Sports Nightly Interview
Ronnie Green talks about the upcoming December graduation celebration, which will feature a conversation with alumnus Warren Buffett. Ronnie also talks about a recent conversation he shared with Eric Crouch about the unusual 2020 football season, and he recaps the successful fall semester at the university.
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[00:00:00.280]We're back more silent here on the Husker Sports Network
[00:00:02.208]and a real treat for us tonight
[00:00:03.429]to be joined by the chancellor
[00:00:04.890]of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ronnie Green.
[00:00:07.300]It's always great to have you on Sports Nightly.
[00:00:08.890]I know this is a very busy and big week for you
[00:00:12.090]because it is your December graduation coming up on Saturday
[00:00:15.630]and I know this is one of those moments in the calendar year
[00:00:18.420]that you really look forward to.
[00:00:20.779]Well, it's a big week
[00:00:22.357]and you know kind of winding up to the holidays here.
[00:00:25.410]You think springs are slowing down,
[00:00:26.757]but it's big weekend a lot of fronts
[00:00:29.270]we do have our graduation celebration
[00:00:31.490]coming up online on Saturday.
[00:00:34.320]We've got a unique kind of latest we've ever had
[00:00:37.970]big 10 football game on Friday at Rutgers
[00:00:41.910]and then we've, you know, we've got the holidays
[00:00:44.440]coming just around the corner, as I said.
[00:00:46.550]So a big week, you know, it is a special time of year
[00:00:52.050]when we celebrate graduation
[00:00:54.950]and while we're in this kind of odd time
[00:00:56.850]where we haven't been able to do it in person since spring
[00:01:00.550]and summer and now into our December graduation
[00:01:03.500]it's none the less the culmination
[00:01:06.570]of the higher education career for our undergraduates,
[00:01:12.190]for our graduates who were receiving doctoral
[00:01:15.010]and master's and professional degrees
[00:01:16.910]it's just a huge moment in the university community's life
[00:01:20.692]and a wonderful tradition here at Nebraska.
[00:01:24.450]We are doing all that we can to maintain
[00:01:27.780]that celebration for our graduates
[00:01:29.980]who are finishing during this time of global pandemic
[00:01:32.660]and to be able to celebrate this huge life moment with them
[00:01:36.340]as they cap off their career.
[00:01:38.950]We are doing it online again
[00:01:41.290]now for our third time to have a celebration
[00:01:44.210]we're not calling it commencement exercises
[00:01:46.450]because we're inviting all of our graduates
[00:01:49.200]from these past three time periods to come back
[00:01:53.987]and join us at a future commencement exercise in person
[00:01:57.590]to be able to experience that if they wish to do that.
[00:02:00.920]But we are celebrating online with a half hour celebration
[00:02:06.090]with families and our graduates around the world.
[00:02:09.293]It will be this Saturday for our December graduates
[00:02:13.000]on the 19th at 9:00 a.m.
[00:02:16.570]and it's going to be a really special one
[00:02:19.693]because we're going to have the opportunity to visit
[00:02:23.210]with our, perhaps our most famous alumnus Warren Buffett
[00:02:27.790]who graduated in 1951 from the university,
[00:02:31.800]well known name all around the world.
[00:02:33.462]Of course, perhaps the greatest investor who ever lived
[00:02:37.806]and one of the
[00:02:38.988]certainly the major business leaders in the world
[00:02:42.847]and I think as you know, a big Husker fan
[00:02:46.310]has been a big Husker fan throughout his life
[00:02:50.850]and so we have this special opportunity with Warren
[00:02:54.760]where he and I connected over a phone and video conversation
[00:02:58.420]for about 15 minutes for him to have the opportunity
[00:03:02.410]to be able to share some of his thoughts
[00:03:04.950]with our newest University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduates
[00:03:08.070]and I want, not give away his gusto
[00:03:12.680]before we have the celebration on Saturday
[00:03:15.040]but just in a few topics that he covers
[00:03:18.250]he shares a little bit of his personal history,
[00:03:21.060]his parents were students at the university as we'll see,
[00:03:25.560]talks about why he has such an affinity
[00:03:27.770]for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
[00:03:30.720]share some really important advice for our graduates
[00:03:35.750]from his perspective now as a 90 year old
[00:03:38.850]best known investor in the world
[00:03:41.260]and leader of Berkshire Hathaway.
[00:03:43.070]So it's really exciting to have that opportunity
[00:03:45.990]to mark in time with our graduates
[00:03:48.450]a conversation with Warren Buffett
[00:03:50.410]and to celebrate with them and their families
[00:03:52.940]all across the world as they complete their studies
[00:03:56.420]at the University of Nebraska.
