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Members of the University of Omaha Women's Athletic Association congregate on the steps of Joslyn Hall during the fall of 1937.

This Week in Campus History

On Dec. 2, 1988, The Gateway reported that the second annual "Dickens in the Market" was host to a special feature created by the UNO chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Ten members of the organization were arranged into teams of two to grace five buildings in the downtown Omaha Old Market area with window displays. The owners of the stores supplied the necessary materials or gave the students a budget for the display. The top three windows were awarded cash prizes - with the winner receiving $200, second place receiving $100 and third place receiving $50. Half of the money won was required to be donated to the chapter. "We think this will be good advertising for the chapter and a way to raise money for doing the Symphony Showcase in the spring," said Jennifer Johnson, a UNO senior majoring in interior design.

Date: Dec. 2, 1988
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by University Library Archives

James Peters

Australian Finches Aid UNO Professor's Research

by Deb Derrick

When it comes to studying human behavior, Rosemary Strasser gets a little help from her feathered friends. Colorful Australian Finches are helping Dr. Strasser - an assistant professor of psychology at UNO, who holds a courtesy appointment in biology - understand why we behave the way we do. ...continue

"Bootstrappers' Christmas" at Grande Olde Players

Want a glimpse into Christmas past at former Omaha University? If so, plan on attending "Bootstrappers' Christmas," the latest production on stage at the Grande Olde Players Theatre through Dec. 17.

The theatre's founders, Mark Manhart and Bonnie Gill, wrote the musical. The duo also directs the nostalgic glimpse into the university's relationship with the former Strategic Air Command. In 1951, Gen. Curtis LeMay initiated "Operation Bootstrap" with Omaha University President Milo Bail. This action commissioned and gave officers the means to finish their post-secondary degrees. Due to Omaha's central location, students were sent from Offutt and other bases from all over the world to attend Omaha University.

"For a while, we claimed we were second only to West Point in the number of general officers that had graduated from our institution," said Jim Leslie, president emeritus of the UNO Alumni Association.

Gen. LeMay and Bail are depicted in the production, as well as a cast of other characters. The plot revolves around a bootstrapper who befriends a Cold War widow coed and other students to remodel the campus Snack Shack in time for a holiday show. 1950s-era rock and traditional Christmas music are included throughout the production.

The Grand Olde Players Theatre is located at 2339 N. 90th St. Performances will be held at the following times through Dec. 17.

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
7:30 p.m.

2 p.m.

The cost is $5 for children, $14 for senior citizens and $15 for general admission. For tickets, call 397.5262.

The play was produced in association with the Criss Library Archives and the UNO Alumni Association.

Library Café to Offer Temporary Sunday Hours

UNO Food Services announces that the Library Café will offer Sunday hours during prep and finals weeks.

Located on the main floor of Criss Library, the Library Café offers an assortment of menu items. It features Starbucks coffees, espressos and soft drinks throughout the day. Homemade muffins, breads and pastries are available every morning, and an assortment of sandwiches, salads and soups are offered in the afternoon. A limited supper special will be offered in conjunction with the temporary Sunday evening hours.

The café will be open Dec. 3-15 according to the following schedule:

Monday through Thursday
7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2 to 8 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Baker at 554.2400.

Members Sought for University Chorus

Calling all singers: University Chorus is looking for you!

University Chorus, a mixed chorus of more than 80 singers, is open to all students, faculty and staff. The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 12:50 p.m. in 105 Strauss Performing Arts Center.

"This ensemble is designed to meet the music needs of singers who wish to continue their choral experience," said Matthew Harden, assistant professor of music at UNO. "It is a performing organization that has varied programming but emphasizes larger choral works."

The University Chorus performs two concerts a semester, and collaborations with other Omaha arts groups and are constantly sought. The chorus will perform Ein Deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms with the UNO Concert Choir and Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra in March, and will join with NCAS Masterworks for a performance of Missa in tempore belli by Franz Joseph Haydn in late April.

For more information, contact Dr. Harden at 554.3608 or

December FEAP Hours Announced

The Faculty/Staff Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) provides short-term counseling, assessment and referral services for faculty, staff, their spouses or significant others, and family members. FEAP offices are located in 206 Eppley Administration Building.

The December schedule is as follows:

Dec. 5, 8 and 21
8 a.m. to noon

Dec. 11, 14 and 19
12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Appointments are free and available by calling 554.3120 (UNO) or 559.5175 (UNMC).

Food Services to Host Free Concerts in the Maverick Buffet

UNO Food Services will host two free concerts by the UNO Low Down Brass Ensemble and Trumpet Ensemble Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 4-5.

To wish Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) customers a happy holiday season, faculty, staff and students who dine in the Maverick Buffet will be serenaded by the sounds of the ensembles from noon to 1 p.m. The buffet is located on the second floor of the MBSC.

The ensembles consist of trombone, euphonium and tuba, as well as trumpet, players from UNO. Under the direction of Pete Madsen, the ensemble plays a variety of literature, including transcriptions, student compositions, original works for low brass ensemble, and jazz and pop tunes.

For more information, call Sue Baker at 554.2400.

