The Trailblazer Award was first given in 2000 to honor outstanding support and generous contributions to women's athletics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2007, following Dr. Hibner's death, the prestigious award was renamed the Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award in honor of the longtime member of the Nebraska Athletic Department and the inaugural recipient of the award.
Past winners of the award, in addition to Hibner, are the Raimondi family in 2001, Ione Bowlin in 2002, the Betty Geis family in 2003, Carol Frost in 2004, Pinnacle Sports Productions in 2005, Dr. Joanne Owens Nauslar in 2006, current head softball coach Rhonda Revelle in 2007, the Stephen Rohman family in 2008 and former NU volleyball head coach Terry Pettit in 2009.
Tom Hendricks serves as the executive vice president and co-founder of Tenaska Inc., one of the largest independent power producers in the United States. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Pipe Creek, Texas.
After conveying to Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne that they wanted to help Nebraska student-athletes compete for championships, the Hendricks family made a $10 million donation to jump-start the fundraising effort for the Huskers' new basketball practice facility that will be used by the women's and men's basketball teams.
The facility, set to open for the 2011-12 season, will be named the Hendricks Training Complex in honor of Tom, Mary and their children, Jennifer and Brandon. It will house women's and men's basketball practice courts, with new office suites and locker rooms, as well as a new wrestling practice facility and a new strength complex, training room and nutrition station that will be used by several other sports, including women's and men's track and field, golf, tennis and women's swimming and diving.
"This new practice facility is vital for student-athletes' game-day preparations as well as recruiting," Osborne said. "With the introduction of Title IX and women's athletics after the Devaney Center was built, we have two Division I basketball programs trying to effectively practice and compete on one floor, not to mention all of the other sports and activities that take place in the Devaney Center.
"We are very grateful for this most-generous gift from the Hendricks family and appreciate what they are doing for the future of our student-athletes and programs," Osborne said.