Foundation History

The idea to develop a Scholarship Foundation for Nebraska students studying veterinary medicine was conceived in 1994. The historical committee of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association was making plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its origin. In addition to the celebration, the committee wanted to develop something that would be endearing, enduring, and encourage future generations of veterinarians.

The committee commissioned Ted Long of North Platte, Nebraska to create a sculpture depicting 100 years of veterinary medicine in Nebraska. One hundred fifty of the limited edition bronze, “the Centennial Doctor”, were sold and the proceeds used to establish the NVMA Centennial Scholarship Foundation. The Foundation received its 501 c(3) status from the internal revenue service in 1995.

The first scholarship was awarded in 1996, the NVMA’s centennial year. Scholarships have been awarded annually since that time, and the number and size of the awards has increased each year.

The Foundation has seen remarkable growth since its origination. These contributions have been made by the NVMA Auxiliary as a part of their mission to aid and enhance the profession, by donations from loyal supporters, and as memorials to deceased members and friends of the profession. Contributors who wish to have a scholarship named in their honor can do so by Endowing the Scholarship with a donation of $ 10,000 or more.

Thanks to the generosity of current and deceased members of the NVMA, their families and friends, the Foundation has an ever growing list of endowed scholarships.

  • Bronze Scholarship endowed by the original purchasers of “Centennial Doctors”.
  • Auxiliary Scholarship – The NVMA Auxiliary played a vital role in the formation of the Foundation, raising funds for scholarships and serving in leadership roles on the board of directors. When the auxiliary disbanded in 2012 this fund was fully endowed by their cumulative donations exceeding $ 40,000
  • Dr. O.H. and Ruth Person Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship fund was established in 1987 by a bequest from Ruth in honor of her husband. The fund was managed by the NVMA until 2021 when it was transferred to the NVMA Centennial Scholarship foundation.
  • Dr. Joe and Sonja Landholm Scholarship for the advancement of veterinary acupuncture
  • Dr. Rex Emery Scholarship in memory of the former NVMA President
  • Dr. John and Donna Cerny Scholarship in memory of the couple who served the NVMA and the NVMA Auxiliary as presidents.
  • Jan Weiler Memorial Scholarship established in honor of the Honorary Member of the NVMA and long time Administrative Assistant to the NVMA’s executive director.
  • Francis L. and Rosemary (Kramer) Neumann Scholarship established by Dr. Charles and Mary Lou Neumann in honor of his parents.
  • Raymond and Dr. Steve Wright Memorial Scholarship this scholarship, named for the former NVMA President Dr. Steve Wright and his father, was fully endowed in 2007 by the many donations from the friends and family of Steve. The scholarship had been initiated years earlier upon the death of Raymond. A bequest from the estate of Steve’s mother Virginia, further enhanced the fund in 2012.
  • Dr. C. Richard and Nancy B. Johnson Endowed Scholarship
  • Dr. Oliver and Vera Grace Memorial Scholarship established by their son and daughter in 2012.
  • Dr. Jack Anderson Memorial Scholarship established by family and friends in 2012.
  • Dr. Al Doster Scholarship established in 2012
  • Dr. Bob and BJ Essig Scholarship established in 2014
  • NVMA Past Presidents’ Leadership Award established in 2014
  • Dr. Dale and Elizabeth Grotelueschen Scholarship established in 2014
  • Dr. Vergil and Lynn Heyer Memorial Scholarship. Dr. Vergil established this scholarship in memory of his wife Lynn in 2015. Following Vergil’s death in 2020 family and friends provided additional donations to enhance this scholarship.
  • Dr. Robert and Sharon Rhoades Scholarship established in 2015
  • Bohmont/Schuyler Veterinary Clinic Scholarship established in 2016
  • Dr. Van Sandstedt Memorial Scholarship was established by his family and friends in 2020.
  • Dr. Boyd Burhoop Memorial Scholarship was endowed by a bequest from his estate in 2020.
  • Jeanine Cockerill Memorial Scholarship—”J” was the wife of Dr. Rick Cockerill. She was a strong advocate of post-secondary education. When she died in 2015, friends and family made contributions to the foundation in her memory. In 2022 the fund was fully endowed by Rick and the first scholarship was awarded.
  • Gaines Family Scholarship for Veterinary Technicians – in 2022 Dr. Joey Gaines established this fund. She shared her motivation for doing so: “We strongly believe that veterinary technicians are vital to the success of quality, progressive medicine and surgery and we wish to assist worthy students.”
  • The Pet Memorial Scholarships: the funds are provided by the generous donations of veterinarians to honor the memory of the beloved pets of their clients. Pet Memorial Scholarships are given to both veterinary students and to pre-veterinary students who are graduates of a Nebraska High school with a career goal of becoming veterinarians.