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Pictured above, Alpha Sigma Lambda's "In War and Peace" float at the University of Omaha's 1946 May Day Parade.

This Week in Campus History

On March 28, 1977, The Gateway reported that both a new University Library book return drop box and a campus fire hydrant were found missing and presumed stolen from the UNO campus. The book return, valued at around $200, was one of four being tested for use on campus. Because of this supposed theft, the decision was made to sink drop boxes in concrete, as they were used frequently enough to warrant permanent installation. As for the hydrant, no value was reported. However, Mike Kallman, director of plant operations, suggested a possible use for the stolen item. He was quoted as saying: "I hear some people think it's cute to get them chrome plated and put them in their living room."

Date: March 28, 1977
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by University Library Archives

Les Sigman

Going for Four

by Tim Fitzgerald

You'd never know that Les Sigman is going after his fourth national wrestling championship March 10-11. He is as calm and soft-spoken as ever and seems to wonder why he's getting so much attention.

Sigman could set University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) records and become the first Maverick to win four national titles (wrestler Roy Washington had three and his brother, Mel, had two). In doing so, ...continue

Gail Baker Named Dean of CCFAM

the nameGail F. Baker has been named dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media at UNO. She will begin her new duties July 1.

The appointment is pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

"Dr. Baker brings a unique combination of administrative and academic accomplishments to the position," said UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck. "She has the skills and experience to develop this exciting new college."

The UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CCFAM) was formed July 1, 2005. The move united UNO's existing School of Communication, radio station and television station with the UNO College of Fine Arts. Today, CCFAM consists of the UNO School of Communication; four academic departments – art and art history, music, theatre and Writer's Workshop; KVNO Classical 90.7 FM; and UNO Television. 

"The new college is a critical component of UNO's metropolitan mission and commitment to students, academic excellence and community engagement," said John Christensen, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at UNO. "Dr. Baker's previous administrative appointments and scholarly research are especially appropriate for UNO's metropolitan mission and our commitment to diversity and inclusion for students, faculty, staff and the community."

Dr. Baker received her Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1991, her M.S. in marketing communications from Roosevelt University in 1980 and her BSJ in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1976. She joins UNO from the University of Florida where she has held numerous positions since 1995, including vice president for public relations, director of communications, special assistant to the provost for academic communications, and chair and associate professor of public relations in the College of Journalism and Communications. Prior to her arrival at the University of Florida, she held academic and administrative positions at the University of Missouri-Columbia from 1983 to 1995.

Dr. Baker is accredited in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) where she is also a member of the College of Fellows.  She has published on cross-cultural communications, ethnic public relations, reputation management, and advertising and marketing.  Dr. Baker has also won awards for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

"I am extremely excited and honored to be joining UNO and the Omaha community. This college is uniquely positioned to advance the university's metropolitan mission. I look forward to working with the outstanding individuals who comprise and support CCFAM," Dr. Baker said.

Robert Welk began serving as interim dean of the former UNO College of Fine Arts in July 2003 and was appointed dean of the newly formed CCFAM in July 2005.

Recipients of Women of Wisdom Awards Announced

The Program for Women and Successful Aging (PWSA), an outreach program based at UNO, has announced the winners of its PWSA Women of Wisdom Awards. Recipients will be honored at a luncheon and community-wide program titled "Celebrate: Women of Wisdom Because Aging is a Lifetime Event" Wednesday, April 5. The keynote speaker will be Frances Mayes, the best-selling author of Under the Tuscan Sun.

"The three women we have selected have made a tremendous impact in our community and in the lives of the people they have touched," said Patricia Adams, PWSA director. The mission of the awards program is to recognize the important, and often unrecognized, contributions that senior women make each day, Adams added.

