Alumnus Ron Lockard establishes computer science and engineering scholarship at UNL
Posted: Tue, May 17, 2016
University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumnus and former employee Ronald J. Lockard of McKinney, Texas, with a longtime career in computer science and entrepreneurship, has made a $100,000 gift to provide support for computer science and engineering students at the UNL College of Arts and Sciences.
The gift establishes the Lockard Family Scholarship and Fellowship Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation. The expendable fund will provide awards to undergraduate and graduate students who plan a profession in computer science and engineering, a career field the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects will increase more than 20 percent by 2022.
“The generous support by Ron Lockard and his family will provide opportunities for students from across Nebraska to pursue a degree in computing and will in turn help to create a larger and more diverse workforce for the state’s burgeoning technology industry,” said Matthew Dwyer, chair of the UNL computer science and engineering department. “Lockard Scholars have the chance to study and learn in a world-class program and then to work in world-class companies, all right here in Nebraska.”
Lockard grew up in Stella, Neb., where his mother, Nellie Lee Lockard, and her famous pumpkin pie recipe still reside. He received an undergraduate degree in math and physics, did graduate work in computer science, math and physics, and received an MBA from UNL.
He was a grateful recipient of the university’s Regents Scholarship, was an initial member of the Nebraska Career Scholars Program for independent studies and was a member of Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honorary Society. As a graduate assistant at UNL, he developed statistical programs for various campus departments.
After graduation, Lockard served as programming manager and assistant director of computing services at UNL. He went on to establish Technical Management Inc., a computer service bureau for the life insurance industry and Transactions Applications Group, a 1,000-employee insurance third-party administration company. He currently serves as founder and CEO of Curazene, a biotechnology company in Texas.
Lockard has also worked to develop pattern recognition routines and storage techniques for use in learning programs and has developed new linear programming techniques used to create a land-use database and model for the entire Unites States. His innovations in the computer science and engineering field earned him a spot in the Nebraska Hall of Computing in 2015.
In addition to his philanthropic efforts at UNL, Lockard has served on the board and as president of Lincoln Independent Business Association, as a chairman of Nebraska Small Business Council and on the board of Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Industry.
Lockard’s gift provides support for Our Students, Our Future, an initiative to secure $200 million in donations by the end of 2017 to directly benefit students across the University of Nebraska system. Gifts to the University of Nebraska Foundation are sought to support scholarships, student programs, student learning facilities and other student-focused priorities on each campus.
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