University of Nebraska Omaha

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University of Nebraska Omaha
Established 1908
Type Public
Space Grant
Chancellor John Christensen
Academic staff
1,069 [1]
Students 15,526 [1]
Undergraduates 12,488 [1]
Postgraduates 3,038 [1]
Location Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
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Campus Urban, 534 acres (216 ha)
78 acres (32 ha) (North Campus)
154 acres (62 ha) (South Campus)[2]
Student newspaper The Gateway
Colors Black and Crimson          [3]
Athletics NCAA Division ISummit League, NCHC
Sports 15 varsity teams
Nickname Mavericks
Mascot Durango
Affiliations University of Nebraska system

The University of Nebraska Omaha, often referred to as Omaha or UNO, is a public research university located in Omaha, Nebraska, United States.[4] Founded in 1908 by faculty from the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary as a private non-sectarian college, the university was originally known as the University of Omaha.[5][6] Meant to provide a Christian based education free from ecclesiastical control, the university served as a strong alternative to the city's many successful religiously affiliated institutions.[7] The university became a public municipal institution in 1930 and was relocated to its current location in central Omaha in 1938.[5] It was integrated into the University of Nebraska system in 1968.

Serving as Nebraska's premier metropolitan university, UNO continues to rapidly expand to meet the growing demands of the city of Omaha and the state of Nebraska. Since the year 2000, the university has more than tripled its student housing and is currently building a 450 bed student dormitory and academic space on its south campus. [8][5] It has also recently constructed modern facilities for its engineering, information technology and business programs.[5] UNO currently offers more than 200 programs of study across 6 different colleges and has over 60 classroom, student, athletic, and research facilities spread across 3 campuses.[9][10] The university expects to enroll 20,000 students by the year 2020.[11]

The Omaha Mavericks compete in 15 NCAA Division I sports in both the NCHC and Summit League conferences. The ice hockey, basketball, and volleyball teams compete in the brand new, state-of-the-art Baxter Arena located on the university's Center street campus. UNO recently enjoyed national attention when its men's hockey team reached the national semifinal (Frozen Four) of the NCAA tournament.[12]


Omaha University

The original Omaha University was founded in 1908 in the Kountze Place neighborhood of North Omaha. The first classes were located in the Redick Mansion, once at North 24th and Pratt Streets, from 1909 through 1917. As the university was established a few blocks north of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, most of its early faculty were recruited from Seminary teachers, as well as the faculty of Bellevue College. There were 26 students in the first year, most of whom had graduated from Omaha Central High School. Three of the University's first four presidents were ordained Presbyterian ministers.[13][14] Two other buildings on the original campus included Jacobs Hall, a gymnasium erected in 1910, and Joslyn Hall, a classroom building erected in 1917.

Jacobs Hall was a gymnasium facing North 24th Street, built with $14,000 from the sale of land donated by Lillian Maul. The land, the first donation to the university, was near the present West Dodge campus of the university. It was the first new building constructed on the university campus. Joslyn Hall was built with funds donated by a well-known resident, George A. Joslyn. Donating $25,000 toward the building, he stipulated the school match that with another $25,000 in a year. The building was located just north of Redick Hall and was finished in January 1917. Joslyn Hall had three stories and a basement, with a total of thirty classrooms that accommodated 750 students. The building included chemistry and physics laboratories, an auditorium and music department.[15] Redick Hall was sold and moved in February 1917 to Minnesota, where it was adapted for use in a resort.

In the early 1920s a proposed "magnificent campus" was slated for development between 21st and 25th Avenues, bounded by Kountze Park and the Carter Lake Park. In 1927, businessmen formed the North Omaha Activities Association in order to redevelop Saratoga School's playing field into a football field for the University's football team. With new bleachers built to accommodate a crowd of one thousand, the Saratoga Field was home to OU's football team until 1951.[16] The school also served as OU's science call from 1917 to 1926.[17]

The university moved from the North Omaha campus to its present main location at 60th and Dodge Street in 1938. The old campus buildings were redeveloped for a time as apartments and offices. In June 1964 Jacobs and Joslyn halls were the last two original OU buildings at 24th & Pratt Streets to be demolished. They were taken down in the early 1960s to make way for a 12-story Omaha Housing Authority apartment building for the elderly, which was completed in 1965.[15]

