It’s all in the family for UNK scholarship donors

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A total of nine family members that graduated from Kearney State

Jack Crowley graduated from Kearney State in 1960.

His sisters, Pat and Peggy, and his brothers, Jim and Ed, also graduated from Kearney State.

Don’t forget about Crowley’s wife, Judy, who graduated in 1960.

While we’re at it, add Pat’s husband, Allen, to the list as well as Peggy’s husband, Tex, and Jim’s wife, Judy.

In case you lost count, that’s five siblings and four spouses – a total of nine family members that graduated from Kearney State.

“The way we look at it,” Jack says, “we have our own alumni association.”

But more than 50 years later, he’s the only sibling still living.

So to honor the college that educated so many of his family members – and to honor his siblings – Jack and his wife created the Crowley Family Scholarship for UNK students with a gift of $100,000.

“We just felt the college was good to us,” Jack says, “and this was a way that we could give back and to remember my deceased family members and also help some students who want to go on and get a four-year degree.”

While at Kearney State, Jack was involved with the Sigma Nu fraternity and studied education. That’s where he met Judy, who also was studying education. They married in Kearney in 1960 and lived there for a few years while Jack taught and coached at Kearney Public Schools. They moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Jack received his master’s degree in business at Ohio State University.

Then Jack worked in management positions with the Sears company in South Dakota and Iowa. They later moved back to Nebraska and had several small Crowley clothing stores. After retiring from the business, Jack started the Central Community College Foundation.

The foundation reached almost $7 million when he retired. Central Community College is located in Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings and has learning centers in Kearney, Lexington and Holdrege.

Candidates for the Crowley scholarship must have earned an associate’s degree from any campus of Central Community College.

“When we built that foundation,” Jack says, “we gave a lot of scholarships to kids coming out of high school who wanted to get started in college but didn’t have enough for a four-year school. My idea is that this will help them to go on and get a four-year degree if their desire is doing that.”

Jack and Judy live in Hastings, Neb. They have four children and 12 grandchildren.

Student support is one of the top priorities of the Campaign for Nebraska. If you’d like to help UNK students, too, please give online or contact the foundation’s Lucas Dart at 308-698-5270 or

Jessica Sorensen, a public relations intern at the University of Nebraska Foundation, wrote this story. Sorensen is a senior in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNL. She has studied four years of Spanish and volunteers at the Animal Humane Society.

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