Faculty Brownbag to Highlight Discrimination Law

The Center for Faculty Development will sponsor a brownbag on "A Post-Secondary Guide to Discrimination Law" Thursday, Dec. 7. It will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Gallery Room.

The brownbag will be presented by Sharon Ulmar, assistant to the chancellor for diversity and equal opportunity at UNO.

Attendees will learn more about:

- Recognizing the existence, purpose and scope of laws, regulations and internal policies related to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO);
- The EEO laws governing your role as a UNO faculty member and/or employee; and
- Your responsibility to students in providing a welcoming environment and a classroom free of discrimination or harassment.

To register, contact the Center for Faculty Development (located in 220 Arts and Sciences Hall) at 554.2427 or Those interested in attending are invited to bring their lunch. Desserts and drinks will be provided.

For more information, contact Ulmar at 554.2872 or

Campus Sidewalk Construction Reminder

As of Nov. 30, the sidewalk west of the Durham Science Center at UNO will be closed for a minimum of one week due to sewer maintenance.

As a safety precaution, pedestrians are asked to use alternate routes - such as detouring through a neighboring building like the Weber Fine Arts Building - during the construction.

For more information, call Butch Baker at 960.9817.

In the News

In the News

- Rami Arav, Bethsaida Excavations Project, was quoted in the Nov. 18 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article traced the history of the Bethsaida Excavations Project.

- Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, Latino/Latin American Studies, was quoted in the Nov. 1 edition of the Cedar Co. News (Hartington, Neb.). The article explored the significance of the Hispanic vote in future elections.

- Loree Bykerk, political science, was quoted in the Nov. 1 edition of the Cedar Co. News (Hartington, Neb.). The article discussed political ads Jon Bruning ran during the 2006 general election and a possible strategy of his for the 2008 election.

- Interim Chancellor John Christensen and B.J. Reed, dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, were quoted in the Nov. 14 edition of the Gazette (McCook, Neb.). The article announced that a bachelor of general studies degree is being offered online through UNO and the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

- Jerry Deichert, Center for Public Affairs Research, and Christopher Decker, economics, were quoted in the Nov. 21 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article discussed a report that highlighted a strong Omaha economy.

- Teresa Dody, music, was featured in the October 2006 edition of Nebraska Music Editor (Broken Bow, Neb.). The article profiled Dody, who joined the campus community this fall as an assistant professor of music.

- George Engelmann, geography/geology, was cited in the Nov. 2 edition of the Rock Port Atchison County Mail (Rock Port, Mo.). The article announced that Dr. Engelmann would be presenting at the Nov. 12 Brownville Lyceum Science Café.

- Lourdes Gouveia, Latino/Latin American Studies, was quoted in the Nov. 16 editions of the Journal (Sioux City, Iowa), Independent (Grand Island, Neb.), Daily News (Norfolk, Neb.) and the Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, Neb.). The articles discussed policies and workers rights in Nebraska meatpacking plants.

- Pete Madsen, music, was cited in the October 2006 edition of Nebraska Music Editor (Broken Bow, Neb.). Dr. Madsen was a presenter at the MENC North Central/NMEA Conference Nov. 17-18.

- Col. Ted Spencer, ROTC, was pictured in the Nov. 15 edition of the Opinion Tribune (Glenwood, Iowa). Col. Spencer gave the keynote address at Veterans Day programs held in Glenwood.

- Sam Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice, was quoted in the Nov. 17 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article highlighted a forum held Nov. 16 that protested the recent firing of public safety auditor Tristan Bonn.

- Raheem Yaseer, Center for Afghanistan Studies, was pictured in the Nov. 15 edition of the Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, Neb.). Yaseer accompanied Afghan teachers on a tour of western Nebraska culture this fall.

If you are a member of the UNO community and have been interviewed by the media – local, state, regional, national or international – we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243.

In Print

If you've authored or edited a book, article or other text that's been published recently, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243.

On Stage

"Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" Continues on Stage Tonight
Performances of the UNO Department of Theatre's production of William Shakespeare's tragedy "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" continue on stage tonight and Saturday, Dec. 1-2.

The performances - all directed by Cindy Melby Phaneuf - will be held in the UNO Theater, located in the Weber Fine Arts Building. The house opens at 7 p.m., with a 7:30 p.m. curtain time. An interactive talk-back session with the director, designers and cast will be held immediately following tonight's show.

"Hamlet" is regarded by many as Shakespeare's most powerful play. Actors love it; academics are engrossed by it; audiences are challenged by it; and directors want to direct it. Audiences often find the story compelling and the young prince one of Shakespeare's most sympathetic tragic characters.

From the moment audiences see Hamlet standing - dressed in black, mourning his father's death - they are able to empathize with his anguish. Hamlet endures as the object of universal identification because his central moral dilemma transcends the Elizabethan period, making him a man for all ages. In his difficult struggle to act within a corrupt world yet maintain his moral integrity, Hamlet ultimately reflects the fate of all human beings.

Tickets for "Hamlet" are currently on sale at the UNO Theater box office, located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building. Ticket prices are $15 for general admission, and $12 for students and seniors. They may be purchased in person, via e-mail at, or by calling 554.2335.

