NORFOLK, Neb. – An endowed scholarship has been established at Northeast Community College in memory of a member of the Northeast Alumni Hall of Success.
Darin Koepke received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Agriculture-Livestock Option from Northeast in 1988 and served on the college livestock judging team. He was named to the Alumni Hall of Success in 2010.
He was employed by Agrex, Inc. for more than 25 years. He had supervised operations at Laurel, Enola and Superior, and at the time of his death he was the assistant general manager for the western division of Agrex.
Koepke lost his life in a workplace violence incident in Superior on Oct. 21, 2021. At a news conference about three weeks after the incident, Nebraska State Patrol Lt. Brent Bockstadter said, “The actions of Mr. Koepke saved lives, and he unfortunately ended up giving his own life in the process.”
“Agriculture was Darin’s life,” said his widow, Kelli. “He was always involved in 4-H, FFA, all things ag.”
Mrs. Koepke said her husband had a strong connection to Northeast Community College.
“Anytime he needed a new employee,” she explained, “that’s where he would reach out. He thought Northeast attracted the kind of students he wanted as employees. They were ready to work fresh out of school.”
Mrs. Koepke said a memorial scholarship at Northeast was the natural way to honor her late husband, and the couple’s daughters, Kayla Scalise and Krystina Koepke, agreed.
“Darin was so proud of the education he received at Northeast,” Mrs. Koepke said, “and he would have wanted to give back. “
The Darin L. Koepke Agriculture Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a second-year agriculture student at Northeast. The Koepke family has provided additional funds so that the first scholarship can be awarded to a student enrolled in the Fall 2022 semester.
“We at Northeast are grateful for the chance to remember and honor Darin,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, vice president of development and external affairs at Northeast and executive director of the Northeast Foundation. “His life revolved around agriculture, and this scholarship will support students who share that passion.”
Kruse said an endowed scholarship is an ideal way to honor a loved one into perpetuity.
“With an endowed scholarship the principal is invested, and scholarships are awarded from the earnings on that investment. The principal remains untouched,” Kruse said. “Each year deserving students receive support to reach their educational goals and the legacy of your loved one is honored.”
Kruse said the minimum required to establish an endowed scholarship at Northeast is $25,000, and that can be paid in installments over a five-year period. For more information on creating a scholarship at Northeast, call )402) 844-7240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Students wishing to apply for the Darin L. Koepke Agriculture Memorial Scholarship, or any other scholarship at Northeast Community College, may apply online at northeast.edu/financial-aid-and-scholarships/scholarships.