Hudl creates scholarship for Raikes School students

Hudl creates scholarship for Raikes School students

Hudl company founders (from left) Brian Kaiser, David Graff and John Wirtz have given $500,000 to establish an endowment for student scholarships at the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. All three are graduates of the program.
Hudl company founders (from left) Brian Kaiser, David Graff and John Wirtz have given $500,000 to establish an endowment for student scholarships at the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. All three are graduates of the program.

Scholarships to help UNL recruit and educate more top information technology and business students is the focus of a $500,000 gift from Hudl, a Nebraska sports technology company.

The Hudl Scholarship Fund was established as a permanently endowed fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation to provide annual scholarship awards to students studying within the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management.

Hudl founders and UNL alumni David Graff, Brian Kaiser and John Wirtz view the scholarship as a way to recognize and thank the university for the education and support they received as students. The entrepreneurs met and began collaborating while studying at the Raikes School. Their gift represents the single largest donation ever made to this program from its alumni.

"The Raikes School and the University of Nebraska have played a key role in Hudl's success, and we're honored to support the program," said Graff, chief executive officer of Hudl. "The need for cross-disciplinary students who have a strong base in technology is more crucial now than any other time in our history."

David Keck, Raikes School director, said everyone at the school is excited about the gift from Hudl.

"First, it will support our scholarship program that has attracted so many top students from Nebraska and beyond," Keck said. "We're also excited that not only have our graduates created an amazing technology business that has contributed so much to the Lincoln and Nebraska economies, but it has also hired so many of our graduates and now is supporting the next generation of Raikes School students with top scholarships."

In addition to the company's founders, five members of Hudl's leadership team are Raikes School graduates. In all, the company employs 25 Raikes School alumni and provides work experience for 13 interns from the program.

"The Raikes School is producing some of the most sought after graduates and is a program with a proven track record of success," Graff said. "It is an important time for the program to have access to the resources it needs to continue to produce and, hopefully, over time, grow its number of graduates each year."

The Raikes School develops leaders for this era of expanding information technology and business globalization. The program is a recognized leader in interdisciplinary computer science and business management education and provides an education balanced in technology and management while developing professional skills in leadership, innovation, communications and collaboration. Students are selected based on high academic achievement, outstanding leadership experience, demonstrated interest in computer science and business, and career goals.

The school is named for benefactor Jeffrey S. Raikes, the retired chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A Nebraska native, Raikes previously was president of Microsoft's Business Division, retiring in 2008 after 27 years with the company.

The gift from Hudl supports the University of Nebraska's fundraising initiative, the "Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities," which ends Dec. 31, and its top priority to increase support for student scholarships and information technology education.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 77 years. In 2013, donors provided the university with $236.7 million for scholarships, medical and other research, academic programs, faculty support and facilities. Campaign for Nebraska has raised more than $1.5 billion for the university. For more information, visit http://campaignfornebraska.org.