The 2006 award winners are as follows:

- Gloria Leiferman. Leiferman, an Omaha Immanuel Nursing School graduate, is a retired pediatric nurse. But she has not retired from child care. A foster mother for the past 27 years, Leiferman welcomed her 203rd baby in October 2005. She often cares for children with disabilities – including babies born addicted to drugs – for Catholic Charities, Nebraska Health and Human Services, and the Child Saving Institute. She also is serving her 20th year as a volunteer on the Nebraska Foster Care Review Board, where she makes recommendations for the future care of foster children.

- Katie Mills. At the age of 44, Mills, who had four children to raise alone, graduated from UNO through the teacher corps program. For the next 24 years, she taught first and second graders at Miller Park and Belle Ryan, where her many home visits enabled parents to be a significant part of the educational process. Since retirement, Mills has been an active volunteer in Omaha, serving meals on wheels with the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, helping adults learn to read through the American Literacy Council, rocking babies at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and driving visually impaired persons to their monthly meetings.

- Martha Parker. Parker has served her family, her church and her community. She helped her husband establish and grow the Antioch Church of God in Christ, even maintaining it herself during her husband's illness. Parker has taken homeless men, women and children into her home. She has helped to reform prostitutes, drug addicts and abused individuals. A leader as well as a listener, she serves as the Church of God in Christ Supervisor of Women for the state of Nebraska, where she organizes various women's ministries. She is currently establishing a program for seniors at the church.

In addition to the Women of Wisdom presentation, the PWSA also will award the Shirley Waskel Award for the Advancement of Women, which honors a prominent senior woman. Evelyn Zysman will receive this honor for her lifelong commitment to civil rights and women's rights.

Zysman, who turned 95 last year, is still well, sharp, independent and engaged in the world. She was an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received her master's degree in social work in the 1930s. She helped launch Omaha's first Head Start program in the 1960s. Zysman remains committed to her work through the Social Justice Committee at Temple Israel.

The luncheon event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Central, 3321 S. 72nd Street. It is open to the public, and the doors open at 11 a.m. Tickets are $40 a person and $35 for seniors over age 60.

For more information, contact Jennifer Maasen at 554.4897 or

Susan B.'s Coffeehouse on Financial Planning Today

Wealth advisor Roland Manarin will be on campus to offer women financial planning advice today, March 28, at the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women's Susan B. Anthony Coffeehouse. The event will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Council Room.

Manarin, president and founder of the Manarin Investment Counsel Ltd., will discuss his investment philosophy that is based on education, opportunity, common sense and discipline. In January 2004, he was named one of America's top 100 wealth advisors by Barrons Magazine.

Weiyu Guo – associate professor of finance, banking and law at UNO – will co-present at the coffeehouse. She will discuss four decisions that need to be made when formulating an investment strategy.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact coffeehouse facilitators Esther Scarpello at 554.3660 or Dr. Guo at 554.2655.

The Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women serves as an advisory council to the chancellor and other university administrators on issues that relate to women faculty, staff and students. Its goal is to provide a forum for women at UNO in conjunction with the organization's core themes of A, B, C – Awareness of women's issues, Balance in women's lives, and the Community and women's roles.

Spring 2006 BFA Thesis Exhibition Opens April 7

The Spring 2006 BFA Thesis Exhibition opens Friday, April 7, at UNO. A reception will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the UNO Art Gallery.

The work of Frances Osugi, Brandon Liebig, Kym Johnson Rutledge, Jonathan Sours and Alexia Thiele will be featured.

Osugi's thesis, "Hand Produced Books from the Monku-Monku Press," showcases edition printing in letterpress, woodblock, intaglio and photolithography. "The portraits and stories come from my life and my imagination," she said.

Rutledge's thesis is titled "Who am I? I am Everyman." This series of paintings is based on contemporary characters from "Everyman," a medieval morality play written in the 15th century. "Each character is a personification of a virtue or vice, and each embodies a part of me," Rutledge said. "My painting style expresses the movement of wet paint in order to bring life to a static state, as breath is to the body."

