The University of Nebraska Foundation Kearney Office has been named the Department of the Month for September 2004. Roger Jones, a 1965 Kearney State College/UNK graduate, is the vice president for development and heads the Kearney office.
The foundation supports the UNK campus in many ways, including scholarships, student activities, capital construction needs, and alumni and faculty projects, to name just a few. Most recently, with University of Nebraska Foundation support, Foster Field received a $2.16 million renovation. The renovation is the first part of a multi-phase campaign to improve facilities serving recreational, outdoor sports and related instructional needs of the campus. The first phase consisted of replacing the Foster Field grass with synthetic FIELDturft, initial refurbishing of the west grandstands, a new scoreboard, east bleachers, lighting and a sound system. Improvement of Foster Field for intercollegiate athletics and providing facilities for recreational use of all students has been a priority on the capital improvement list for more than 10 years. Through the generosity of private contributors, the foundation made available the funds for the initial phase of the project which supports student growth and campus life outside the classroom. The first game to be played in the newly renovated facility will be this Saturday when the Lopers play Wayne State College.
Work on two elements of Phase Two at Foster Field, which includes a new north end zone locker building and ground level of the new west stadium, may begin yet this fall with work targeted to be finished by the 2005 football season. The west stadium work will include several fan improvements, including new rest-rooms and 1,000 new grandstand seats. Additional plans for the project include a student wellness center, new press box and meeting rooms as additional funding is secured.
Other recent improvements have been made to the Fine Arts Recital Hall acoustical system and the Miriam Drake Theatre lighting as the result of foundation grants awarded to the UNK campus. Further, wireless computer access has been expanded on the UNK campus through a foundation grant.
The foundation has also played a major role in numerous UNK Alumni Association projects, including The Gold Torch Society, Homecoming, the Alumni House, alumni clubs and the Senior Appreciation Scholarship program. Jones, who has announced his plans to retire in 2005, will be recognized for his on-going support of the UNK Alumni Association and the UNK campus next month when he will receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. The award will be presented during the UNK Alumni Association Homecoming. Awards Banquet Oct. 8. His service to the UNK campus through the foundation has been long-standing. He was a member of the Kearney State Foundation Board of Directors from 1985 to 1992, serving as president in 1991. In 1992, Jones became director of the foundation and was then named vice president of development when the Kearney State Foundation merged with the NU Foundation.
Staff Senate recognizes the University of Nebraska Foundation for the valuable services provided to students, the campus, the community and the state, and designates the foundation as the Department of the Month for September.