During the Thursday, April 17, dedication of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) newest addition, a building dedicated to UNO’s community engagement efforts, three special presentations were made for additions to the center and to the campus.
Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center
As one of the lead donors for UNO’s new 60,000 square-foot, $24 million Community Engagement Center, the Weitz Family Foundation helped ensure the completion of one of the only university-based facilities that is wholly dedicated to facilitating and educating about community engagement.
In recognition of their significant contributions, the center is now named in honor of Barbara Weitz, a retired faculty member of UNO’s Grace Abbott School of Social Work. Weitz taught at UNO from 1989 through 2005.
The Weitz family was in attendance for the Thursday, April 17, ceremony, when the announcement was made.
Jess’ Resource Center
As the University of Nebraska Foundation development officer for the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service and the College of Information Science and Technology, Jessica Lutton Bedient was intimately connected with the UNO campus and community and dedicated to helping others both in Nebraska at around the world.
On Oct. 13, 2010, Jessica passed away following an automobile accident just weeks after her marriage to Tony Bedient, a golf coach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Despite only being 26 at the time of her death, Jessica had already touched and impacted many lives.
In honor of Jessica’s life and commitment to service, a resource center inside the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center will carry her name.
The resource center is designed to provide students, faculty and staff easy access to volunteer and service opportunities was formally dedicated on Thursday as part of the Community Engagement Center’s official opening.
The UNO Distinguished Endowed Directorship for Service Learning
As part of the April 17 dedication of the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Barbara Weitz announced the creation of the UNO Distinguished Endowed Directorship for Service Learning.
The endowed directorship was established by a gift from the Weitz Family Foundation to the University of Nebraska Foundation. It will provide annual dollars to the holder of the directorship each year to be used for research, program support, operations and other needs of the UNO Service Learning Academy.
Paul Sather, director of the UNO Service Learning Academy, accepted the endowed directorship in place of the eventual holder of the title, who will be named at a later date. Once Sather has retired, the directorship will carry his name and be known as the Paul Sather Distinguished Directorship.
Named a Community Engagement University by Carnegie Foundation in 2008, UNO is now one of the only universities in the world to have a building solely dedicated to community engagement efforts around the world.
For more information on the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center or any of UNO’s community engagement efforts, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at email@example.com or by phone at 402.554.2129.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.
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 to the foundation 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.