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Pictured above, construction of the Strauss Performing Arts Center in July of 1972.

This Week in Campus History

The first Omaha School for Presbyterian Pastors was held July 17-24, 1957, at the Eppley Conference Center at the University of Omaha. Sponsored in part by the Council on Theological Education of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., this program brought together pastors from 11 Midwestern states to discuss relevant theological issues. Faculty for this special course of study included scholars from the University of Chicago, the Western Theological Seminary and the Board of National Missions. Attendance at the event was strictly by invitation only, and visiting pastors were housed at the Sheraton-Fontenelle in downtown Omaha. Financial support to participants was provided by the Omaha Seminary, and a special library of selected religious resource texts was made accessible to the pastors for the duration of their stay.

Date: July 27, 1957
Source: Cupola Columns
Compiled by University Library Archives

James Peters

Finding His Way

by Sonja Carberry

Back in Omaha after a seven-month trek through South America, UNO grad James Peters has cut the hair he let grow into an unruly mop and trimmed his bushy beard to a midnight shadow. In a yellow button-down shirt and crisp jeans, he looks very 20-something Omaha.

But part of Peters is still south of the border. ...continue

July Employee of the Month: Willie Albert

willie albertWhen faculty, staff and students arrive on campus in the morning, they may not be aware that a crew of individuals is in motion all night helping to keep the university in tip-top shape. Willie Albert, custodial supervisor, is one of UNO's late-night employees who works diligently to maintain the campus environment.

"Every night seems to start out different. The challenge is to make a difference," he said.

Though he said his schedule isn't as routine as others', he follows a work process and has a preference for certain activities. "My favorite task is hard surface floors," he said.

His peers say that he is a valued employee because he always completes the task at hand in a timely manner. "Willie is responsible for carpet crew, and he has successfully maintained the carpet on campus to the industry standard," one nominator wrote. "He is one of the most-dedicated individuals who takes his job to heart and makes sure the job is done and done well."

Before coming to UNO six years ago, Albert said he was employed by Marsden Building and Maintenance for 30 years. There he was an assistant supervisor of special services, which included a variety of tasks pertaining to the upkeep of a building.

Deciding it was time for a change, Albert applied for a position at UNO. "I had been on-call since 1969, and the company (Marsden) was being bought out," he said.

In the time he's been with the university, co-workers say that Albert has earned a lengthy list of admirers due to his exceptional work abilities. "He has gained respect from his staff, co-workers and the management staff for his leadership and dedication," another colleague wrote. "He is so positive about how he goes about his job that it sometimes becomes contagious to others that work closely with him."

He said that being honored as an Employee of the Month provides some great perks, including a reserved parking spot. The recognition has fast become one of his favorite memories at UNO. "I would like to thank each individual who nominated me for this honor because it wouldn't have been possible without my team and I working closely together to maintain a healthy, safe environment for the students, faculty and surrounding community," he said.

Albert said he is active with several church groups in his spare time and also likes to garden, fish and grow tulips.

As Employee of the Month, Albert will receive a plaque, portrait and monetary award. Nominations for the Employee of the Month Award at UNO are accepted year-round. All UNO faculty, staff and students are eligible to nominate individuals for the honor. Nomination forms are available in Human Resources, 205 Eppley Administration Building.

(Pictured above: UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck and July Employee of the Month Willie Albert.)

For more information, call 554.2321.

Mutual of Omaha Renews Sponsorship of Hockey's Stampede

MavericksMutual of Omaha will continue as the title sponsor of the annual hockey tournament hosted by UNO for 2006 and 2007, in an agreement announced July 26 by UNO athletic director David Herbster and Mutual of Omaha. The company has been the title sponsor since 2004.

"Mutual of Omaha is excited about renewing our sponsorship of the Mutual of Omaha Stampede and continuing our support of UNO hockey for another two years," said John Hildenbiddle, senior vice president for brand management and public relations at Mutual of Omaha. "It's been terrific for our company to be the title sponsor, especially since the Mavericks won the tournament in both 2004 and 2005. We know the team will have a great season again this year, and it's been a lot of fun to be part of the Mavericks' success."

This year's Mutual of Omaha Stampede will be October 20-21 at Qwest Center Omaha and will feature Niagara, Massachusetts-Lowell and Northern Michigan. The Mavericks will meet Niagara in the first round at 7 p.m., following the 4 p.m. game between Mass-Lowell and Northern Michigan. The third-place game will be Saturday at 4 p.m., followed by the 7 p.m. championship game.

The Mavericks defeated Army and No. 8 ranked New Hampshire in last year's event for their second straight title. UNO posted a 20-15-6 record last year and made its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.

The Stampede has been a regular fixture for the Mavericks. This will be the sixth annual tournament.

"This is great news for us that Mutual of Omaha will continue to be an active partner in Maverick hockey as the title sponsor," Herbster said.

For more information, contact Gary Anderson at 554.3387.

Auditions for Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra Aug. 14-18

Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra (MUS 4130-001) and Chamber Orchestra (MUS 2730-001) will audition potential members for the 2006-2007 season Aug. 14-18 at the Strauss Performing Arts Center.

Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, the official concert orchestra at UNO, is open to both students and faculty/staff members. Rehearsals will take place each Monday night from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Strauss Recital Hall.

"It is one of the most venerable and well-respected orchestras in Omaha with a history dating back to its founding in the 1920s," said Christopher Stanichar, director of orchestral activities. "The orchestra allows community members to continue to hone their musical talents by playing favorite works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and many others."

This year, Dr. Stanichar will celebrate his fifth year as the conductor of the ensemble. Those interested in auditioning should call 554.2251. Details are also available on the Web at

Parking Permit Renewal Process Under Way

Campus Security has distributed faculty/staff parking permit renewals for the 2006-07 academic year via campus mail. Anyone who did not receive a renewal form should stop by Campus Security, 100 Eppley Administration Building, or call 554.2648.

Faculty/staff parking permits are being distributed via campus mail. When people receive the 2006-07 parking permit, they may begin using it, said Paul Kosel, assistant manager of security and traffic.

Access cards for the parking structure must be renewed before Aug. 15 or they will not be valid starting Aug. 21, the first day of the fall semester.

Commencement Aug. 11 at the Civic

Commencement for August graduates will be held Friday, Aug. 11, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave., at 2 p.m.

Faculty members are asked to assemble no later than 1:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall. Faculty who plan to attend should order their academic regalia from the UNO Bookstore (554.2336) by Monday, July 31.

Seasonal Motorcycle Parking Available

Additional seasonal motorcycle parking is available for faculty, staff and students through Aug. 18. Motorcycles may be parked at the following locations on the north and south campuses:
- Parking structure (stop by Campus Security, 100 Eppley Administration Building, for details);
- Southeast corner of Lot N (east of the Engineering Building);
- Northwest corner of Lot A (north of Kayser Hall);
- Northwest corner of Lot M (south of University Library); and
- Southwest corner of Lot 2 (north of The University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute).

Fidelity Representative on Campus Aug. 23

Fidelity representative Chad Anderson will be on campus for individual counseling sessions Wednesday, Aug. 23, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, call 1.800.642.7131.