Cooper Foundation Elects New Trustees

Friday, December 8, 2017

Cooper Foundation Elects Connie Duncan and
Tyre McDowell Jr to its Board

Connie Duncan

Tyre J. "T.J." McDowell, Jr.

The Cooper Foundation elected Connie Duncan and Tyre J. "T.J." McDowell, Jr. to its Board of Trustees at the December 8, 2017 board meeting.

Jack Campbell, Chair of the Cooper Foundation, said, “Our founder, Joseph H. Cooper, always sought the most respected community leaders to serve as trustees. Connie and T.J. follow in that tradition of accomplishment, leadership, and commitment to Lincoln and Nebraska.”

Promoting education for all children has always been Connie Duncan’s passion. She was a special education teacher for Lincoln Public Schools for 17 years followed by four years as a Retention Specialist for Learn to Dream, a low income, first generation scholarship at Southeast Community College. Connie was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska and is a graduate of Northeast High School. She earned her music performance degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and her teaching certificate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Connie is a member of the Lincoln Public Schools Board of Education representing District 2 and co-chaired the District’s $153 million bond election campaign in 2014. She works part time for Nebraska Children and Families Foundation as Vice President of Philanthropy and is director of her family’s foundation, the Duncan Family Trust. Connie serves on the boards of Humanities Nebraska, the Lincoln Community Foundation and Lutheran Family Services. She and her husband, Todd, chaired the city-wide campaign to bring the Boys and Girls Club to Lincoln and this past year served as campaign chairs for the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County.

Connie’s current and past board leadership includes Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nebraska Association of School Boards, Stand For Schools, Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, Friendship Home, Lincoln Community Playhouse, Lincoln Children’s Museum, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, and the Nebraska Association of School Boards.

Tyre J. McDowell Jr. is Vice President for Campus Community at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He is responsible for Athletics and Recreation, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, Strategic Planning, Student Life, Counseling Services, Residential Education, Student Health, Student Involvement and Greek Life, Student Success and Retention, and is the Title IX Coordinator. Previously T.J. was Graduation Initiative Coordinator for the Lincoln Public Schools, Executive Director of the Clyde Malone Community Center, Program Manager at Community Health Endowment, Executive Director of Lighthouse, and Director of Education Outreach at Lincoln Action Program.

T.J. earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Nebraska Wesleyan University and his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2017, he received his Certificate of Educational Management from Harvard University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Child Advocacy Center and Nebraskans for Civic Reform, is President of the Community Justice Center, and is Secretary of the NAACP-Lincoln Branch. T.J. has served on the boards of the Woods Charitable Fund, the Food Bank of Lincoln and United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County.

The Cooper Foundation, founded in 1934, has granted over $23 million in support of education, human services, the arts, the humanities, and the environment. For more information visit the Cooper Foundation website at: