UNL’s Raikes School receives Lauerman Scholarship, kicks off scholarship campaign

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ABOUT THIS PHOTO:  UNL alumnus Tom Lauerman has created an endowed scholarship to forever help students in the Raikes School.

The Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln finds itself in a unique situation—a rather good one.

Job demand for its graduates is increasingly strong, and in response the school is pleased to announce a new scholarship gift and the launch of an active campaign to help expand the Raikes School’s enrollment and scholarship offerings.

The school announces the Thomas E. Lauerman Endowed Scholarship made possible with a major gift from Nebraska native and UNL alumnus Tom Lauerman of Leawood, Kan. The gift will fund annual scholarship awards for students, enabling the Raikes School to provide at least one full-ride scholarship every year.

“I love that the Raikes School is now producing successful entrepreneurs whose Lincoln businesses are hiring other Raikes graduates who otherwise would have been recruited to some other part of the country,” Tom Lauerman said about his support for the school.

Raikes School Director David Keck acknowledged the gift and said, “We’re extremely thankful for the gift of the Lauerman Scholarship, and it couldn’t come at a better time as we kick off our campaign. Scholarships remove the financial burdens that can keep top students from enrolling in the program.”

The Raikes School has partnered with the University of Nebraska Foundation to contact all Raikes alumni in an effort to raise scholarship funds for the school. The alumni campaign kicked off this week.

Ian Cottingham, the school’s associate director for design studio and assistant professor of practice, said this campaign to encourage more support for scholarships is especially important now. “Businesses demand the quality of graduates we’re producing, and so we find ourselves with the good problem of needing to prepare more students,” he said. “Graduates of this school already understand how important scholarships are in reaching their potential, and the opportunities they’re now able to create for new students make this entire community more successful.”

Those interested in supporting the Raikes School’s scholarship campaign may go to nufoundation.org/raikes2014 or contact the school’s development director Laine Norton at 800-432-3216. Information about general support for the school is at nufoundation.org/raikes.

Raikes School benefactor Tom Lauerman earned an engineering degree in computer science from UNL in 1975 and later taught actuarial science there. He and a business partner founded GeoAccess Inc., to provide software and services to the managed health care industry. GeoAccess was repeatedly recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the nation’s 500 fastest-growing private companies, and its software products became industry standards. The company was sold to United Health Group in 2002. Lauerman served as an original member of the Raikes School Board, and is currently an investor in many private companies.

The Raikes School develops leaders for this era of expanding information technology and business globalization. The program is a recognized leader in interdisciplinary computer science and business management education providing a balanced technology and management education, while developing professional skills in leadership, innovation, communications and collaboration. Students are selected based on high academic achievement, outstanding leadership experience, demonstrated interest in computer science and business, and career goals.

The school is named for benefactor Jeffrey S. Raikes, who is the retired chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A Nebraska native, Raikes previously was president of Microsoft’s Business Division, retiring in 2008 after 27 years with the company.

Gifts to the Raikes School also support the University of Nebraska’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, which ends Dec. 31. Its top priority is to increase support for student scholarships and information technology education.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 78 years. In 2013, donors provided the university with $236.7 million for scholarships, medical and other research, academic programs, faculty support and facilities. The foundation’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Nebraska, has raised more than $1.5 billion for the university. For more information, visit campaignfornebraska.org.

Media Contact: Robb Crouch, University of Nebraska Foundation, 402-458-1142, rcrouch@nufoundation.org

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