Investing in Education: One Student’s UNK Journey

“I want donors to know that their support is not just a financial contribution, but it’s an investment in the future of students like me…”

William Otte’s pursuit of a fulfilling academic journey was made possible through scholarships. 

Growing up in the small town of O’Neill, Nebraska, Otte always knew that he wanted to pursue a higher education. Determined to make his dream a reality, he set out to secure funding for his college career. Otte recalls spending almost every Saturday during the winter of his senior year in high school at a coffee shop filling out scholarship applications. 

“If I wanted to go to college, I was going to have to figure out a way to pay for it myself for the most part,” said Otte. 

Otte received the Susan T. Buffett Scholarship and the Board Regents Scholarship, which combined to fund a large portion of his higher education. All that was left was to determine which University of Nebraska campus to attend for the next four years. The University of Nebraska at Kearney was the natural choice. His parents met at UNK, the campus was beautiful, and it provided a familiar small-town experience.

Beginning as a chemistry major and now a junior with a history education major and a minor in philosophy, Otte has leveraged his scholarships to explore diverse interests. He plans to continue this exploration in the future through traveling the world and pursuing his career.

Otte plans to become a history and philosophy teacher at a small-town Catholic school. He wants to bring classical liberal arts to smaller communities like his hometown.  

“I know that some of the more urban, bigger cities have those (classes), but that’s not always an opportunity in the smaller areas,” Otte said.

Otte wants to teach high school students that there are virtues to strive for, beyond stories, in contemporary and classical literature. When students strive to align their actions with these virtues, he said, they can change their life in the process.

Without financial support, Otte believes his life would be vastly different today. He hopes donors recognize the positive impact scholarships have had on his, and other students’ lives. 

“I want donors to know that their support is not just a financial contribution, but it’s an investment in the future of students like me, and the impact of that investment goes far beyond the classroom,” said Otte. 

Donating to the University of Nebraska helps fund scholarships that provide freedom for students like Otte to explore their passions and interests. Please consider making a gift today to help us create more opportunities for UNK students.

UNK Fund

Student Scholarships

A gift to this fund bolsters the general student scholarship aid available to students within any UNK college.