Buckle Scholarship a good fit for UNK student

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Sean Stahly and his Milford High Quiz Bowl teammates were eating lunch one day last spring in Bellevue. They were bummed out because they’d just been eliminated from the tournament.

Then Sean received an e-mail on his phone that changed everything.

He pumped his fist in the air.


His teammates congratulated him. He texted his mom and she texted him back:

PTL (Praise The Lord) congratulations!!

He’d just found out he was the first recipient of the Buckle Excellence Scholarship at UNK – a two-year scholarship worth $6,000.

The Buckle, Inc. (“Buckle”) is a clothing store that makes young people look good. Its headquarters is in Kearney. It sells shoes and accessories, too. But it specializes in jeans.

Last year, the company established a permanent endowment with the University of Nebraska Foundation to provide annual scholarships for students like Sean who want to have careers in computer science or information technology.

“I am extremely grateful and humbled that I was chosen to receive this scholarship,” Sean says. “I honestly did not expect to be the recipient of it.”

He’s excited to be a freshman at UNK. He lives in Men’s Hall, the cool old Art Deco dorm for students in the Honors Program.

It’s the first time since he was born that he’s lived somewhere other than his family’s farm. He’s happy to finally have good Internet. He actually had a difficult time doing IT things on the farm, he says, because the Internet there was so unreliable and slow.

He fell in love with IT a few years ago. He was hanging out with one of his friends at his house. One of the friend’s parents taught Computer Programming Technology at Southeast Community College in Milford, and the other parent was an admissions rep. They invited Sean to attend a Build-A-Computer workshop that SCC was hosting.

He loved the workshop and decided to make IT his career.

“Besides the monetary assistance,” he says, “this scholarship will help me by hopefully opening doors with the Buckle Information Technology Department (at UNK), which can potentially allow me to branch out professionally and create opportunities for career placement.”

He wants to run servers someday after he graduates and then transition into a career as a security consultant.

And as for his college wardrobe …

“I haven’t bought any clothes since I received the scholarship,” he says. “But I will probably get some Buckle clothes whenever I need new jeans.”

Student support and Information Technology are top priorities of the Campaign for Nebraska. If you would like to help these areas, please consider giving online or contact the foundation at 800-432-3216.

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