Omaha – Two names synonymous with excellence in education are now permanently associated with the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Education’s leadership.
A recent gift by former University of Nebraska President Ronald Roskens and his wife, Lois, to the University of Nebraska Foundation has established the Lois G. Roskens UNO College of Education Deanship at UNO. The amount of the gift is not being disclosed at the request of the donors.
“We are grateful to Ron and Lois Roskens for their continued generosity, vision and friendship and their ability to bring others to the table in support of this important addition to the college and campus,” said UNO Chancellor John E. Christensen. “The Roskens’ tenure at the helm of this university was remarkable in the growth, maturation and expansion of the metropolitan mission. This endowed deanship continues that tradition and speaks volumes about the Roskens’ continued commitment to UNO.”
Endowed faculty positions are a priority for the foundation’s Campaign for Nebraska. These positions enable the university to attract or retain the very best leadership in their respective fields.
The inaugural recipient is Nancy Edick, the current UNO College of Education dean.
“The impact and legacy of Dr. Ron and Lois Roskens’ work in education has been extraordinary,” said Edick who called it an honor to be the deanship’s inaugural recipient. “The deanship serves as a catalyst for me and future leaders to continue to honor their work through the ongoing transformation of UNO’s College of Education.”
Dr. Roskens served as chancellor of UNO from 1972 to 1977. He was named president of the University of Nebraska in 1977, a post he held for 13 years. Dr. Roskens was integral in developing programs with universities in Asia, Latin America, Europe and China. He also negotiated an exchange program with Kabul University in Afghanistan and oversaw development of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at UNO.
In 1990, Dr. Roskens was appointed administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and in 1997 he founded Global Communications, a business consulting firm based in Omaha. In 2010, Dr. Roskens received one of Japan’s most prestigious awards – the Order of the Rising Sun – for educational, business and civic connections with the country.
Lois Roskens is a longtime supporter of UNO and the Omaha community. A former first grade teacher, she has been an active member in numerous educational and nonprofit organizations including the Nebraska Arts Council, Camp Fire Girls, Great Plains Girl Scout Council, Joslyn Art Museum, Uta Halee and the Omaha Symphony Guild.
“As a former teacher I count it a special privilege to have my name associated with such an outstanding college of education and its extraordinary leadership,” said Lois Roskens. “The students that are a part of the UNO College of Education are learning from the best in the profession and within a college that continually strives for excellence. I am very supportive of Dean Nancy Edick and her outstanding leadership and believe this endowed deanship will help lead the college to even greater heights.”
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.
About the University of Nebraska Foundation
The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 77 years. In 2013, donors provided the university with $236.7 million for scholarships, medical and other research, academic programs, faculty support and facilities. The foundation’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Nebraska, has raised more than $1.5 billion for the university and concludes Dec. 31, 2014. For more information, visit campaignfornebraska.org.