2022 Midland University Impact Award: Sid Dillon

2022 Midland University Impact Award: Sid Dillon

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Midland University is proud to honor Sid Dillon with the 2022 Impact Award. Dillon will be honored during the Alumni & Legacy Banquet September 25th at the Fremont Golf Club. 

Sid Dillon Inc. has nine different dealerships in Nebraska, including two in Fremont. The Sid and Hazel Dillon Scholarship has provided a pathway for numerous students to attend Midland University over the years.

“I’m very grateful and honored to be receiving this recognition from Midland,” Sid Dillon said.

Freddy Orellana ‘12, is one of the many students that the Dillon scholarship has helped provide a pathway to an education that might not have otherwise existed. “The significance and impact of the Dillon scholarship given to myself, and other students, can’t be measured or fully comprehended,” Orellana said. “Many students, myself included, would have had no possible way to further their education without these scholarships.”

Orellana’s journey began when he moved to Fremont from El Salvador in 2005. After learning to speak English through the ELL program at Fremont High School, Orellana began envisioning a career path to becoming a pharmacist. Through the help of the Dillon Scholarship, Orellana was able to attend Midland and eventually graduated Cum Laude. He would later attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center and began working as a pharmacist at Walmart in Fremont in 2018.

“The education received from Midland helped mold and shape me, and so many other students, and propel us to opportunities which were previously unattainable,” Orellana said. “The careers pursued will provide life experiences, as well as income and stability, not just for the students, but also their families.”

Sid Dillon and his late wife, Hazel, have been staples of the Fremont community for nearly 50 years. Along with their work of building and establishing one of the top auto dealerships in the Midwest, they have been stalwarts in supporting both Midland and the Fremont community. Sid’s service throughout the years has involved participation on the boards of Alegent Health, Immanuel Health Care Systems, North Omaha Hope Center for Kids, Omaha Symphony, St. Augustine Indian Mission, Nebraskaland Foundation, Fremont Area Memorial Hospital Foundation, Fremont Industrial Foundation, Fremont YMCA and Foundation, Fremont Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of Goldenrod District Boy Scouts of America. 

Sid previously served on the Midland University Board of Trustees and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Midland in 2001. He and Hazel also received the Hanson Servant Award from Dana College in 2003.

In 2018, the Dillon Family Aquatic Center opened at the Fremont Family YMCA, providing a state-of-the-art facility for swimmers of all ages across the Fremont area. The Dillon Family Aquatic Center serves as home for the Midland University swimming and diving teams. The Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center in Lincoln, Nebraska opened in 2015 and has 12 outdoor courts and six indoor courts.

The impact of Sid and his family, which includes four children, has been felt not only on the Midland campus, but throughout Nebraska. Orellana said it is because of the generosity of Sid and his family that many students are able to envision a future that might not have been possible.

“Because the Dillons decided to give to others, lives will be changed forever,” Orellana said.