Godbout family invests in College of Business faculty, student recruitment

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Godbout family invests in College of Business faculty, student recruitment

Courtyard south of Howard L. Hawks Hall
Murengezi Atali Benimana | Business

Beth Holthus Godbout and John Godbout understand the impact of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Business in preparing the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs for Nebraska.

That’s the reason the couple pledged $500,000 through the University of Nebraska Foundation to invest in scholarships for business students and training to help business faculty and staff develop their teaching skills.

Beth Holthus Godbout and John Godbout

“We feel our knowledge and experience in starting and running our own businesses gives us motivation to contribute in whatever way possible to students interested in careers in the business community,” John said.

In 1991, the couple founded CCS Presentation Systems, one of the top integrators of audiovisual equipment in the U.S. Beth also serves on the board of directors of York-based Cornerstone Bank.

The couple, who live in Paradise Valley, Arizona, have deep ties to Nebraska and the University of Nebraska. John was born in Holdrege and grew up on the West Coast. Beth was born in Lexington and grew up in York. Beth graduated from UNL with an elementary education degree in 1978, and the couple’s children, Brady Godbout and Tyeler Potter of Omaha, are also Nebraska alumni.

“I am so thankful to John and Beth for their support for the College of Business,” said Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business and professor of finance. “Their strategic investment helps to ensure the College of Business is always a place where students discover how to leverage their strengths to lead the future of business.”

The Godbouts’ investment was made as part of Only in Nebraska: A Campaign for Our University’s Future, a historic effort to engage 150,000 benefactors to give $3 billion to support the University of Nebraska. The Godbouts are University of Nebraska Foundation trustees and serve on the College of Business’s campaign committee.

The couple committed $400,000 to create the Godbout Family Scholarship Fund. Some funds will be immediately available for scholarships, including the newly created Future of Nebraska Scholarship for the College of Business. Their investment will also establish a permanent endowment to provide scholarships in perpetuity for freshmen business students.

“The transition from high school to college is such a big change,” Beth said. “We hope that easing the financial pressure just a little might help in that transition and encourage students to remain in college.”

The College of Business emphasizes scholarships for incoming freshmen to increase enrollment and ensure accessibility and affordability. With 4,266 full-time students this fall, more than $1.1 million in scholarships was awarded to business students in the 2023-24 academic year.

The couple also pledged $100,000 for the College of Business’s Teaching and Learning Center Faculty Development Fund, which equips faculty and instructors with the tools and resources to be successful in the classroom.

“We are incredibly appreciative of the Godbouts’ investment and vision to provide additional programs and resources for faculty to improve the learning experience for all students,” said Kasey Linde, director of teaching, learning and accreditation in the Teaching and Learning Center. “With the Godbouts’ partnership, the Teaching and Learning Center launched programs for new faculty and Ph.D. students and expanded on a grant program open to all business faculty and instructors.”

Investing in faculty development is a priority for the Godbouts because both can recall professors from whom they learned and who positively impacted their college experience.

“Beth and I want students to graduate with knowledge and skills learned from capable, professional professors who will be remembered by their students,” John said. “These teachers need a base of teaching techniques and behaviors that enable them to distribute their knowledge effectively.”

The couple said they are happy to invest in the education of Nebraska Business students.

“Beth and I support Dean Farrell and her passion for the College of Business,” John said. “Being entrepreneurs, we are especially interested in the fact that she runs the college with budgets, goals and strategies — just like a business.”

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