UNL alumnus Kent Broyhill has fulfilled a promise he made to UNL police 41 years ago.
During his senior year in 1974, the Dakota City, Nebraska, native was cruising Lincoln with friend Roger Knudsen. While he can’t recall where they were going or why the glove box was opened, Broyhill firmly remembers what was inside.
“That’s where I kept my parking tickets,” Broyhill said. “I lived off campus that year and didn’t always follow the parking rules. I don’t remember how many there were, maybe five or six.”
At that time, parking tickets on campus were issued by university police officers and were handwritten. Most citations were less than $5 — and a year-long parking permit cost $15. Still, with graduation nearing and fearing he would not receive a diploma, Broyhill drove to the campus police station to pay the fines.
Unfortunately, all parking fines had to be paid in cash and Broyhill only had a checkbook along for the ride.
“I talked with an officer and he said it wouldn’t be a problem if I promised to pay later,” Broyhill said. “I said OK and totally spaced it.”
After collecting his degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, Broyhill went on to a career that included serving as publisher of the Dakota County Star, a weekly newspaper based out of South Sioux City. Today, he is president of Studio B Graphics, also in South Sioux City.
Broyhill’s family has also made a lasting impact on campus. Kent’s sister, Lynn Broyhill, was killed in a traffic accident in 1966. To honor Lynn, the family opted to build a fountain near the Nebraska Union. While the design of the original structure changed with upgrades to the Nebraska Union in the mid-1990s, Broyhill Fountain remains a central gathering place for the campus community.
The forgotten parking tickets resurfaced in late August when Broyhill and Knudsen crossed paths.
“We were talking and Roger asked if I ever took care of those tickets,” Broyhill said. “I decided right there and then to make it right.”
Broyhill mailed a $100 check, business card and a quick explanation note to UNL on Aug. 30.
In the years since the tickets were issued, oversight of campus parking and ticketing has transferred from UNL police to Parking and Transit Services. Broyhill’s belated payment crossed the desk of Dan Carpenter, director of parking and transit services, on Sept. 3.
“We got a good kick out of it,” Carpenter said. “Not many people would pay for something like this after so many years. Keeping that promise after 40-some years shows he has character.”
Because UNL no longer has permanent records of paper tickets issued in the 1970s, Carpenter followed university policy and returned the check — along with a thank-you note — to Broyhill.
“I called Roger and let him know I finally paid for those tickets,” Broyhill said. “He got a good laugh out of it, but said it was the right thing to do.”
A note of caution to current UNL students who might want to follow in Broyhill’s footsteps: Today, all parking records are electronic and not paying fines can result in record blocks, held diplomas and auto impounds.
“Technology has made it nearly impossible to get away with forgetting to pay parking violations,” Carpenter said. “And, those same technological advances make parking more convenient for our customers, allowing us to offer things like online parking permit orders; parking meter payments via smartphone; parking and transit information and maps on our website; and communication via social media.”
For more information about parking at UNL, go to http://parking.unl.edu.