[00:03:58.170]If you want to see it, it will be live streamed
[00:04:02.570]on Saturday morning at nine o'clock central.
[00:04:05.870]If you go to unl.edu to our website,
[00:04:08.929]it'll be there front and center
[00:04:10.940]to be able to experience that with our graduates.
[00:04:13.520]Oh, I cannot wait to hear his words
[00:04:16.100]and you're gonna be hosting the whole ceremony.
[00:04:17.890]It's gonna be a really special day
[00:04:20.000]and so we encourage everybody to dial up
[00:04:22.160]on the internet and check that out.
[00:04:23.850]I know you also had a chance
[00:04:25.010]to talk to another famous Husker,
[00:04:26.980]Heisman Trophy winner, Eric Crouch what did he have to say?
[00:04:31.310]Well, you know, back it
[00:04:32.880]we kind of went into this unusual football season
[00:04:36.980]as we started remember back, it seems like a long time ago
[00:04:41.650]but it was in late October when we were finally able
[00:04:45.310]to get our football season underway
[00:04:47.340]and at that first game we had Eric Crouch
[00:04:53.460]I had a communication with him again over the phone
[00:04:56.690]and zoom and video and the time that we're in
[00:05:00.360]to talk a little bit about what it meant for him
[00:05:03.210]as a player in the 1990s, a very famous player obviously
[00:05:07.500]a Heisman Trophy winner with Nebraska
[00:05:10.780]in the late 90s early 2000s
[00:05:12.970]and he talked about how important the fan base was
[00:05:18.170]and how much that meant to you as the player
[00:05:20.820]realizing that our teams
[00:05:22.680]weren't going to have that opportunity to play with fans
[00:05:24.697]in the stand, with real fans in the stands
[00:05:28.250]this time as we went through the season
[00:05:31.247]we just had a great conversation.
[00:05:33.330]I remember sharing a personal memory with him
[00:05:36.222]we actually lived in Colorado at this time in 2002
[00:05:40.450]not too long after he had played
[00:05:43.010]he was in Denver during The National Western Stock Show.
[00:05:47.270]That major event that's held in Denver every January
[00:05:50.202]a part of the Denver culture
[00:05:52.065]and we were living in the greater Denver area at the time.
[00:05:54.718]Our two oldest children are boys
[00:05:58.870]at the time were 12 and 10 years old
[00:06:00.790]and we heard through the great bonds that Eric Crouch
[00:06:04.760]and Johnny Rogers were gonna be
[00:06:06.580]at The National Western Stock Show
[00:06:08.380]to see people as a celebrity appearance
[00:06:11.360]and so immediately became something
[00:06:13.190]that our family had to do.
[00:06:14.560]We had to be there
[00:06:15.762]and give our boys the opportunity to meet Eric and Johnny
[00:06:19.810]and it was a great experience for them.
[00:06:23.070]In fact, they still have, our boys still have
[00:06:26.240]the football that Eric signed for them
[00:06:29.560]that they treasure as something themselves.
[00:06:31.570]So it was great to have the opportunity
[00:06:33.770]to visit with Eric and to hear his perspective about
[00:06:36.962]the importance of the support of fans
[00:06:39.850]and knowing that even in this strangest of years
[00:06:43.410]that they wouldn't be there in person
[00:06:44.890]they would be there in spirits supporting the team
[00:06:47.440]and just a great conversation to catch up with
[00:06:49.820]such a great ambassador
[00:06:51.040]for the University of Nebraska, Eric Crouch.
[00:06:54.291]Oh, that is a great story.
[00:06:55.670]Fantastic to hear that again
[00:06:56.964]this here is Ronnie Green the chancellor
[00:06:58.380]of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
[00:06:59.840]here on Sports Nightly.
[00:07:01.460]Well after you get through the weekend with graduation
[00:07:04.880]that the fall semester will be completely completed
[00:07:08.640]you'll end the football season on Friday
[00:07:10.590]with the Rutgers game.
[00:07:11.770]As you begin to look back how do you think
[00:07:13.750]it all went chancellor considering the enormous challenges
[00:07:17.810]that we've had here in 2020?
[00:07:20.470]Well, I've said it on several occasions
[00:07:23.620]here through the last number of weeks how proud I am
[00:07:26.300]of our institution for being able to navigate the challenges
[00:07:29.880]that we have had with this 2020 year.
[00:07:32.761]We all know what a challenging year it has been
[00:07:36.650]continues to be moving through the global pandemic
[00:07:40.689]and social unrest that has been out there as well
[00:07:45.470]throughout the year
[00:07:46.950]and we came to school on August
[00:07:50.230]coming back to as much of an in-person semester
[00:07:54.690]as we could have with all of our students on campus
[00:07:57.279]at UNL this fall
[00:07:59.340]and with a lot of uncertainty in the air
[00:08:01.980]what that was going to look like,
[00:08:03.430]how we would navigate our way through.
