About the Pilster Great Plains Lecture
In 2006, the late Esther Pilster gave a gift of ranchland in northwest Nebraska near Whitney in Dawes County, to the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society. The gift, which established an endowment with the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society, was a tribute to her late husband Raleigh, who grew up on the ranch, and his parents John and Grace Pilster. As a beloved teacher and school administrator for 44 years, Esther served 29 years as principal at Boyd Elementary School in Omaha. Esther wanted her gift to honor the courage and tenacity shown by Raleigh’s parents and others who lived on the Great Plains. The Pilster Great Plains Lecture Series and other programs are funded by the Pilster endowment.