Gratitude is in the cards at UNK

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New UgivethaNKs event highlights grateful Lopers

Taylor Hinz drew a smiley face, and she wrote this:

Receiving the Susan Thompson Buffett Scholarship has allowed me to become part of one of the greatest organizations on campus, the Thompson Scholars Learning Community. I never would have met the friends I did without it!

Her card became one of many cards hanging on clothespins and twine inside the UNK student union in May. Taylor, a freshman from York, Neb., was among the many students who participated in the first-ever UgivethaNKs event on campus to highlight grateful Lopers.

And create a campus full of smiley faces.

Some students wrote about their scholarships:

Without it, I may not have even come to college! …

Without it, I wouldn’t be able to be here, achieving my dreams! …

Through them, I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people. They have provided endless learning experiences during my college career and continually challenge me to be the best version of me. Because of my scholarships, I am able to do the things I love.

THANK YOU. (Heart.) Anna.

Others gave thanks for UNK in general:

The experience at UNK I am most grateful for is being part of the Kearney Bound Program! …

“It’s our way of teaching our students how to be grateful for their UNK experience,” says UNK graduate Anne McConkey, a University of Nebraska Foundation fund-raiser for UNK who helped organize the event. “The physical act of writing a thank-you card or of expressing thanks can sometimes really help you realize how thankful you are for something or someone.

“We hope, then, to help our students extend that sense of gratitude into their own lives beyond their education.”

Anne wrote this on her own card:

I am thankful to UNK for providing an excellent opportunity to come back after 20 years as a non-traditional student and complete my degree. Thank you, UNK!

Brette Ensz, who works for the UNK Alumni Association, also helped organize the event.

“I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and reading each of the cards as they went up in the display,” she says. “I think every time Anne and I read them they made us cry.”

Brette wrote this:

I am thankful to UNK for my amazing education (undergrad and grad), my current career, my fabulous friends and my incredible husband.

Why do you give thanks for UNK?

Feel free to write it in the comments for this story. Or maybe just think about it for a while.

And smile.

Student Support is a top priority of the Campaign for Nebraska, now in its final year. More than $25 million in private money has been raised for scholarships for UNK students since the campaign began in 2005, and more than 6,200 UNK alumni have given back.

If you also would like to help UNK, please consider giving online or contact the foundation at 800-432-3216.

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