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University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Nebraska Business Magazine

2022 | Online Edition

2022 cover


Hawks Hall Logo

Message from the Dean

When we first opened the doors of Howard L. Hawks Hall five years ago, it was a momentous occasion for Nebraska. The new College of Business was the first academic project of this magnitude in the university’s recent history – and due to the generosity of our alumni and friends, it was fully funded through private donations. Built by alumni for future alumni.

So much more than bricks and mortar, Hawks Hall set the bar high. It represented our emergence as a premier business school and a contender in the Big Ten among the most prestigious public business schools in the world.

Hawks Hall inspired and challenged us to aim high and think big as we created our college’s strategic plan. With a new mission statement, guiding principles, and success-enabling goals, we continued to build our college inside Hawks Hall.

Howard L. Hawks.

When you’re in a business like mine, you find that just about everything depreciates. This building is different. Just think about the incredible teaching and learning that will take place in this building, the opportunities for faculty and student collaboration and the new ideas that will result, and the impact these graduates will have on our workforce for generations to come. This building isn’t going to lose value over time. It’s going to appreciate.

Howard L. Hawks, ’56



Hawks Hall continues to inspire and challenge us to aim high and think big. It’s where research, collaboration and innovation solve problems, and business is taught to be used as a force for good.

It’s a home away from home for our students and a hub for our greater Nebraska Business community.

View the Five-Year Timeline

Entrepreneurial Efforts

Funding Nebraska's Early-State Startups

Building upon a successful first year that included investing $100,000 in Nebraskan startups and winning the university’s Outstanding New Student Organization Award, Husker Venture Fund (HVF) student leaders set goals to grow their impact on the state and the future of venture capital investing.

“It was awesome to see all the hard work done by our first managing directors last year, who built HVF from the ground up, pay off in a tangible way. It’s thrilling to win such a great award, as it pushes us to be better,” said Maria Heyen, a senior international business and Clifton Builders management major from Astoria, Oregon, and one of three students serving on the HVF executive team.

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Husker Venture Fund

Bowman Starts Student-Led NIL Advisor Program

Starting the first peer-led Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) Advisor program at Nebraska, Bowman helps student-athletes navigate NIL and campus resources to build a business around themselves.

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Thomsen, Franchise Owners Reinvigorate Franchising

Lindsay Thomsen speaking at women lead.

Before founding the global home health care franchise Home Instead, Paul Hogan, ’85, first started a franchise club at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln after a franchising course inspired him. Lindsay Thomsen, ’01 & ’03, assistant professor of practice in management and director of business development for the Center for Entrepreneurship, joined the College of Business to relaunch Nebraska Franchise Club and teach a fall franchising course with help from Hogan and other successful franchise owners in the spring.

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Alumni Giving Back

Koehlers Establish $1M Endowment for Building

Paul, ’76, and Mary Ann (Czeschin), ’77, Koehler donated $1 million to establish a permanently endowed fund for the College of Business. The endowment will provide annual support to the college to make enhancements at Hawks Hall.

“We are grateful to Paul and Mary Ann Koehler for their generous gift that will allow us to continue to enhance our building,” said Dean Kathy Farrell. “This endowed fund will help students, staff, faculty, alumni and business partners in the college forever by ensuring that we have the highest-quality facility in which to teach and learn about an ever-evolving business world.”

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Paul and Mary Ann Koehler
Aakriti Agrawal Makes Impact Through Nonprofits

Recently nominated for the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for social impact, Aakriti Agrawal, ’16 & ’22, champions making a difference at work and in her communities. An award-winning nonprofit founder and data governance expert, she recently graduated from the MBA@Nebraska program in May and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to launch her career as a manager of data governance at American Express (AmEx), a Fortune 100 company.

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Ling Ling Harris
Van Horne Creates Legacy for Future Generations

Opening for big entertainers like AC/DC and Pat Benatar, J. E. Van Horne Jr., ’75, took his business degree from Nebraska on the road making a career as a musician and sound engineer. Adding a surprise encore, Van Horne decided to match the funding for not one but three endowed chairs at Nebraska Business – with the third to be named by Jim and Georgia, ’72, (Lord) Thompson.

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Brenden Timpe
Financial Advising Career Highlights Kelley's Achievements

Richard “Dick” Kelley, ’60, graduated from Nebraska Business ready to gain on-the-job experience before settling into a long-term career. Fifty-five years later, his decision to help others through financial advising supports countless families and laid the foundation for philanthropic contributions bettering the lives of the Nebraska Business community.

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Ling Ling Harris

Impactful Research and Engagement

Omer Publishes in Top Six Accounting Journals With Former Students

Tom Omer interacting with a student.

