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Support Comes One Donation at a Time

“I don’t know when we have ever needed your support more than we need it right now. We need everyone, everywhere – individually and collectively – to help us bring our program back to the level where we all want it to be.” --  Nebraska Interim Athletic Director Tom Osborne 

Less than an hour after Bo Pelini was introduced as Nebraska’s head football coach, the phone rang in my office.

Consider This Great Gift Idea
For Your Favorite Husker Fan

Your favorite fan’s name on our Wall of Champions

Huskers.com has received several inquiries this week about a popular holiday gift idea – your favorite fan’s name engraved on our Wall of Champions inside the North Stadium entrance of the Osborne Athletic Complex.

For a $100 donation, you can ensure that your favorite fan’s name will be connected to the rich tradition of Nebraska athletics. For each additional $100 donation, you can add the names of other important Husker fans in your life.

Simply click this link or the links above this story to learn more or donate right now.

Checks to the Nebraska Athletic Department should be made payable to the University of Nebraska Foundation and sent to the Nebraska Athletic Development Office, P.O. Box 880154, Lincoln, NE., 68588-0154.

It was a gentleman named Jesse Halbgewachs, who had watched the Pelini-Tom Osborne press conference on Huskers.com in Virginia Beach, Va. He was so enthused about what he’d just seen, he’d written a $100 check and called to see where to send it.

“This is a proud day. Bo covered a lot of bases and hit on some very good things,” Halbgewachs said. “You always ask: ‘Were there any warm and fuzzy moments?’  For me personally, it was very touching when Coach Pelini said that Nebraska was a special place. He said it with such conviction and passion. The statement he made about Nebraska being a big family was also very touching.” 

Halbgewachs, a 34-year-old native of Gothenburg, Neb., and now a Baptist pastor in Tidewater, Va., is a University of Nebraska at Kearney graduate and a self-described “devoted member” of the Nebraska football family.

“I just want to show my support after what I just heard,” he said. “I heard an interim athletic director explain why he selected a defensive-minded coach and why it wasn’t good to re-invent the wheel on offense. That makes complete sense to me. 

“I liked the way both leaders handled themselves in the press conference,” Halbgewachs said. “Coach Pelini said how eager he was to learn from Coach Osborne, and he gave Coach Solich credit – comments that spoke volumes to me.

“I realize change doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s going to happen much quicker with an athletic director and a head coach focusing on reuniting the former players and showing everyone their respect and appreciation. That’s why I decided to write this check (which has been received).” 

Paul Meyers, associate athletic director-Development, says that unless otherwise stipulated, mailed-in donations get earmarked for the Husker Award Fund, which was established to provide funds for scholarships, operations, capital improvements and other special projects.

Derek Freeman, operations manager in NU’s Athletic Development Office, says $100 checks to the Husker Nation Championship Drive are by far the donation of choice for individual donors. “Right now, we have 2,680 accounts that have given $100 or less to our capital campaign,” he said. “All but about 400 of those accounts have given exactly $100.” 

Everyone who gives between $100 and $999 to the Husker Nation Championship Drive is listed on the Husker Nation Wall of Champions inside the front entrance of the Osborne Athletic Complex. The $1,000 and above contributors continue to be featured prominently on the wall closest to the 40-foot waterfall/fountain in the North Stadium lobby.

“We have plenty of room on our walls for more names from our growing Husker family,” Meyers said.

In an open letter to 55,000 Nebraska alums in the current issue of Nebraska Magazine, Osborne said he didn’t “know when we have ever needed your support more than we need it right now. We need everyone, everywhere – individually and collectively – to help us bring our program back to the level where we all want it to be.” 

Osborne also wrote that “Whether you choose to support us emotionally or financially – or both – rest assured that you can help us re-energize our department and renew our focus.”

He ended the letter, saying “Nebraska football is ingrained in my family like it is in your families. That’s why it is so important that we all unite with a shared vision and a commitment to re-establish the tradition few of us will ever take for granted again.” 

Let us know what you think of Osborne’s thoughts. Or feel free to share your views on how and why you support the program.

Editor’s note: Online contributions are the easiest method of making donations to the NU Athletic Department. Checks to the Nebraska Athletic Department should be made payable to the University of Nebraska Foundation and sent to the Nebraska Athletic Development Office, P.O. Box 880154, Lincoln, NE, 68588-0154.