[00:08:05.710]There were a lot of people that honestly believed
[00:08:08.900]that we'd never make it through the semester
[00:08:10.761]before going fully remote
[00:08:13.510]like we did back in the spring
[00:08:15.360]when the pandemic first started
[00:08:17.610]and I'm very proud of the fact
[00:08:19.170]that we not only made it through the fall
[00:08:21.430]but we made it very successfully,
[00:08:23.730]completed all of our courses,
[00:08:25.243]finished just before Thanksgiving
[00:08:27.760]with the conclusion of finals for our students
[00:08:30.820]we're able to do it safely and to be able to deliver
[00:08:34.770]as much of that instruction as possible
[00:08:37.037]with our people on campus how important that is
[00:08:41.240]and was for us to be able to have our students
[00:08:44.254]and to continue in their education
[00:08:46.325]and what I'm hearing correct from a lot of people is that
[00:08:50.430]they not only continued their studies
[00:08:52.420]but in some cases, in many cases
[00:08:54.570]have accelerated their studies
[00:08:56.320]and have been able to move up
[00:08:59.350]being able to finish earlier in their careers.
[00:09:03.520]We currently are in the middle of a three week intersession
[00:09:08.130]that we started right after Thanksgiving
[00:09:10.300]we'll conclude on next week
[00:09:11.870]just before the Christmas holiday
[00:09:14.510]and then a second three weekend intersession
[00:09:16.250]that we're going to have the first three weeks of January
[00:09:19.500]before our spring term starts again on January the 25th.
[00:09:24.800]So those additional opportunities for coursework
[00:09:28.280]even though these two three weeks sessions are remote online
[00:09:33.650]this is helping our students be able to finish even sooner
[00:09:38.300]and make progress towards for their degrees
[00:09:40.440]in ways that they haven't been before.
[00:09:43.010]So I'm just proud of our faculty, of our staff
[00:09:46.340]who have worked so hard to do this
[00:09:48.260]and be successful in doing it and do it safely
[00:09:51.460]and our students for their resilience in this time.
[00:09:55.667]I've said to our students all through this year
[00:09:58.217]no one you know,
[00:09:59.600]you didn't sign up to be a student in a global pandemic
[00:10:03.010]in your college career it just happened
[00:10:06.590]and for us to be able to navigate successfully
[00:10:09.710]I'm just so proud of our institution
[00:10:11.590]and then there this athletic season, you know
[00:10:13.820]that the interrupted seasons that we have had
[00:10:17.285]back in the spring,
[00:10:19.290]the cancellation of our spring sports seasons
[00:10:22.440]and then all of the uncertainty around
[00:10:25.470]whether we'd be able to get a football season in
[00:10:28.307]and in what form that would be and all the twists and turns
[00:10:31.465]that all of our fan base remember so well
[00:10:34.760]through the summer and into the fall
[00:10:37.440]before we were finally able to get a season started
[00:10:40.460]and to be looking forward this week
[00:10:44.430]toward the end game of that regular season for us
[00:10:50.540]and be able to have only missed one
[00:10:53.620]unfortunate that we had the one that had to be canceled
[00:10:56.910]that we missed early in the season was Wisconsin
[00:11:00.210]but to get most of those games in
[00:11:03.620]is a big success has required a lot of adaptation
[00:11:08.140]on the part of our student athletes
[00:11:10.010]and on certainly on the part of our fans
[00:11:12.251]but successful that we were able to compete
[00:11:15.185]and be able to move forward
[00:11:16.750]and now of course, basketball underway for our women and men
[00:11:22.240]looking forward to into the spring
[00:11:24.470]with all the rest of the roster of our sports
[00:11:27.450]scheduled for spring competition and the time ahead
[00:11:32.200]be able to compete has been important.
[00:11:34.780]So, looking forward to the game certainly on Friday
[00:11:39.230]against Rutgers and being able to finish that big 10 season
[00:11:44.340]but in all in all Greg, I can't be thankful enough
[00:11:48.660]that under these never before seen circumstances
[00:11:53.090]in our lifetime that we have been able
[00:11:55.670]to put a successful semester behind us
[00:11:58.860]and be able to move forward in delivering our mission
[00:12:02.210]as the State land grant University.
[00:12:04.690]Very well put, chancellor thank you so much
[00:12:06.620]for spending some time with us here on Sports Nightly
[00:12:08.630]and looking forward to our pregame chat on Friday.
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