Jonathan D. Sours titled his painting and drawing series "Ten Accounts of Three Figures." It features three figures that are examined and deconstructed through repetition.

The exhibition runs through May 5. The UNO Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building. Admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are as follows: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, noon to 4 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.

For more information, call Deborah-Eve Lombard at 554.2796.

"Night Before Nationals" Reception Tonight

All faculty, staff and students are invited to wish the 2005-06 UNO Forensics Team well before they leave to represent the university at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament. The "Night Before Nationals" reception will be held tonight, March 28, at 5:30 p.m. in 101 Arts and Sciences Hall.

The team will present several of their nationally qualified events, including persuasive speaking, after-dinner speaking, dramatic interpretation, dramatic duo interpretation and program oral interpretation.

For more information, contact Susan Schnase at 554.3967 or

Dress for Success Workshop March 29

The UNO Office of Multicultural Affairs, in collaboration with the UNO College of Business Administration, will host a "Dress for Success" workshop Wednesday, March 29. The event will begin at noon in the Milo Bail Student Center Fire Place Lounge.  It is free and open to all interested students.

The presenters will include:

- Paul Bryant, executive director of the Wesley House;

- Barbara Freeman, an educational consultant; and

- James Freeman, director of the UNO Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The workshop is a Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) II activity. BEEP, developed by the National Urban League in 1969, addresses the need for quality education for African-American students interested in both the public and private sectors. UNO is the first predominantly white institution in the nation to participate in the BEEP program.

For more information, call 554.2248.

UNO Symphonic Wind Ensemble Benefit April 2

The UNO Symphonic Wind Ensemble will hold a silent auction and concert March 31-April 2 to benefit its fifth international tour. Fifty students and faculty will depart Omaha May 5 for a tour of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Norway. Although the tour is supported by UNO, the majority of the cost is the responsibility of the tour participants and is supplemented through fund-raising projects like the silent auction.

Students, faculty, staff and the public can view and bid on items in a silent auction in the Strauss Performing Arts Center (SPAC) foyer at UNO according to the schedule listed below. Auction items are also viewable online at

Silent auction bidding and viewing hours
- Friday, March 31
1 to 5 p.m.

- Saturday, April 1
9 a.m. to noon

- Sunday, April 2
2 to 5 p.m.

The benefit concert will begin at 3 p.m. April 2 in the SPAC Recital Hall. The doors will open 30 minutes prior to the concert. Following the concert, the silent auction winners will be announced, and a reception will be held in the Milo Bail Student Center Chancellor's Room.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will open its international tour this spring with a performance hosted by the U.S. Ambassador in Vilnius, Lithuania. The group will then travel to Omaha's sister city and UNO's sister university in Siauliai, Lithuania, to perform at the Baltic International Music Festival and perform with the Siauliai University Studium Chorus and the Lithuanian Professional Chorus. 

Another UNO sister university will host the ensemble in Riga, Latvia. The final concert in the Baltics will be in Tallinn, Estonia. To celebrate Norway's Independence Day, the U.S. Ambassador will host a special concert at the Embassy that will be presented with a Norwegian Concert Band. The ensemble will finish its tour in Kristiansand by presenting two concerts hosted by Adger, UNO's sister university. 

Individual tickets to the April 2 concert are $4 for adults, and $3 for students and seniors. All UNO students, faculty and staff are admitted free of charge with a valid ID. Tickets will be available at the door.

For more information, call 554.3427.

UNO Swing Dance March 31

The UNO Jazz Ensembles and Moniker, a jazz combo, will take center stage at the UNO Swing Dance Friday, March 31. The event will be held in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.

Dance lessons will begin at 7 p.m., and the music and dancing will begin at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for students and $7 for the general public. Proceeds will be earmarked for the UNO Jazz Program and the UNO Wind Ensemble's 2006 European tour.

For more information, call 554.2297.

