Inaugural President’s Medal awarded to John F. Kotouc
We celebrate Bellevue University’s 50th Anniversary by starting a new tradition. The President’s Medal will recognize individuals who have made a singular contribution to furthering the University’s mission and culture. John F. Kotouc, the senior member of our Board of Directors, is a fitting recipient. He is married to Wende Kotouc, his executive Co- chair of American National Bank, and they are the parents of two children.
Bellevue College had only 687 alumni when John joined the Board of Directors in 1976. Today, the University will confer its fifty thousandth degree! For four decades, John has made his presence felt. His leadership, business acumen and analytical approach have been invaluable. His quiet determination to ask the right questions and find the best answers has helped the University to plan and allocate resources well, navigate challenges, benefit from opportunities, and become Nebraska’s largest private college.
A fourth-generation Nebraskan, John upholds a family tradition of community service and advocacy for education. As Executive Co-Chairman of Omaha-based American National Bank, John oversees an organization which, under his watch has grown to 39 full-service banks in three states totaling more than $3 billion in assets.
As someone who has benefited from his own education as a cum laude graduate of Harvard University who earned a Law degree at the University of Nebraska, John has continued to work tirelessly to help others to benefit from education, including the older working students who are so typical of Bellevue University. He has attended hundreds of Bellevue University Board meetings, including a term as Board Chair. He has supported the University financially, and asked others to support it. With his parents, the late Otto and Mid Kotouc, John established the Kotouc Family Professorship Award, which recognizes and rewards outstanding teaching by University faculty members.
John is broadly recognized as a leader in his profession and his support and involvement on behalf of numerous non-profit causes including Brownell Talbott School, Omaha community foundation’s “Omaha Gives!” through American National Bank’s Title Sponsorships, Schools and Scholarship Chair, Harvard; Leadership for Life; The Stephen’s Center, The Hope Center, Youth for Christ, and numerous community and missional causes. . In 1996 he received an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from Bellevue University. He commented at the time: “It has been gratifying to serve on Bellevue University’s Board for the last 20 years and to watch its mission to the non-traditional student emerge and flourish.”
Two decades later, in recognition of his professional accomplishments, his support and service to the community and Bellevue University, the University is honored to present its inaugural President’s Medal to John F. Kotouc.