Since 1975, the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation has provided important funds for the master's program in UNL's College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Its initial gift of $250,000 has grown to $1 million, and the foundation helped fund the Andersen Hall renovation.
In 1885, Gilbert M. Hitchcock founded the Omaha Evening World newspaper. Four years later, by purchasing the Omaha Morning Herald and combining it with the Evening World, Hitchcock launched the Omaha World-Herald.
Gilbert Hitchcock died in 1934 and Martha Hitchcock took up her husband's torch. In 1944 she established the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation to honor her husband's memory. She died in 1962 and left $5 million to the Hitchcock Foundation. In 1975 the foundation's board decided to support the journalism graduate program.
Hitchcock Foundation dollars help both graduate students and faculty by providing fellowships for graduate students and seed money for professional projects by the faculty. It is and has been the goal of the Hitchcock Foundation to educate graduate students and keep them within the territory serviced by the Omaha World-Herald.
Neely Kountze, the Hitchcock's great-nephew, is currently president of the Hitchcock Foundation.