Dr. Milo Bail became president of Omaha University in 1948 and served until 1965. During that time, Omaha hotel magnate Eugene C. Eppley's foundation gave more than $1.2 million to the university. After Eppley's passing, the Eppley Foundation donated another $50,000 to recruit distinguished professors. The Eugene C. Eppley Administration Building, designed by John Latenser, Sr.,[17] at the university was named in recognition of the gifts.[18][19] In 1952 the national Silver Wings student organization was founded at the University of Omaha. In 1976 the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library replaced the Eppley Library.


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[21] RNP
Washington Monthly[22] 163[20]

UNO is classified as a doctoral/research university in the latest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. UNO is the home of the Peter Kiewit Institute a $70 million state-of-the-art computer science facility and engineering facility, giving the university one of the premier computer science, management information systems (MIS) and bioinformatics programs in the region. PKI houses UNO's College of Information Science and Technology, UNL's College of Engineering and Technology, and the Holland Computing Center, which houses the Firefly supercomputer.[23] The College of Information Science and Technology offers undergraduate/graduate degrees in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Bioinformatics (graduate degree offered in collaboration with UNMC's Pathology's graduate program), Information Assurance, and Information Technology Innovation. In 2002, UNO became the first university in Nebraska to offer an ABET accredited computer science degree and the only university in the state with an ABET accredited information systems program.[24]

UNO's School of Public Administration [1] is a national leader in public service education, with five of its programs ranked in the nation’s top 25 by U.S. News & World Report [2]. The school offers a nationally-ranked Master of Public Administration degree [3] that is also offered online [4].

UNO's Division of Continuing Studies,[25] which offers the Bachelor of General Studies, is ranked in the nation's top 20 Best Online Bachelor's Programs by U.S. News & World Report[26] for 2013 and 2014.

The College of Business Administration's Master of Business Administration students ranked in the top 5% nationally, while the undergraduate students ranked in the top 15% on a 2007 standardized exam on business topics conducted by the Educational Testing Service.[27]

UNO maintains a widely regarded online film journal called the Journal of Religion and Film.

Modern campus

Kaneko-UNO Library Study space

The University of Nebraska Omaha is located in midtown Omaha, with a campus separated in two by Elmwood Park (The campus north of Elmwood is referred to as 'North Campus' and the campus south of Elmwood as 'South Campus'). UNO also operates the Kaneko-UNO Library, at 12th and Jones streets in downtown Omaha, and focuses on and offering research scientists, business leaders, teachers, visual artists, and students access to resources and materials not in their day-to-day environment.

North Campus

The North Campus is the largest and primary campus for the University of Nebraska Omaha. The following colleges and their associated facilities are located on the North Campus:

University of Nebraska Omaha North campus
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Communication, Fine Arts, and Media
  • College of Education
  • College of Public Affairs and Community Service
  • Graduate Studies
  • International Studies
  • Service-Learning Academy

Additionally, the North Campus is also the home to the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, the Strauss Performing Arts Center, the UNO Art Gallery, and the Black Box Theater, a state-of-the-art facility with mobile seating units that allow a customizable and trans-formative space.

University Village and Maverick Village student housing complexes, each composed of multiple buildings, are spread across the western edge of the North Campus, and additional housing is present on South Campus.

The HPER (Health, Physical Education, and Recreation) building is a recently renovated complex that houses the Athletic Department for the Division I Omaha Mavericks as well as student fitness areas. Attached is the Sapp Field House and Al F. Caniglia Field. The Pep Bowl is located near Caniglia Field.

Pacific Campus

The Pacific Campus (formerly South Campus) houses the primary facilities for the College of Business Administration and the College of Information Science and Technology, which includes the Peter Kiewit Institute, the Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering, and the Firefly supercomputer. The Scott Technology Center incubator, which aims to assist start-up enterprises, is also located on the Pacific Campus. The Scott Data Center and Scott Conference Center are other features of Pacific Campus.

