At the 2010 Spring Game, former Husker defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh announced he would donate $2 million for sports conditioning facilities at Nebraska, and $600,000 to endow scholarships in the UNL College of Engineering. In the following week, Suh was the #2 pick in the National Football League draft, to play for the Detroit Lions.
The significant gift was praised by university leaders as one of the biggest from recent graduates and unprecedented among NFL arrivals. Suh explained, "I didn’t have to do this, but I wanted to do it," in honor of his great experiences at Nebraska. His career here earned Suh the 2009 Associated Press National College Football Player of the Year as well as the Lombardi, Outland, Bednarik, and the Nagurski football awards; Suh was also a December 2009 graduate of the Construction Management program in The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction.
"For many people who become successful in sports, the first thing they do with their money is buy a sports car," said Eddy Rojas, director of The Durham School. "Not him—he thought about us."
Discussions with Nebraska Athletics’ Guy Rozier and the Suh family shaped the philanthropy to Suh’s interest in "giving back to the programs that gave me so much." The engineering scholarships are intended to help out-ofstate students facing higher tuition at Nebraska, with highest preference to students from Portland, Oregon’s Grant High School, which Suh attended.
"The balance between athletics and academics is one-of-a-kind at Nebraska," Suh said. "That's the reason I came here, and that's the reason I wanted to support the College of Engineering. I wanted to make sure that other out-ofstate students would have the same opportunities that I did at Nebraska. This is a great school and will hold a special place in my heart forever."