Don Briel Scholarships

A Note from the Newman Institute Director


Earlier this year, a good and great man, Don Briel, went home to the Lord.

For those who did not know him, Dr. Briel was a master teacher and a pioneer of Catholic Studies, having founded the first such program at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. Both there and, more recently, at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, Don labored in love for over two decades, forming hundreds of undergraduates in the spirit of Blessed John Henry Newman, whose vision of liberal education he fully embraced.

Dr. Briel's students, many of whom became priests, religious and lay leaders, grew to love, as I did, this soft-spoken man who shared generously his profound insights on the true, the good and the beautiful. I was privileged to serve with him on the founding committee that gave birth to our own Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture. Just days before his death, Dr. Briel accepted my invitation to become the first "Friend of the Newman Institute." As the charter member, he promised that he would support our work with his prayer, counsel and financial help.

As a way of honoring our dear friend, the Newman Institute is happy to announce the Don Briel Scholarship for the coming academic year. Many of our undergraduate students from the University of Nebraska and other area colleges are eager to take our classes in the Great Books but lack the funds to do so. With this in mind, we will offer several full and partial scholarships ($650 and $325) based on the amount we raise.

In gratitude to Don Briel and to all who want to honor him.

Dr. John Freeh
Newman Institute Director

"Don knew his mission. It was to be a teacher, to form young minds to know, love, and serve the Lord and his Church. He was indeed a bond of connection between persons. He was indeed created for some definite service, entrusted to no other. And Don, indeed, did good."

Bishop James D. Conley
Bishop of Lincoln