August 15, 2002                     




LINCOLN—On Sunday, Aug. 11, during a soccer game at the Abbott sports complex, Union College student Phillipe Oliveira sustained a serious head injury that shattered his temple. According to spectator reports, Oliveira had been playing the goalie position and collided with the knee of another player. He remains in the Critical Care Unit at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center.


Oliveira, an international student from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, completed Union College’s English as a Second Language program in December 2001 and has continued his education in college-level classes at Union in the area of business administration.


“Phillipe has been an outstanding student in every way,” said Danielle Opitz, ESL professor at Union College. “When I think of diligent, motivated students who have been in the ESL program, Phillipe is at the top of the list. He is very friendly, spiritually-minded and overall excited about life.”


In his year and a half at Union, Oliveira has worked at the campus deli, with the grounds and maintenance staff and at Larson Lifestyle Center as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.


“Phillipe is an excellent guy,” said Ric Spaulding, Larson Lifestyle Center director. “He is great with children at the pool—always very patient, energetic, positive and lots of fun.”


Since the soccer accident, Union College along with help from Saint Elizabeth’s social services department provided airline tickets for Oliveira’s family to fly to Lincoln. His father and brother arrived Wednesday morning. The family’s financial burden, however, is far from over. With Oliveira’s limited student insurance and thousands of miles separating him from home, he and his family are facing significant medical expenses. In addition to a prolonged hospital stay, Oliveira has already had multiple surgeries with the prospect of many more.


Individuals interested in helping the Oliveira family financially may direct cash or checks made payable to Phillipe Oliveira Donation Account. Donations will be accepted at any Union Bank branch office or mailed as follows:         Union Bank

Attn: Marilyn Artz

PO Box 82535

Lincoln, NE  68501


NOTE: The spokesperson for family is Cleiton Goncalves, close friend of Oliveira’s also from Brazil and a summer 2002 Union College graduate.