Faculty honored by emeriti/retirees association and alumni association

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Faculty honored by emeriti/retirees association and alumni association

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Three retired faculty and a project were recognized by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Emeriti and Retirees Association at its first meeting Sept. 24. The meeting, held virtually via Zoom due to COVID-19, was hosted by Chancellor Ronnie Green.

Those receiving the association’s Wisherd awards were David Forsythe, Charles J. Mach distinguished professor of political science, emeritus; Priscilla Grew, former vice chancellor for research, former director of the University of Nebraska State Museum, and the university’s coordinator for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act; and Kay Rockwell, former faculty member in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication.

In addition, Dan Shattil, former general manager of the Daily Nebraska, received a grant to create a permanent display honoring the Daily Nebraskan Hall of Fame.

The Nebraska Alumni Association recognized Bud Pagel, retired professor of journalism, as its 2020 Doc Elliott award recipient.

Forsythe received the 2020 Wisherd Award for Outstanding Community Service. Since retiring in 2010, Forsythe has continued engagement in the Nebraska Chapter of the United Nations Association, been active in leading Osher Lifelong Learning Institute classes, and has organized the annual Winter Lecture Series sponsored by the Unitarian church.

Grew received the Wisherd Award for Outstanding Service to the university, which recognizes contributions to university-affiliated organizations. Since retiring in 2015, Grew has continued as NAGPRA coordinator in a volunteer capacity; remained active in Friends of the University of Nebraska State Museum; and is a stalwart supporter of the arts, including the Lied Center where she helped start the Dance Circle, which brings major dance companies to Lincoln.

Rockwell received a one-time award in recognition of her Outstanding International Humanitarian Service to the global community. Since retiring in 2003, Rockwell has volunteered with the USAID/USDA’s Farmer to Farmer program in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in Africa, and in Paraguay, South America. She has also volunteered with Friendship Force International, helping build schools and libraries in Africa; she also established a program to provide goats to HIV orphans in Kenya, which promotes self-sufficiency.

Each award carries a $500 honorarium and all recipients donated their honoraria to the university’s Emergency Aid to Students program.

Pagel’s career spanned 28 years in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Pagel taught news courses at the college over the course of his career, holding the positions of Gannett professional lecturer (1982-87), department chairman (1990-95), associate professor of journalism (1988-97) and professor emeritus. The award recognizes a retired faculty member for their commitment to students.

Shattil, Daily Nebraskan general manager emeritus, accepted a $2,000 Wisherd grant to continue their research, scholarly or creative activities. Shattil’s grant will support creation of a permanent display in the Nebraska Union to recognize the Daily Nebraskan Hall of Fame. Shattil retired in 2019 after serving for 37 years as the Daily Nebraskan’s first general manager. During his tenure, he oversaw the transition from typewriters and paste-ups to desktop publishing to web pages to social media.

Wisherd awards memorialize Maude Wisherd, who was a librarian at Nebraska from 1916-1955. After retiring, she worked at the historical society for another 10 years. During her lifetime, faculty received very little in retirement benefits; Wisherd helped establish the Emeriti Association in 1961 to help destitute retirees. She died in 1978. Her only survivor, a sister, Zelma, herself a Nebraska graduate, left 20 percent of her estate to the University of Nebraska Foundation to benefit emeriti. Early interest from the fund was used primarily for emeriti medical insurance and medical expenses, especially for folks past 80. As retiree resources improved, funding of scholarly pursuits and other emeriti activities were supported from the fund.

The next meeting of the Emeriti and Retirees Association is noon Oct. 20 with Ryan Sothan, outreach coordinator in the Nebraska Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division. Sothan will explore computer and other scams that target older adults. Learn more about the association and the next meeting.

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