Established in 1995, the University of Nebraska Alumni Association Family Tree Award honors a family that has at least three generations of UNL graduates and at least two family members with a record of outstanding service to the university, the alumni association, their community and/or their profession. This year’s recipient is the Selzer family of Scottsbluff which received the award at the Nebraska Medallion Dinner on March 8 in Lincoln.
For over 100 years the Selzer family has supported the University of Nebraska and the Scottsbluff community through philanthropy and service. The Selzer family’s four generations of Husker alumni began in 1918 with graduate Milton Selzer who earned a degree in agriculture and was a football letterman. After graduation Milton returned to Scottsbluff to work in the family business, the Coca Cola Bottling Company. Milton’s three sons, Jim, Mike and Jack, were also UNL graduates. Following his graduation in 1949, Jack also returned to Scottsbluff and managed the Scottsbluff operations of the Coca Cola business until the business was sold in 1961. After the sale of the family business, Jack went to work for the Scottsbluff National Bank where he eventually served as president and chairman of the board. Jack was a football letterman at UNL and his wife, Shirley (Allen), a 1951 UNL graduate from Tecumseh, was the 1949 Homecoming Queen.
Jack and Shirley’s two sons, John, who is an attorney with the Simmons Olsen Law Firm in Scottsbluff, and Steve, who is retired after a career with First Data Corporation, are UNL graduates as is John’s wife, Ann (Reinhardt), a retired Scottsbluff public school teacher. John and Ann’s two children, Jane (Selzer) Kelley, who is a professor of accounting at Western Nebraska Community College, and Johnny, who is also an attorney with the Simmons Olsen Law Firm, are UNL graduates. Jane’s husband, Chris Kelley, who is the director of operations for Kelley Bean Company, is a UNL graduate and Johnny’s wife, Jamie (Cooper), who is an occupational therapist with ESU 13, obtained her undergrad prerequisites at UNL.
In 2016 the family established an endowed scholarship with the University of Nebraska Foundation for high school graduates from Scotts Bluff County attending UNL. The family has also established endowed scholarships for area students with the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation and the Scottsbluff Public Schools Foundation.