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2006.04.26> For Immediate Release
contact: Beverly Newsam - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2358 - email: bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Spring Commencement May 5 at the Civic

Omaha - More than 1,260 students will graduate Friday, May 5, during the spring commencement ceremony at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). The event will be held at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave., beginning at 2 p.m.

Mary Laura Farnham, director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research at UNO, will receive the Chancellor’s Medal. The office is responsible for providing support and guidance to faculty and staff as they pursue external support for research, service and scholarly activities. Under Farnham’s leadership, the university’s awards and submissions to external funding agencies have more than doubled. In January of 2005, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents passed a resolution recognizing the exceptional work of Farnham and her staff.

Jane Splittgerber, an Omaha native, will present the student commencement address. She will graduate with a bachelor of science in education. Her endorsements in K-12 physical education and coaching will be put to use when she begins teaching at Bryan High School in Omaha later this year.

The commencement ceremony also will feature the following:

Stephen Wild will receive the Order of the Tower, UNO’s highest non-academic award. Wild has been chairman and founder of First Financial Group Inc., Financial Dynamics Inc., Securities America Inc. and chairman of Quantum Alliance (QA3) since 1979. Additionally, he is a former general partner of American Asset Advisors. Wild has been involved with several University of Nebraska search committees and has been supportive of the Institute for Collaboration Science at UNO, which trains students, promotes research and teamwork between individuals and organizations, and teaches how to train others in collaborative techniques.

Jun Kaneko will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Kaneko, a sculptural ceramics artist, has made considerable contributions to the arts, both internationally and locally. He established his third studio in Omaha in 1990, where he primarily works. His pieces have been exhibited around the world in solo shows and public collections. He is often influenced by Asian aesthetic sensibilities and Zen ideology, and experiments with building, glazing and firing.

Michael D. Jones will receive the UNO Alumni Association’s Citation for Alumnus Achievement. He has been a partner with the law firm Ellick, Jones, Buelt, Blazek & Longo for more than 30 years. Jones handles estate planning and probate and trust work, in addition to acquisitions and mergers. He is a member of the Omaha, Nebraska State and American Bar Associations, and has been a national member of the Transfer Tax Committee since 1995. A fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel from 1997 to 2003, he also has been listed among the “Best Lawyers in America” each year since 1989.

For more information about the May 5 commencement, call (402) 554-2358 or (402) 554-3502.

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