news releases

2004.12.13 > For Immediate Release
contact: Beverly Newsam - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2358 - email: bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Winter Commencement Set For Dec. 17

Omaha - More than 850 students are expected to receive degrees Friday, Dec. 17, during the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) winter commencement ceremony. The event will begin at 2 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave.

John Fiene, associate vice chancellor for technology at UNO, will be the commencement speaker. He also will receive the Chancellor's Medal. A UNO graduate, Fiene earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the university.

He has implemented numerous technological innovations by developing effective partnerships to advance the educational use of technology on campus and across the state. Under his leadership, UNO was named among the top 100 Yahoo-Peterson's "most wired" universities in the nation in 2001.

Prior to his years with the university, Fiene held senior management positions in industry and directed his own system integration and software development firm. He has 30 years of leadership experience in the information technology field.

The Dec. 17 commencement ceremony also will feature the following:

Rachel Brannagan will give the student commencement address. The Omaha native will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. Her commencement address is titled "The Unteachable Lesson."

Nancy Edick and Kenneth Hansen will receive the Order of the Tower. Both have been instrumental in the development and advancement of the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium (MOEC). Hansen was the first and organizing director of MOEC, which was formed in 1988 when the UNO College of Education joined forces with five metropolitan school districts. Today, seven districts partner with UNO. Edick has been executive director of MOEC since 2001 and also is an assistant professor in the College of Education at UNO.

Alexander Payne will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. An award-winning filmmaker, Payne was born and raised in Omaha, Neb. He holds a bachelor of art degree in history and Spanish literature from Stanford University and a master of fine arts in filmmaking from UCLA. In the past nine years, Payne has written and directed four major motion pictures. The first three were filmed, in part, in and around the Omaha area.

Robert Dahlquist will receive the Citation for Alumnus Achievement. He has been chief of the Omaha Fire Department since April 2003. Dahlquist joined the Omaha Fire Department in July 1981 and climbed the chain of command while serving in various capacities, including emergency medical technician, arson investigator and hazardous materials response.

For more information about the Dec. 17 commencement, call (402) 554-2358 or (402) 554-2762.

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