Historical material sharing the story of the Municipal University of Omaha's decision to become a state university is on display in UNO Libraries’ Archives & Special Collections from May 16 through September 13, 2018.
The Day OU Became UNO is an exhibit about the birth of the University of Nebraska system. The University of Omaha was founded in 1908 as a private institution but came under public control in 1931. Ongoing funding struggles reached a crisis point in the mid-1960s when the Municipal University of Omaha (OU) faced the choice of merging with the University of Nebraska (NU) or shutting down forever.
In 1967, the Nebraska State Legislature passed LB 937 authorizing the merger contingent on the approval of the citizens of Omaha. This exhibit features campaign materials from the December 1967 City of Omaha election when the voters of Omaha approved the merger. Photographs and media coverage of the merger ceremony in front of Arts & Sciences Hall are also prominently featured.
On July 1, 1968, the OU Regents officially signed the university over to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. OU became the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and the University of Nebraska (NU) became the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Meanwhile, NU's College of Medicine split off to become the third campus in the system, the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). NU remained a three-campus system until 1991 when Kearney State College became the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK).
All items on display are from UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections, home of the University Archives.
A related online exhibit was also recently curated by the Exhibits Subcommittee of the University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries' Archives and Special Collections Working Group. "All Together Now: The 50th Anniversary of the University of Nebraska System Merger (1968 - 2018)" chronicles the creation of the University of Nebraska system.
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Unless otherwise clearly stated, any views or opinions expressed as part of events, exhibitors, or presenters in the UNO Libraries (Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library and the KANEKO-UNO Library) should not be viewed as endorsements by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and do not reflect the official position of UNO or the University of Nebraska system.