dana college ALUMNI and Friends ASSOCIATION


Dana College Foundation Names Legacy Scholarship Winners!  - Spring 2019

The Dana College Foundation has selected three outstanding students to receive its Legacy Scholarships for the fall term of their respective schools. Each student has family connections to Dana College and will attend a Christian-affiliated liberal arts college or university, similar to the experience of those who attended Dana.

Each scholarship is for $2,500.00, thanks to the generosity of alumni and other donors who stepped up to start this program. Ten students, locally and from across the country, applied for the inaugural scholarships.

Foundation President Bob Coffey said, “The first thing that struck me about each applicant was the fact that he or she recognized virtually the same qualities about their mother, father, or grandparent who attended Dana. They all saw the willingness to serve others, the desire to make a difference for others, the passion for learning.

“The second thing we noted is that these students are already following those same paths. Dana alumni have reason to be proud of the legacy they are setting for generations to follow.”

The 2019 Legacy Scholarship winners are:

Matthew Finney
Matthew is from Waukee, Iowa. Both of his parents, Shawn and Sherri, are Dana College graduates. Matthew will be attending Creighton University to study finance and economics. Outside of his classroom work, Matthew has volunteered at the Salvation Army and a homeless shelter.

Mikayla Carlson
Mikayla is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Her grandparents, Kay and Lyle Schjodt, and great grandmother Rhoda are Dana graduates, as are numerous aunts and uncles. She even remembers as a young child working alongside her grandmother in the Dana Bookstore. Mikayla will attend Saint Olaf College in Minnesota to study neuroscience and music.

Carly Renken
Carly is from Gretna, Nebraska. Her father, Tyler, and grandfather, Doug, are Dana College graduates, both with a degree in special education. Carly plans to attend Augustana University in Sioux Falls to study, wait for it ... special education. She has volunteered for Special Olympics, worked as a camp counselor for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and started her own organization to help special needs children express themselves through music. That organization now serves over 50 students in three locations.

The Dana College Foundation Legacy Scholarships are open to students who are descendants of Dana alumni, faculty or staff. Students must also attend a Christian-affiliated, liberal arts college or university as a way to achieve a similar experience that we all shared at Dana.

Dana Campus Plan Revealed  - Summer 2017

As president of the Dana College Foundation (the official legacy organization of Dana College), I am pleased to announce that a plan for the revitalization of the Dana College campus has been revealed. Dana alumni and citizens of Blair, Nebraska, should be pleased and excited at the opportunities it presents.

The campus will be owned by a non-profit corporation. This umbrella organization is drawing together several entities to work in collaboration, creating a community within a community in ways that benefit not only those organizations, but the city of Blair as well.

Headlining the plan is Grace University. Grace has sold its property in Omaha and will move to the Dana campus under a lease arrangement to open classes in 2018. We had all but given up hope that the campus would house a college again, so this development is tremendous. I urge alumni across the globe to welcome Grace University and the other organizations to the place we all call home.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Home will build and operate a memory care facility on the site of Omaha Village, the old married student housing (which will be razed).

Pending congregational approval, Christ Lutheran Church of Blair will occupy the Madsen Fine Arts Center and repurpose it as its ministry center. We praise God for the opportunity to restore the church to Dana and serve as this new community’s spiritual anchor.

One of the projects includes development of space for elderly low income housing. As such, the project is working with Holy Name Housing of Omaha as a potential manager of that phase.

Some athletic and recreational facilities will be made available for use through the city of Blair.

An eventual goal is to build a prominent mental health research center located on the Dana property.

The Dana College Foundation intends to help Grace University in whatever way we can to make them feel at home and become a new part of the campus’ rich heritage. We also hope to have a physical presence on the campus once again, to assure a continuation of traditional alumni activities and to enhance our connections to one another.

Much work must be done to accomplish this ambitious plan, but the potential it holds is nothing short of remarkable. I want to acknowledge and express our gratitude to Frank Krejci (developer who owns the campus) who saw that potential and allowed the plan to go forward. And especially to Ed Shada of Omaha who conceived the plan and is working to make it a reality.

We also offer our thanks and recognition to McKinnis Roofing for their outstanding work in repairing the damage to the campus from the devastating hail storm three years ago.

Dana College was always about raising people up to serve others. This new plan keeps that legacy alive, and we all should celebrate it. “Thy spirit live, another throng rise up and sing our song!”

Robert E. Coffey (’75)

President, Dana College Foundation


Address:  PO Box 392, Blair, NE 68008


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