For more information, contact Ron Zank, UNO Department of Theatre secretary, at 554.2406.

Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra to Present "Omaha y Xalapa"
Bienvenidos! The Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra (UNO's symphony orchestra) invites the Omaha community to a concert titled "Omaha y Xalapa" Sunday, Dec. 3. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

Xalapa is the Mexican sister city of Omaha, and the concert will feature one of the city's musical celebrities: Mexican conductor Maestro Antonio Tornero. He will lead the UNO Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra at the event.

The concert will also feature international favorites, including Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol and Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. Maestro Tornero is the music director of the Youth Orchestra at the State of Verzcruz and is highly regarded as a conductor and music educator in Xalapa. UNO student Miriam Freeman, winner of the UNO Concerto-Aria Competition, will also be featured with the orchestra in a performance of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto.

Tickets are $5 for adults, and $4 for students and seniors.

The Consulate of Mexico in Omaha is sponsoring this event. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 554.3427.

If you are a member of the UNO community and are involved in an upcoming performance, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243.

On Exhibit

Fall 2006 BFA Thesis Exhibition Opens Tonight
The UNO Art Gallery will present the work of four UNO bachelor of fine arts (BFA) thesis candidates in Speculatio Verto: Observation Interpreted, the Fall 2006 BFA Thesis Exhibition. The exhibition will open tonight, Dec. 1, and run through Friday, Dec. 15. An opening reception will be held tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the UNO Art Gallery.

The thesis exhibition is a thought-provoking display of observations that features the work of UNO students Jeff Halvin, Dan Lowe, Katrina Pierce and Bart Vargas. Halvin's photographs of ready-made and fabricated elements construct photo-narratives to make ideas credible through the power of visual imagery. Lowe uses video installation to invite viewers to reflect on childhood memories to break down barriers and incite an emotive response. Pierce actively explores space and printmaking through the examination of a 99.9 percent germ-free, clean environment to expose the things that exist all around us, regardless of whether we can see them or not. Vargas' sculpture installation examines the ambiguity of the self to find its specific origin.

It is the mission of the UNO Department of Art and Art History to prepare artists to enter into their field with the skills necessary to make significant contributions to the practice of art. The BFA with studio emphasis degree provides an extensive, well-rounded, performance-oriented background that not only equips students with intense knowledge of their practice and broad critical understanding of visual culture, but also prepares students for entry into a competitive art community and/or pursuit of higher degrees. After two semesters of rigorous independent study and a final semester of focused, individually-designed concentration in their selected area of emphasis, BFA candidates are required to participate in the thesis exhibition as the culminating element of their study.

Each BFA candidate in studio art is also required to present a public thesis talk to articulate and defend the philosophical, aesthetic, historical, critical and technical aspects of their work. Halvin, Lowe, Pierce and Vargas will be joined by bachelor of arts in art history candidates Elise Brazeal, Elizabeth Mostek and Tammi Owens in these public presentations. Each art history candidate will present a scholarly paper that addresses critical, creative and theoretical thinking, and analysis of a specialized topic in their area of emphasis. Fall 2006 thesis talks will be held Dec. 4, 6 and 8 from noon to 1 p.m. in the UNO Art Gallery.

The UNO Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building. The exhibitions are free, handicapped accessible and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m.; Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 554.2796.

The Yellow Barn Press "A Typographic Adventure" Under Way
The Criss Library at UNO is the site of an exhibition of Neil Shaver's private presswork titled The Yellow Barn Press "A Typographic Adventure." The exhibition will run through Friday, Dec. 15, and the exhibition is free and open to the public.

Since 1978, Shaver has printed more than 30 titles, all of which will be on display. The exhibition at UNO opened Oct. 11 with a presentation by Shaver.

Shaver's connection to UNO started in 1978 when he took his first printing class led by Harry Duncan. Shaver also produced his first book, Metanoia, during that time. In 1983, Shaver met wood engraver John DePol, and they began a collaboration that lasted until DePol's death in 2004. Many of DePol's distinctive wood engravings grace the pages of a number of The Yellow Barn Press books.

Walsdorf, the author of more than a dozen books relating to the history of printing and bibliography, will reflect on his experiences with Shaver and The Yellow Barn Press.

The Yellow Barn Press, originally based in rural Iowa near Council Bluffs, is significant not only for the high-quality craftsmanship exhibited in the printing, but also for the attention given to printing books about books and printing. "Neil's craftsmanship makes paper and print a thrilling tactile and visual experience, and that is even before you get to the quality of the content," said Oliver Pollak, a professor of history at UNO. "He shows that the book arts preserve a half-millennium-old way of communication that is still vital in the age of rapidly developing electronic print technology."

Marvel Maring, fine arts and humanities reference librarian at UNO, also is impressed with the handiwork of the display. "The Yellow Barn Press books are gorgeous examples of traditional, hand-set letterpress printing produced with a sensitivity to elegant title pages and page layout, paper choice, cover design, illustrations and binding," she said. "The additions of John DePol's wood engravings add to the richness. We are fortunate to have this collection and delighted to feature it this fall."

For more information about the exhibition, contact Maring at 554.2992 or