Northeast remembers J. Paul McIntosh

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by jamesc  2/17/2017 5:00:09 PM -- 

NORFOLK – J. Paul McIntosh was well-known for his philanthropic efforts to benefit the welfare of others and promoting benevolence for the betterment of the community. The Norfolk businessman and developer, who died Thursday at the age of 92, also used his time and treasure to benefit generations of students at Northeast Community College.

After serving on the Norfolk Public Schools Board of Education from 1970-1979, McIntosh served on the Northeast Board of Governors from 1987-2006; where he was board chairman in 1993 and 2000. He also served as chairman of the Nebraska Community College Association (NCCA) Board of Directors in 2001. He was honored by the NCCA with its Governor’s Award for Exemplary Service in 2002 and was recognized with Northeast’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006.  

McIntosh was a member of the Northeast Community College Foundation Board of Directors at the time of his death.

Born at home at Boggs Table, between Sargent and Broken Bow, NE, McIntosh graduated from Pilger High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in natural science and vocational education/agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a master’s degree in natural sciences from Oklahoma State University. A former high school instructor, he also worked as an agricultural consultant in six countries and as a foreign business owner since 1967. 

McIntosh taught social studies at Norfolk Junior High School from 1955-1956, during which he was awarded a National Science Foundation Scholarship to attend the first Graduate NSF Program at Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State University, at Stillwater. He returned to Norfolk in 1957 and became the guidance director of the Norfolk Public School System, taught an advanced science class at Norfolk High School and Norfolk Junior College, while continuing his fertilizer business, as well as other business enterprises. He left the teaching profession in 1963. 

In his later years, McIntosh shared his wisdom of the importance of education with Northeast students during the College’s annual Scholarship Luncheon.

He repeatedly said that ‘education is the great equalizer.’ “In the days of the Wild West, a Colt .45 was the great equalizer,” he said. “Today it is education. Scholarships and work enabled kids like me, a farm boy with just $10 in my pocket, to go to college.”

McIntosh also emphasized the role a positive mindset plays in success.  

 “Everyone has a choice about the attitude they are going to embrace, he told students at the 2016 scholarship luncheon at Northeast. “We can’t change our past, we can’t change the fact that people will act a certain way, we can’t change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have, and that’s our attitude. I’m convinced that life is about 10-percent of what happens to me and about ninety-percent about how I react to it.”

McIntosh’s parents, both teachers, viewed education as the path to “upward mobility,” and used classic books as the short-cut to knowledge through the experience of others. His mother often said, “You may lose many things in life; crops, money, friends, and even health, but you will not lose your knowledge and education!”

McIntosh and his family have been great benefactors to Northeast Community College over the years.

In March of 1999, J. Paul, his wife, Eleanor, and children, LaRayne Horn, Jan Einspahr, Jonathon McIntosh, David McIntosh, and Heather McIntosh, announced that the family would establish the McIntosh Family Endowed Scholarship. Through this generosity, hundreds of students have been able to fulfill their dreams of a post-secondary education at Northeast Community College.

In 2002, the McIntosh family decided to use their resources to challenge others and encourage even more scholarship giving through a newly created McIntosh Legacy Scholarship Fund. For any newly created endowed scholarships, the family would match the gifts by 50 percent. As of 2016, this challenge helped establish more than $1.6 million in newly endowed scholarships to the Northeast Community College Foundation, including the McIntosh/Davis-Chambers Scholarship and Gary Kuester Memorial Scholarship.

The McIntosh/Davis-Chambers Fund was initiated through the Nebraska Legislature and matched through the McIntosh Legacy Scholarship Fund in 2002. In total, $105,000 was raised to award scholarships to in-state, minority students at Northeast who show financial need and academic promise. The students have to attend full-time and plan to transfer to a four-year college or university in Nebraska.

In April 2007, J. Paul and Eleanor pledged to provide $50,000 from the McIntosh Legacy Scholarship Fund if the Association of Nebraska Ethanol Producers would raise $100,000 to establish an endowed scholarship to help students in the College’s new Renewable Fuels Technology program. The ethanol producers met that challenge, raising the funds in honor of the late Gary Kuester of Stanton, a pioneer in the ethanol industry. 

In May 2009, J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh announced a gift in excess of $1 million dollars that capped off a $12.9 million capital campaign to build the J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh College of Nursing. The College of Nursing on the Northeast campus in Norfolk houses the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs and Northeast’ basic nurse aide, licensed practical nursing and associate degree nursing programs. 

“Eleanor (who could not speak English when she started school) always wanted to be a nurse,” J. Paul McIntosh said at the College of Nursing ribbon cutting ceremony in 2010. “And then she wanted her daughters and granddaughters to be nurses. Now she is working on her great granddaughters to be nurses. None of them did or have, so we are donating this money to help nursing students.”

In 2003, McIntosh was named one of eleven Benefactors of the Year by the Council for Resource Development in Washington, D.C., for his profound donations to Northeast Community College. The award is presented nationally to recognize exceptional donors to local community colleges. Winners were judged on the impact their gifts had on their communities. 

“Where do I begin to describe the generous work of J. Paul McIntosh? From serving on the College’s Board of Governors for a number of years to his most recent role on the Northeast Foundation Board, Mr. McIntosh has made a lasting imprint on the College and the region it serves,” said Dr. Michael Chipps, Northeast president. “His keen business sense and charitable spirit allowed many of our students to succeed and achieve their dreams as they travel down their career paths.”

Chipps said McIntosh was a rare individual who truly cared about bettering those around him.

“Even when he was actively involved as the owner and chief executive of a dozen separate and diverse business entities, he still found time to serve his community, including his nearly 20-years on the board of governors followed by his service on the College’s foundation board,” Chipps said. “His professional successes as an entrepreneur, business owner, world traveler, inventor, and philanthropist are immeasurable. J. Paul will long be remembered.”

Dr. Juliann G. Sebastian, dean and professor of the UNMC College of Nursing, said, “Mr. McIntosh was a friend to all, generous and dedicated to making the world a better place. He regularly spoke of his commitment to doing all he could to be of service to others. We are so honored that the UNMC College of Nursing Northern Division is housed in the building that carries his name and that of his beloved wife, Eleanor. The two of them saw the vision for expanding nursing education in northeast Nebraska and promoting the strong partnership we enjoy with Northeast Community College. His vision, warmth, sense of humor, and generous spirit will be deeply missed.”

Funeral services for J. Paul McIntosh were held Tuesday, February 21, at First United Methodist Church in Norfolk. Visitation was held Monday, February 20, in the Lifelong Learning Center on the Northeast Community College Campus at 801 E. Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk. Brockhaus-Howser-Fillmer Funeral Home in Norfolk was in charge of arrangements.




PHOTO ID: J. Paul McIntosh at Northeast Community College in December 2016.

Posted In -- Board of Governors, Gifts to College, Norfolk, Nursing, O'Neill, Press Releases, South Sioux City

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