On June 3, 2015, it was announced that the new athletic arena will be named Baxter Arena.[28]


The university's sports teams, branded as "Omaha", have been nicknamed the Mavericks since 1971.[29] In 2011, 13 of the 16 sports that the university then sponsored moved from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I and The Summit League. The exceptions were men's ice hockey, which already competed in Division I; and football and wrestling, both of which UNO dropped. Wrestling had been the school's most successful sport with national championships in 1991, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.[30] The Omaha men's ice hockey team, the state's only Division I ice hockey program, became charter members of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2011 with play beginning in the 2013–14 season, following a major conference realignment. Previously, Omaha had been in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association since 2010–11. Omaha added teams in men's golf and men's soccer in 2011.

Men's sports at UNO include tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf and hockey. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and volleyball. The women's softball team won the Women's College World Series national championship in 1975 as a member of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women .

Greek life



KVNO 90.7 FM is produced and broadcast from UNO's North Campus. The station's format is primarily classical music, although approximately 10% of its broadcast time is devoted to athletic and campus events. MavRadio (HD FM 90.7-2) is a student produced college/indie station also produced and broadcast from UNO's North Campus. The Gateway is the school's student newspaper, published bi-weekly during the spring and fall academic semesters.


As of 2012, the Chancellor of UNO is John Christensen, Ph.D., the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs is B.J. Reed, Ph.D., and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance is Bill Conley, MBA.

  • College of Arts and Sciences – J. David Boocker
  • College of Business Administration – Louis G. Pol
  • College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media – Gail F. Baker
  • College of Education – Nancy A. Edick
  • College of Information Science and Technology – Hesham H. Ali
  • College of Public Affairs and Community Service – John Bartle
  • Criss Library – Stephen R. Shorb.
  • Graduate Studies – Deborah S. Smith-Howell
  • International Studies and Programs – Thomas E. Gouttierre.

Notable people

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "UNO Factbook". University of Nebraska at Omaha.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "University of Nebraska--Omaha".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Color Palette".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Carnegie Classifications – University of Nebraska at Omaha". Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved December 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Howard K. Marcus. "Student housing, campus expansion and now new arena transform UNO". Omaha World Herald.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Jim McKee. "The University of Omaha born in an Omaha Victorian mansion". Lincoln Journal Star.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "History of UNO".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Kate Howard. "Private developer to completely finance new UNO residence hall". Omaha World Herald.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "UNO Academics".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "University of Nebraska at Omaha Map" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Kate Howard. "In annual address, chancellor says UNO is 'premier metropolitan university". Omaha World Herald.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Barbara Matson. "Omaha goes all in, and it's paying off in Frozen Four". Boston Globe.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "History of Omaha at a glance", Douglas County Historical Society. Retrieved 4/10/08. p 65.
  14. (1993) A History of UNO. University of Nebraska Omaha. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Old campus fades into oblivion", UNO Alumni Newsletter. August 1964. Retrieved 4/29/08.
  16. Saratoga Field University of Nebraska Omaha website.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "West Dodge Campus Choice Gave Unique Building Design", The Gateway - UNO. Retrieved 3/26/08.
  18. "There's more to UNO buildings that just a name", Gateway. July 10, 2004. Retrieved 2/3/08.
  19. "University buildings", UNO Gateway. Retrieved 2/4/08.
  20. "2014 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved May 27, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "2015 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved September 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Holland Computing Center. Holland Computing Center Website Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  24. Database Search. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
  25. "- University of Nebraska Omaha".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Best Online Bachelor's Programs".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Press Release. University of Nebraska Omaha.
  28. "UNO's new athletic arena gets a name". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved 3 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. UNO - excerpt from Summer 1971 yearbook, Tomahawk
  30. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  31. "Captain Merlyn Hans Dethlefsen".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Jake Ellenberger UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "UNO Alumni Association - Retrospect".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "UNO Alumni Association - UNO Magazine Fall 2013 - Boys in the Service".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Additional reading

  • Oliver B. Pollak and Les Valentine, University of Nebraska at Omaha: The Campus History Series (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2007).

External links