Big John Scholarship Established

December 7, 2023

People gathered around a large check.The Central Community College Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Big John Scholarship Fund.

Named for John Saathoff, past owner of Big John’s Ford in Minden, the need-based scholarship is for CCC students in the career and technical sciences or health sciences programs who maintain a C average and preferably come from the area that supported Saathoff and his businesses. These include the counties of Adams, Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Harlan, Kearney and Phelps.

Saathoff’s beginnings were humble as he learned the value of hard work on his father’s farm. He took these lessons with him when he left the farm and continually built his knowledge and skillset through a variety of jobs. He worked as a farm hand, garbage collector and mechanic prior to owning his own automobile dealership and rebuilding other dealerships in central Nebraska. Saathoff did not grow up knowing that he wanted to enter the automotive world. What he did know was that hard work and determination were essential in everything he did.

It is with this mindset that he set out to invest in the communities who backed him for almost 50 years.

“I know there is a tremendous demand for technical and vocational workers such as welders, truck drivers, dental assistants, mechanics and computer techs,” said John. “I firmly believe that these blue-collar jobs are the backbone of our society and I want to help encourage those who pursue these careers.”

Saathoff presented an initial $25,000 check on Dec. 7 to the CCC Foundation at a ceremony at the Hastings Campus. It is anticipated that this initial gift establishing the Big John Scholarship will assist more than 25 students in the first year.

“With 90 percent of CCC graduates staying in the college’s 25-county service area after graduation, John is not only benefiting individual students with his scholarship. He is investing in the communities where these graduates return to build careers and establish families,” said Jessica Rohan, CCC Foundation development director. “We are extremely grateful to John for his vision and generosity in establishing this scholarship fund during this season of giving.”

To learn more about the Big John Scholarship fund or the Central Community College Foundation, contact the foundation at 402-460-2151 or click here.