Six people stand in front of a white backdrop inside a school gymnasium. They're holding a giant check that reads "Pay to the order of Jaelyn Himmelberg; Full tuition to Doane University; Congratulations!"
Jaelyn Himmelberg holds up a giant check to celebrate receiving Doane's Academic Excellence scholarship. With her are her family and Blue Hill High School administrators, including four-time Doane grad, Principal Patrick Moore '03, '07E, '11E, '18E (far left).

Of all academic scholarships at Doane, Academic Excellence is at the pinnacle. It recognizes strong academic achievements throughout students’ high school careers and covers tuition in full. This year, two Nebraska students were presented with the scholarship out of 22 applicants — Jaelyn Himmelberg of Blue Hill and Chance Mock of Lyons. 

To qualify for the competitive scholarship, students must receive a 27 or higher on the ACT and be accepted to Doane. Students were then invited to campus to participate in a series of interviews with Doane faculty and staff.


Dance team is deciding factor for Himmelberg

Jaelyn Himmelberg knew Doane was a good university from listening to her brother, John Himmelberg ’23, talk about his experiences. She even joined him at track meets and other campus activities. 

“I saw the dance team and I saw all their accomplishments,” she said. “I was really drawn to that at first and knew I wanted to dance at Doane.” 

Two women sit behind a table draped with a black cloth that reads "Doane University." The woman on the left wears a Doane sweatshirt and is signing a document. Around them is Doane swag, including two stuffed tigers, several pennants, a shirt and a uniform for the Doane dance team.
Jaelyn Himmelberg signs her letter of intent to join the Doane dance team after celebrating receiving the Academic Excellence scholarship.

She was taking one last campus tour when her guide mentioned the Academic Excellence scholarship and recommended she apply. Himmelberg learned on April 15 that she was one of the recipients.

“It’s a great opportunity to go to a good school like Doane,” she said. “I know I’ll get a good education and that will set me up for my future in becoming a PA.”

At Doane, Himmelberg intends to major in biology or chemistry on her path to applying to physician’s assistant programs, and will be a member of the dance team. 

Himmelberg competed in cross country, basketball and track and field at Blue Hill High School, and held leadership positions as president of FFA, the 2024 senior class. She was in the National Honor Society and FBLA, along with many other organizations. 


Scholarship will take weight off his mom’s shoulders, Mock says

Six people stand behind a table covered in an orange cloth, in front of a white backdrop.
Family members surround Chance Mock as he poses with a giant check after receiving Doane's Academic Excellence award.

Chance Mock had a chance encounter with Doane recruiter, Becky Omon ’03, at a college fair in West Point, Nebraska. Omon mentioned that Mock was a good fit for the Academic Excellence scholarship — which piqued his and his family’s interest as one of the biggest college scholarships they had seen. He started reaching out to the Tiger cross country coaches to ask about the team. 

“I went down to see Doane and meet everyone, and it was just a great experience,” Mock said. 

Along with being a top student at Lyons-Decatur Northeast Schools, Mock participated in the one act play, spring play, the speech team, cross country and track and field, quiz bowl and mock trial. He also served as vice president of the FBLA team. As a Doane student, he intends to be part of both the cross country and esports teams while pursuing a major in computing and possible minors in either mathematics and data analytics or engineering. 

Five people stand in front of a white backdrop behind a table covered with an orange cloth. In the middle, a person holds up a giant check.
Family members pose with Chance Mock after he received Doane's Academic Excellence award.

“And if I have time, I’ll look around and see what else is on campus,” he said. 

Receiving a full-tuition scholarship will help Mock be able to focus on his education and life on campus without worrying about debt in the future. 

“I can help my mom out more, then, because there’s less weight on her shoulders if I’m able to do this,” he said.