The University of Nebraska–Lincoln holds a special place in the hearts of the Kime family of Lincoln. After all, Dallas and Carmen met on East Campus while pursuing bachelor’s degrees in the mid-1980s, and both of their daughters hold degrees from the university.
In total, the Kime family has earned five degrees from Nebraska, and two of those came from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
On May 12, each of those degrees was destroyed when the Kime’s home burned after a lightning strike. It took fire crews nearly three hours to control the blaze and the family lost nearly everything.
To help the family restore some of what they lost, Tiffany Heng-Moss, interim dean of agricultural sciences and natural resources, surprised the Kimes on June 21 by presenting each of them with new diplomas.
“We consider the CASNR community a family, and it’s important for us to be there for one another no matter what life throws at us,” Heng-Moss said during the presentation. “That’s why we’re here today, and we’re honored to present to your family new diplomas.”
The idea for the presentation started when Eric Kamler, a Nebraska alumnus and friend of the Kime family, contacted Steve Waller, interim director of the Center for Grassland Studies and dean emeritus of agricultural sciences and natural resources.
“The Kime family has always been beyond generous, so I wanted to figure out something special to do for them after the fire,” Kamler said. “I know how extremely proud and passionate they are about their education, so I reached out to the great CASNR community for help.”
Waller worked with colleagues in the college and Steve Booton and Gail Meyer in the Office of the University Registrar to get the replacement diplomas. Waller said this is just one more example of the registrar putting students first.
The diploma presentation has been a top secret project for several weeks.
“We’re really honored that you’ve thought of us in this way,” said Carmen Kime, a 1987 graduate in home economics. “We’ve been so blessed by kind people throughout this process.”
Carmen’s husband, Dallas, earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1986. Their children also collected degrees from the university: Drew was awarded a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness in 2013, while McKenna earned a bachelor’s in business administration in 2017 and a master’s degree in accounting in 2018.