundation, our thoughts are with those around the world who are affected by the coronavirus and the challenges it brings. We encourage you to please take precautions to be safe, and, as always, thank you for all that you do for the University of Nebraska.

Here for you

We remain available to help and serve you. If you need information or assistance, please use any of these ways to reach us:

Skilled UNK graduates help Nebraska marketing firm succeed

About this photo: Graphic artist Jase Hueser earned six awards, including best of show, at the recent Nebraska ADDYs design competition. The 2018 UNK grad received the Daake Design Scholarship at UNK and was hired by Daake, a Nebraska-based marketing firm.

When many students head to college, their journey is often filled with discovering one’s abilities. But Jake Hueser, a recent University of Nebraska-Kearney graduate, always had a clear path. His talents were visible from the moment he stepped onto the UNK campus as a visual communication and design major.

“A lot of people assume that graphic design is just kind of this vapid profession where you make pretty pictures on a computer screen,” he said. “But there’s a lot of logic that goes into it, a lot of psychology.”

Heuser’s work ethic and artistic ability didn’t go unnoticed. He was awarded the Daake Design Scholarship during his academic career at UNK. Later, he received a job offer from the donors behind the scholarship.

Scholarship created to build future workforce

The Daake Design Scholarship fund was established in 2009 by UNK alumni Greg and Lisa Daake. Greg, a 1996 commercial art grad, and Lisa, a 1995 business administration grad, are the founders of Daake, an Omaha-based national design firm.

Their permanently endowed scholarship helps with tuition for a UNK student pursuing a degree in visual communication and design.

“I want that program to succeed. I want people to be interested in it,” Greg said. “I think it’s the best program in the state, and we’re just really thankful that we have the means to give back.”

The Daakes’ often hire student interns and full-time employees, too, with whom they share a UNK connection. Hueser was the latest student to get the opportunity.

“There is kind of a UNK DNA here,” Greg said about his company.

Graphic art a longtime passion for Jase Hueser

Hueser’s background in design extends back to his days at Papillion-La Vista South High School where he was already completing graphic design work for local clients.

“I always was really intrigued by art,” he said. “I think around junior high I started discovering art could translate into an actual vocation besides just studio work.”

His knowledge of computers allowed for his artistic abilities to translate into graphic design work. Hueser said he enjoys coming up with creative ways to communicate a message through logos, campaigns and promotional materials.

While in college, he was able to show off his passion and ability through the Nebraska ADDY awards. At the competition, he competed against student design majors from across the state and earned four golds, a silver and a special judges’ citation award.

“There was a lot of really great work from the other students,” he said. “It can be a bit intimidating to see the creativity coming from UNK and other Nebraska schools.”

Hueser’s work included a promotional package of movie posters, a wine bottle and social media and online components based on the 1944 film “Arsenic and Old Lace.” According to Hueser, the judges appreciated the cohesiveness of his design elements.

More than a scholarship, a relationship

The recent grad has his opportunities to thank for his successes. The Daake Design Scholarship allowed Heuser to develop a professional connection with the Daake family, while Hueser’s advanced UNK education allowed him to go above and beyond in his creative work.

Due to the Daakes’ generosity, we are able to see young men and women thrive in an outstanding UNK program.

“We have a special place in our heart for UNK,” Greg Daake said.

This article was written by Tyler Ellyson, UNK news writer, and was edited for this story by Jessica Moore, public relations intern at the University of Nebraska Foundation.