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Our History....

1908 Founding of University of Omaha by Presbyterian seminary.

1911 “Yellow Sheet” published daily through 1922, usually typed, sometimes hand-written, drawn. Named for color of paper, fact that it “yelled” for football.

1911 Margaret Guthrie, English professor, taught public speaking, dramatic interpretation and debate. Oratorical & Debating Association started. Kate McHugh, English professor, may be involved with drama. ’13 graduate George Parish works for World-Herald, “supervises night work and morning delivery.”

1913 Berniece Banghart Grant, no degree listed, teaches calisthenics and oratory.

1914 First Gateway newspaper, monthly in small format until 1922.

1915 First Gateway yearbook or annual. Reference to class of ’15 says, “A loyal bunch without whose help in athletics, journalism, enthusiasm and other ways, the university would have been lacking.” Cost 50 cents.

1916 Pearl Gaines named first “girl” editor of Gateway news paper.

Oldam Paisley graduates, first known to go into newspaper journalism. Worked on both Gateways, on Marion, Illinois Paper in summer, later its publisher, donor of Paisley scholarship. He recalled covering deadly tornado of ’13. Yearbook poem:

"His coming back was not a whim,
He had a girl here waiting him.”

1917 Paisley off to WWI, annual notes, “If he does as much for his country as he has for the University of Omaha, we will be the best known country in the world.”

1918 Despite earlier association, claim first competing debate team. Only 274 students in 17-18, 626 in 19-20, 105 in law school.

1919 W. Gilbert James arrives as dean, later fills in twice as president but heads speech department from 1930s into 1940s, retires, dies in 1948. Julie Newcomb teaches public speaking, dramatics, directs play “The Amazons.

1920 Mrs. Harold Jolley listed as professor of Journalism, photo shows her with “The Pup,” the yellow cur named “Dammit” and official mascot of the University of Omaha “School of Journalism.” The group was called theYellow Dog chapter, organized to enable members to succeed in the newspaper game. Had theater parties, excursions to slums for knowledge of ‘lower part’, ate at low-brow hash house. Member Leonard Thiessen famed as artist.

1921 Again, new debate group formed by Dean James, first debate trip to Tarkio College in Iowa. James now listed in English department as English Literature and oral expression.

1922 Catalog first lists “Department of Journalism,” Mrs. Jolley assisted by part-timer former student Leona Leary. Two headings for “Public Speaking” and “Department of Expression.” Latter is 2-year course with students giving frequent public recitals and taking part in and coaching plays. Note: link between expression and dramatics. Journalism offers reporting, editing, advertising. (Jolly is pictured)

1922 New constitution forms board of publishers for weekly and annual Gateway. First weekly Gateway begins January 13, 1922. 17 women, 11 men in “Pup” photo. Catalog says Gateway “is the usual type of college newspaper…reliable medium of college news as well as an organ for the serious, humorous and sentimental sides of college life.” Annual is “highly artistic, perpetuates memory…serves as general Souvenir of the year’s events.”

1922 Regression: now it’s only a “Men’s Debating Club.” Good news: Mrs. Joslyn gives $30,000 to keep school afloat.

1923 Mrs. Jolley gone, Pups now called Delta Sigma Phi. No one listed as teaching Journalism, but continue to list same courses through 1924-25.

1924 Group called “13” or “The Mystic 13," appears to be first student public relations group, given goal of publicizing annual, newspapers, plays, etc. New debate team called Unomaha Debating Society, includes future U.S. Senator Roman Hruska.

1925 Catalog now lists Rhetoric and Journalism, but not as department. F. Kelsey Guilfoil first teaching combining Journalism and Speech, has debate, Gateway advising role, teaches Journalism, Rhetoric, debate. Guilfoil A.B. U. of Oregon, city editor of Wyoming State Tribune, m.e. of Citizen in LaGrange, Illinois. James now serves as president during illness of Founding president Daniel Jenkins.

1926 Annual printed by Waters-Barnhart (later Barnhart prints Gateway).

1927 Homer Schleh, later head of the Omaha World-Herald Art Department., edits annual, cartoonist for weekly Gateway, and 200-lb “hard-hitting” football lineman. Howard Wolff, later Omaha World-Herald Sports (hunting, fishing, horse racing, pro wrestling), also student Gateway newspaper “assisted by Journalism classes.”

1928 Change name of yearbook to “The Omahan” with Indian motif. Ad for school says “non-sectarian, co-educational.” Guilfoil short story in it.

