University of Nebraska‒Lincoln alumni Paul and Mary Ann Koehler have made a $1 million gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation to establish a permanently endowed fund for the College of Business. The endowment will provide annual support to the college to make enhancements at Howard L. Hawks Hall.
“We are grateful to Paul and Mary Ann Koehler for their generous gift that will allow us to continue to enhance our building,” said Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business. “This endowed fund will help students, staff, faculty, alumni and business partners in the college forever by ensuring that we have the highest-quality facility in which to teach and learn about an ever-evolving business world.”
In recognition of the Koehlers’ gift and longtime support of the college and its students, the College of Business has named the vaulted, multistory entryway on the east side of Hawks Hall as the Paul H. and Mary Ann Koehler Gallery. The university recognized the Koehlers during a dedication ceremony for the Koehler Gallery on May 26.
The Koehlers said they were especially interested in creating the endowment to enable current and future generations of Nebraska Business students to continue to have a great place to call their educational home.
“Buildings have the power to bring us together to share experiences,” Paul Koehler said. “They don’t just facilitate; they focus and motivate while satisfying our basic human need to be together. They can create communities that inspire us to be more than just a gathering of individuals; they enable us to get to know each other and, together, accomplish greater goals, establishing connections that can last a lifetime.”
The Koehlers have historically funded scholarships to create opportunities for students to excel at Nebraska. This includes establishing the Paul H. and Mary Ann Koehler Endowed Scholarship that provides annual financial support to students in the School of Accountancy who have an interest in financial accounting or auditing within the nonprofit or government sectors. They also created the Paul H. and Mary Ann Koehler Honors Academy Accounting Scholarship to support students who are studying accounting and have been admitted to the College of Business Honors Academy program.
The Koehlers have spent their entire careers in the Lincoln business community.
Paul Koehler earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1976 as the top graduate of the College of Business. As a certified public accountant, he dedicated much of his career to teaching accounting and auditing to others in the profession across the country.
Mary Ann (Czeschin) Koehler earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1977 from the College of Business and held a career in the banking industry, followed by service to the university for more than 30 years in accounting and business.
Howard L. Hawks Hall opened in 2017. The $84 million, 240,000-square-foot building — funded entirely by private donations from 2,500 individuals, groups and organizations — features experiential learning spaces, high-tech classrooms and specialized programs that have increased opportunities for students, faculty, staff and alumni to maximize teaching and learning.