The Nebraska Athletic Department will be streaming the 2021 A Virtual Night at the Lied at 7 p.m. May 11. Presented by the academics and life skills units, the event will recognize the achievement of Nebraska’s student-athletes in the areas of academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
The awards to be presented that night include Student-Athlete of the Year, Outstanding Scholar, Outstanding Newcomer, Best Athlete, the Herman Team GPA, Heart and Soul, and the Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership. In addition to the student-athlete recipients, Coach Tom Osborne will be receiving this year’s Dick Herman Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of selfless commitment to the sport of football, members of the Husker football team, the Athletic Department, campus and the State of Nebraska.
Viewers will be able to access A Virtual Night at the Lied from the Husker website, on @Huskers Facebook, and @Huskers Twitter.
The award ceremony began 31 years ago following a generous contribution by Dick and Dale Herman. The Herman brothers believed that the academic success of student-athletes should be celebrated. In the early years, these academic achievements were presented at a banquet where the student-athletes were surrounded by teammates, family and faculty. The annual banquets were held first at the NBC Bank building (now the Wells Fargo building), followed by stints on East Campus, the Devaney Center, and finally Embassy Suites when the Devaney was undergoing construction renovations.
In 2015, the banquet celebrated its 25th year and was transformed into a red-carpet gala held at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, that coincidentally was celebrating its 25th year on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s campus. The change in venue allowed for a larger audience, music, and video presentations that surpassed the past events. With the move to the Lied Center, the banquet was replaced by a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres and desserts and a VIP dinner for the finalists in the major award categories, as well as their guests, and representatives from campus administration. Additionally, the presentation expanded from academic awards to include athletic achievements, service, and leadership recognition.
This will be the second year in a row the event has been held virtually in response to the pandemic. Holding the event on an online platform adheres to current health and safety regulations, while sharing the night’s exciting presentation of awards with student-athletes, campus and community members, parents, and patrons who continue to show generous support for Nebraska’s student-athletes.