Gettino family creates scholarship for aspiring communicators

Gettino family creates scholarship for aspiring communicators

Sarah Gettino Owens and Michael Gettino
Courtesy photo
Sarah Gettino Owens and Michael Gettino

Students pursuing a career in advertising or public relations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be aided by a new scholarship established by Michael Gettino and his daughter, Sarah Gettino Owens, both alumni of the university.

They created the Michael Gettino and Sarah Owens Scholarship as an expendable fund with a $5,000 annual gift commitment to the University of Nebraska Foundation. Each year, the fund will enable the College of Journalism and Mass Communications to award one or more scholarships to a junior advertising and public relations major with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

After graduating from Nebraska, Gettino and Owens have both enjoyed careers in marketing communications and advertising. They attribute much of their success to the education they received at the university and hope their scholarship will help others.

"Nebraska prepared us to be successful in the business world," Gettino said. "We feel we should give back to the school that gave us so much. This scholarship is a way for us to do just that."

Gettino and Owens said they hope the scholarship will encourage students to achieve their career goals. They also intend for it to provide support to those who are ready to take action and responsibility for their professional development and who are creative and passionate about being a part of the next generation of business communicators.

"This scholarship will have an immediate impact on the lives of students, perhaps even making it possible for some to attend Nebraska," said Maria Marron, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. "We are very grateful to Mike and Sarah for establishing the scholarship, which is a meaningful contribution to our support for advertising and public relations students."

Michael Gettino lives in Kansas City, Missouri, and is a Vietnam-era military veteran who was in the U.S. Air Force Special Services. Stationed in Omaha during the Cold War, his plane was nearly shot down while flying over the North Pacific Ocean. He graduated from Nebraska in 1973 with a journalism degree with an advertising focus. He has enjoyed a 50-year career in the advertising and marketing field and has worked for client companies including Walmart, UMB Bank and Phillips Petroleum.

Sarah Owens also lives in Kansas City, Missouri, and is the commercial division marketing manager at Sedgwick LLP, an international trial law firm. She graduated from Nebraska in 2006 with an advertising degree before earning a master's degree at the University of Kansas. Before joining Sedgwick, she implemented an integrated marketing communications program for an agriculture-based company. She also has a passion for photojournalism and interned at National Geographic while attending Nebraska.

The scholarship gift also provides support for Our Students, Our Future, the University of Nebraska's current initiative seeking support for students.