AID to Host Screening of "The Peacekeepers" March 31

Americans for Informed Democracy will host an exclusive viewing of "The Peacekeepers" Friday, March 31.  The screening will begin at 8 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room.  It is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided.

This new documentary details the U.N. mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For more information, visit the Web at

Symposium, Gandhi Award Luncheon April 7

The UNO School of Social Work will host its ninth annual symposium and Gandhi Award Luncheon Friday, April 7. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the W.H. Thompson Alumni Center. The luncheon will get under way at noon.

Ako Abdul-Samad, founder and CEO of Creative Visions Human Development Institute, will facilitate this year's symposium, titled "What is America Losing…?" Alberto "Beto" Gonzales from the Omaha Boys and Girls Club will deliver the luncheon address, titled "The Truth About Gangs."

During the luncheon, the ninth annual Gandhi Award will be presented to longtime Nebraska peace activist Frances Mendenhall for her dedication to using nonviolent methods and her work in peace and justice.

Established in 1996, the Gandhi Award honors individuals and organizations that exemplify Mahatma Gandhi's principles of nonviolence, selfless service and social action, which are consistent with social work values. Since 1999, the Gandhi Award has been presented annually during the UNO School of Social Work Symposium.

"The award luncheon and daylong symposium are excellent opportunities for social workers, youth agency workers, alternative and secondary school teachers, social activists, mental health practitioners and other human service professionals to come together for learning and celebration of our collective commitment to social justice," said Ashlie Hurt, event organizer in the UNO School of Social Work.

On-site registration will be conducted on a space-available basis.  Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota social workers may receive 6.0 CEUs for attending the symposium. Some scholarships are available for full-time social work students to attend the symposium.

To access the registration forms or for more information, visit the Web at, or contact Hurt at 554.3057 or

Retirement Planning Series Continues April 14

Human Resources at UNO will continue its retirement planning education series this April with two pre-retirement planning educational seminars. All interested faculty and staff are invited to attend.

The seminar details are highlighted below.

Friday, April 14
10 to 11 a.m.
Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Gallery Room
This seminar will focus on the retirement planning needs and questions of employees who are planning to retire within the next 10 years.

Friday, April 28
10 to 11 a.m.
MBSC Gallery Room
This seminar will focus on helping employees plan for the emotional and social aspects of retirement. Marlene Schneider, a counselor in the UNO Faculty/Employee Assistance Program, will lead the program.

For more information, contact Esther Scarpello at 554.3660.

Nominations Sought for SAC Recognition Award

UNO faculty and staff are invited to submit nominations for the Staff Advisory Council (SAC) Recognition Award. All UNO faculty, managerial/professional and office/service staff members in good standing are eligible to be nominated on the basis of exemplary support to UNO staff members.

The nomination form can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

SAC Nomination Form

Nominations are due March 30. The nomination form and supporting materials should be sent via campus mail to:
SAC Secretary
P.O. Box 130

The award will be presented this spring at the annual Faculty Senate/Staff Advisory Council banquet May 2. For more information, call Camille Cicotello at 554.2657.

For more information about SAC, visit the Web at

Henry Doorly Zoo Membership Drive Under Way

The annual Henry Doorly Zoo membership drive is under way at UNO. The zoo is offering memberships to university employees and students at the annual rate of $65 per household. This includes unlimited admission for two adults and dependent children or grandchildren under age 21, discounted admission to the Wildlife Safari and Lozier IMAX Theater, discounts on children's classes and more.

Memberships are $65 until April 2 and $73 after that date. To access an order form, click on the following link:

Zoo Membership Form

For membership inquiries, contact John Christensen or Kris Bell at 554.2262.

Fidelity Representative on Campus April 20

Fidelity representative Chad Anderson will be on campus for individual counseling sessions Thursday, April 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. He will be attending the UNO Benefits Fair that morning.

To schedule an appointment with Anderson, call 1-800-642-7131.


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