By Angel Eggerson – Contributor
Carl and Joyce Mammel’s decision to donate the largest sum of money ever given to UNO was well thought out, said Lori Byrne, campus director for the University of Nebraska Foundation.
Byrne said the Mammels have been involved in giving back to students for years, starting with scholarships of more than $500,000 to more than 250 students during the past 10 years.
“One of our most satisfying experiences has been to receive letters from the young people who benefited from the scholarship programs,” Carl Mammel is quoted as saying in the guide to Mammel Hall.
Byrne said Mammel is very much a businessman, intelligent and focused on giving back to the community.
The Mammels said their primary interest is to support organizations that can help more people and support causes that make a difference, according to an article in Portraits of Philanthropy, a University of Nebraska Foundation publication.
This sentiment is supported by Sue Kutschkau, director of development for UNO’s College of Business.
Kutschkau said Mammel loves to interact with students and is genuinely interested in their individual successes.
“He asks about them,” Kutschkau said. “He definitely has a soft heart.”
When Mammel is in Omaha, he spends more time on campus since Mammel Hall has opened, Kutschkau said. Before the opening of the new home for the College of Business Administration, Mammel would mainly be seen on campus during scholarship luncheons, Kutschkau said. During the past two to three months, Mammel has brought friends to the university to see the new facility.
Kutschkau and Byrne said they don’t see Mammel slowing down in his work as a champion for UNO. They said it’s hard to predict, but they believe Mammel Hall will continue to solicit support from the business community.
He and his wife, who passed away in 2009, were awarded the Perry Branch Award – the highest honor awarded for service by the university.
Jennifer Arnold, senior director of public relations for the University of Nebraska Foundation, said Joyce Mammel’s memory is not far from Mammel Hall and her presence was known during its dedication celebration.
“We make sure to include her in all recognitions,” she said.
Byrne said that the couple enjoyed making the decision to contribute. Mammel wanted construction to happen quickly, she said, so it did. The project was completed in 18 months.
Arnold said Mammel is an important part of the campus capital campaign, which has set a goal of raising $1.2 billion during a nine-year period that will end in 2014.
“Mr. Mammel definitely plays an integral role as part of the volunteer leadership,” he said. “We appreciate his dedication to the university.”