CASE recognizes the University of Nebraska Foundation for program excellence

Huskers came together to celebrate the legacy of alumnus Johnny Carson and the generosity of the television legend’s foundation during a three-day celebration held before the pandemic. The event recently won an award from CASE.
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by Robb Crouch

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has recognized the University of Nebraska Foundation and its partners for program and event excellence.

Special events for the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, the Munroe-Meyer Institute, the College of Engineering and the Nebraska Medical Center won awards. An article about the university’s response to COVID-19 won for writing excellence.

Additionally, awards were won for excellence in employee and alumni communication, for creativity in communicating with scholarship donors during the pandemic, for magazine design and for branding work.

“We’re proud of our mission to grow relationships and resources that allow the University of Nebraska to change lives and save lives,” said the foundation’s President and CEO Brian Hastings. “The events and activities recognized by CASE shine a light not only on the good work of our employees but also on the great work we are privileged to do every day for the University of Nebraska.”

CASE is the global non-profit association dedicated to educational advancement—alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services—who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society. The awards were announced by CASE at the District VI–Mid-America conference. Here’s a highlight of the award-winning entries:

Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts Grand Opening Event
Huskers came together to celebrate the legacy of alumnus Johnny Carson and the generosity of the television legend’s foundation during a three-day celebration. Held before the pandemic, the events marked the grand opening of the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at UNL. The center is the premier destination for creative, young pioneers who use technology to innovate, to solve human-scale problems, to entertain audiences and to tell breathtaking stories that stimulate, provoke and inspire. The celebration won a CASE Gold Award.

Munroe-Meyer Institute Redevelopment Kickoff Celebration Event
The Munroe-Meyer Institute which provides services for patients with developmental and intellectual disabilities is getting a new home. It’s made possible through redevelopment of a building at 6902 Pine Street in Omaha. Everything about its design takes into consideration those the university helps as the institute begins its second century of service. A pre-pandemic event to mark the start of construction and to thank contributors who made it possible won a CASE Silver Award.

The Front Lines: Nebraska’s Fight Against COVID-19
Long before the novel coronavirus, UNMC and Nebraska Medicine were international experts of highly infectious diseases. Understandably, they have been called on to help the government and health care organizations during the pandemic. An article for the NU Foundation’s Pride of Place magazine won a CASE Silver Award for describing Nebraska’s role in the ongoing fight of COVID-19.

College of Architecture Scholarships Celebration
The College of Architecture and NU Foundation typically partner on an annual event to thank contributors who make scholarships possible for the college’s students. Because of the pandemic this event was replaced with an interactive digital publication. It included video messages and more tailored to the college’s supporters, winning a CASE Bronze Award.

College of Engineering Beam Raising Celebration Event
The state’s only College of Engineering embarked on a three-phase plan focused on enhancing engineering education and meeting the future workforce demand for engineers. The college and NU Foundation partnered on an event to celebrate the public and private partnerships driving the future of the college by holding a beam raising event. It followed coronavirus safety protocols. The event was recognized by receiving a CASE Bronze Award.

Kaneko Towers Dedication Event
Philanthropists Bob and Polina Schlott made it possible for UNMC and the Nebraska Medical Center to create a new front door. Their gift fashioned the Medical Center Plaza as a new southern entrance to the campus at 42nd and Leavenworth streets in Omaha. It features 18 ceramic columnar sculptures created by Omaha artist Jun Kaneko. The sculptures are incorporated into a grove of mature trees. Benches line a walkway and provide visitors, employees and students the opportunity to seek calmness and beauty. An outdoor dedication event held before the pandemic won a CASE Bronze Award.

Other award-winning entries include the following:

  • UNO Maverick Pen Pal Program — this program that connects recent graduates with past graduates won in two different categories, a gold in the Program Pivot category and a silver in the Engagement on a Shoestring category.
  • Priority of Our People: Impacting Employee Well-being During the Pandemic — the foundation’s program that focused on employee health and wellbeing during the pandemic won a gold award in the Communications Pivot category.
  • UNO Magazine — the special issue of the UNO Alumni Association’s Magazine, ART: In the Eye of the Beholder, won two silvers, one for the overall magazine and one for cover design.
  • Women Investing in Nebraska Brand Refresh — the refresh of WIN’s brand won a bronze award.


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