Currently ranked No. 1 in archival tax all topics, No. 2 in archival tax and No. 5 in archival audit in the BYU Accounting Research Productivity Rankings, Tom Omer joined the College of Business in 2013 as the first Delmar A. Lienemann Sr. Chair of Accounting. While elevating research at Nebraska and guiding Ph.D. students, Omer joined an elite group of academics who published in all six top accounting journals – with all six co-authored by former students he helped teach and mentor.

“Ph.D. students are the future of research, and I want to pass along anything that will make their careers better because they are prepared,” said Omer, who teaches seminars as the Ph.D. coordinator for the School of Accountancy. “We are social scientists, and when faculty begin to work with students to publish articles, that raises their stature and reduces the time spent trying to figure out what they want to do with their careers.”

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Varkey Titus Jr., Izu Mbaraonye and Mirzokhidjon Abdurakhmonov

Ph.D. Student Prepares to Lead as Faculty Through Support of Mentors

Izu Mbaraonye, Ph.D. student in management, hoped to satisfy his own curiosities about management practices within companies by pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business. Now in his fifth year and in the job market, Mbaraonye feels more prepared than ever to serve in a faculty role thanks to the mentorship and research opportunities he received at Nebraska.

“I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in management because I wanted an area that allowed for a more holistic understanding of companies. Management is uniquely positioned in that management research seeks to understand companies at all levels of analysis,” he said.

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Transformation and Outreach

Standing Bear
Nebraska Business at Standing Bear Begins Fall 2023

Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) and the College of Business are joining together to launch Nebraska Business at Standing Bear High School. The newest LPS focus program opens in...

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Honors Academy
10 Years of Impact: Nebraska Business Honors Academy

Whether founding their own insurance company, leading marketing campaigns for an on-the-rise bank or graduating from Harvard Law, Nebraska Business Honors Academy graduates make...

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IBL students
Sophomores Mentor Second Cohort of Inclusive Business Leaders

As members of the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Business Leaders Program (IBL), sophomores Naree Philavanh and Niko Schultz joined the program set on advancing...

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TLC donors and students
Teaching and Learning Center Elevates Education at College of Business

Since opening in 2017, the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) supplements and advances education in the College of Business. Students, faculty and staff benefit from the...

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Christine Weeks
Builders Consult with Businesses to Enhance Lincoln Workplace

Christine Weeks, CEO of Eleanor Creative, sought to maximize strengths-based coaching at her branding agency. Through a consulting project with students in the Clifton Builders...

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MBA strengths
Strengths-Based Leadership Expands into MBA@Nebraska

Students in the No. 1 ranked MBA@Nebraska program for best value by Financial Times regularly apply what they learn to their careers in real time. First offered this summer, a...

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Powerful Scholarships

First-Generation Student Shares Importance of Scholarship

A sophomore accounting major and business analytics minor from Lincoln, Nebraska, Alex Nguyen shared his story at the Nebraska Business Scholarship Brunch in September. The event brought student scholarship fund recipients and scholarship donors together to connect and engage, share stories and learn about one another.

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alex nguyen
DeFusco Honored With Tribute Scholarship

The college’s Department of Finance Advisory Board recognized Richard DeFusco for nearly 40 years of outstanding leadership and service by establishing the Richard DeFusco Tribute Scholarship in September.

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Richard DeFusco with his tribute scholarship

Donor Appreciation

Thank You to Our Donors

Thank you to our countless donors and supporters who made gifts to the College of Business this past year. The College of Business lives out its mission to drive discovery, create opportunity and empower individuals to lead the future of business because of our donors.

Donor List
Nebraska outline in white


Support the College of Business

Howard L. Hawks.

A building is but an empty shrine without the scholarships to attract the best and brightest students and endowed chairs to support the innovative educators that will develop those future leaders. While we head into the locker room at halftime feeling good with some momentum and a nice lead, it’s going to take an equally successful second half of philanthropy to secure the victory our students so richly deserve.

We have the best building. Now we need to have the best college and that’s what we’re going to count on everybody to help us achieve. It’s your philanthropy that makes a difference and contributes to the well-being of humankind and our students.

There truly is no place like Nebraska. Go Big Red!

Tonn Ostergard, ’81
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Nebraska Business Development Team

Application Requirements

1 Amy Kloefkorn, ’08
Senior Director of Development
402-458-1175 |

2 Justin Swanson, ’11
Director of Development
402-458-1280 |

3 Joey Felici, ’14
Director of Development
402-458-1282 |

4 Corrie Loper, ’07
Director of Development
402-458-1230 |