1929 Catalog now lists “Divisions” of Rhetoric, Journalism, Public Speaking, Expression/Dramatics, all apparently associated with English dept. Guilfoil now assistant prof. of English composition, still coaches debate, President of Sigma Pi forensics honorary, sponsors weekly Gateway, Which goes from small 4-column to 6-column news sheet. Carl Uhlarik, later Omaha World-Herald and Sun Newspapers, business manager of Gateway. Margaret Fischer, later attorney, alumni editor of yearbook. Basketball team includes Johnny Rosenblatt, future mayor, who “can stand on one end and sink them on the other.” For three days, a daily called “The Flash” covers special visit by Dr. Sherwood Eddy and wife, pioneer of the new social order.


1930 Municipal University of Omaha created by vote of 30,209 to 29,189. Dr. James again temporarily in charge after President Ernest Emery leaves because he lacks Ph.D.

1931 William Sealock new president. Journalism and Speech both under the Constructive English branch of English Department. Guilfoil gone, no Yearbooks from 1930-35. James heads English.


1931 Student Virgil Sharpe advertising manager of Gateway, A.M. Johnson advisor. Gateway runs ??? instead of name at the top of page 1 as poll taken on changing name. Dean James says, “Leave it the way it is. The prestige has been established.” Means Gateway to the west for the city, Gateway to education for university.

View full Gateway publication

1932 Under Constructive English, Journalism includes two semesters of Principles of Journalism (gathering news, editing), Editorial and Feature Writing, Writing for Publication. Speech mixes public speaking/expression, play production. John Henry teaches radio broadcasting.


Constructive English

Constructive English


1933 Gunnar Horn on Gateway staff, editor in Spring 1934.

1934 Expression dropped as heading. Dr. V. Royce West, Heidelberg University Ph.D., heads foreign language department, but also listed under English and teaches Journalism courses, heads publication committee. Adds Reporting of Public Affairs, Journalism ethics course. Mr. Boyce and Mrs. Jarmin (drama) join James in 1934 speech, James teaches Speech in Radio Broadcasting. Now offers B.A. in Speech.
Glen Cunningham, future mayor and congressman, Gateway reporter and Secretary of publication board. The 18-M Club for students interested in Journalism. Two students accused of unauthorized distribution of “Boo-o-o-o” inside Gateway, later The Orphan promises to put heat on with “inside stuff.”

The Gateway Staff, 1937-1938


1940 Tall, slim, long-faced Henrietta Kieser graduates with degree in English, was pictured as "Hank" Kieser journalist elsewhere. Goes on to work in public relations for Bozell and Jacobs, win early alumni award. She edited first summer Gateway.

Another active publication editor, Kurt Sick, gets degree in economics. Debate club now called The Bellows, with Justin Priesman, Warren Whitted. Dr. V. Royce West sponsors new camera club.

1941 Jarmin gone, Fred Blanchard, NYU Ph.D., joins James; staff listed for Radio and Broadcasting. West still teaches all Journalism. Chronology of Speech, Journalism, Broadcasting, Public Relations continued..

1941 Create College of Applied Arts & Sciences under Dean Carl Helmstadter, will be home for Journalism Department. Tomahawk Business Manager is Meade Chamberlain, later Mutual of Omaha executive; he also works with Gateway of the Air. Future Dean of Men Don Pflasterer graduates, was president of sophomore, junior, senior classes. Debate now in Pi Kappa Delta honorary.

1942 Journalism Department begins as separate entity with Robert Mossholder as head. A.B. 1930 graduate of University of Nebraska, he’s also assistant to President Rowland Haynes, publicity director, assistant professor of journalism. Adds typography and Country Weekly courses. James still heads speech, adds Robert Starring, M.A. Michigan, for radio broadcasting. Catalog lists Lloyd Wallingford as instructor in radio service. “The Grouse,” Gateway April Fool edition, satirizes student strike against President Haynes. Editor “capable blonde Hazel Slenker.” Anti-Haynes issue: his halting athletics during WWII.

1943 Robert Starring now debate coach, acting speech head.

1944 Heckman in military, only two debaters, war-depleted. James teaches radio speaking, Starring radio broadcasting, Journalism adds advertising.


1945 Starring gone, Virgil Sharpe is now a speech instructor. He’d been a radio performer, Playhouse actor. Later Manager of KOIL radio, University registrar.


1946 C. Lloyd Shubert coaches debate, acting speech head.

1947 Business Dean Lucas, Mossholder share advertising course.
C. Lloyd Shubert, MA Drake, now speech head.

Frances McChesney Key, former Central High drama teacher and Playhouse figure, teaches drama as part-timer. Dale Hoagland, Alan Pascale students pubs.
“Chief” Mossholder presides at Tomahawk Beauty Contest.

1948 James leaves, dies same year. He arrived in 1919 and was leading figure in speech for most of 30 years. Walter Graham graduates with 2-year certificate in Journalism, BA in economics. P. Milo Bail becomes University president.


1949 Mossholder, still Journalism head, now director of general printing and information.