American Indian College Fund announces 2022-23 honorees, including three Nebraskans

By: - March 7, 2023 12:55 pm

The American Indian College Fund announced 35 Student of the Year honorees on Sunday, March 5, 2023, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Courtesy of American Indian College Fund)

LINCOLN — The American Indian College Fund has announced its Student of the Year and Tribal College and University Honoree of the Year awardees, who include three Nebraskans.

The College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity that supports Native higher education for 33 years. This includes distributing more than $259 million in scholarships, programmatic and community support since its founding in 1989.

Michael Oltrogge, president of Nebraska Indian Community College. (Courtesy of the American Indian College Fund)

Michael Oltrogge was named the Tribal College and University Honoree of the Year. Oltrogge is the president of Nebraska Indian Community College, which has three locations across Nebraska in Macy, Santee and South Sioux City.

Wakinyanhotunwin Flute Player and Theresa Juarez were among the 35 student honorees. They, respectively, attend Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, Nebraska, and Nebraska Indian Community College.

The Adolph Coors Foundation sponsors both awards, providing each student honoree a $1,200 scholarship and Oltrogge with a $1,200 honorarium.

The College Fund honored each student and Oltrogge at a ceremony Sunday at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, who is president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said in a statement the College Fund is “so appreciative” of all of their students, especially the Students of the Year.

“We think of these students as representing their classmates with their dedication to their education and their desire to give back to their communities,” Crazy Bull said. “It isn’t easy to be a student today; college takes time and effort and many of our students have families to help to support and are among the first in their families to go to college.

“We thank them for sharing part of their life’s journey with us.”

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Zach Wendling
Zach Wendling

Zach Wendling is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, double-majoring in journalism and political science. He has interned for The Hill and The News Station in Washington, D.C., and has reported for the Nebraska News Service and The Daily Nebraskan.