Students studying math or science at Chadron State College will benefit from a gift of more than $500,000 by Richard Gochnauer who attended CSC 1955-57. He lived at the Prairie Pines Lodge in Chadron before passing away in April of 2012.
Dr. Charles Snare, vice president of academic affairs, said, "CSC is very grateful for the gift. Such gifts impact the lives of many students on a day-to-day basis that make a difference for student learning."
A native of northwest Nebraska, Gochnauer spent nearly four years in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict, then used the GI Bill to attend CSC for 2 ½ years in the mid-1950s. He completed his degree in petroleum engineering at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he graduated with high honors.
Although he’d already been stationed in Alaska, Greenland and Germany while serving with the Air Force, he saw much more of the world during his career in the petroleum industry. He spent 13 years in management, production and related roles while working in North Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia.
After retiring, he resided in a cabin near Glendo, Wyo. for 11 years before moving back to Chadron about 2009.
When Gochnauer became a member of the Living Legacy Club last year he noted that his education took him places and allowed him to have experiences he never dreamed of when he was young. His hope was that his gift can help others follow a similar path.