OMAHA - For the first time in its history, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Alumni Association will hold a UNO Alumni Night of Honor to recognize award-winning members of the worldwide UNO alumni network.
The event, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 9, will take place at the Thompson Alumni Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. The night will be part of UNO’s weeklong homecoming festivities.
The first class of honorees include 2014 UNO Athletics Hall of Fame inductees Tracy Ankeny Blair, Stephanie (Kruse) Kros, Marv Nevins and Les Sigman. Chuck Holderness, a 1970 UNO graduate, will receive the Outstanding Service Award while 2001 UNO graduate Jeff Slobotski will receive the inaugural UNO Young Alumni Achievement award.
Other alumni honored by UNO colleges and departments in 2014 also will be recognized.
UNO boasts more than 101,000 living alumni. Nearly 45,000 of them reside in Omaha — more graduates than any other university.
The event is not open to the public; however, media are welcome to attend.
UNO Athletics Hall of Fame
Established in 1975, the Hall of Fame honors former athletes, coaches, administrators and others who have made lasting contributions to Maverick Athletics. With the 2014 class, membership in the UNO Athletics Hall of Fame grows to 108 individuals.
Tracy Ankeny Blair (volleyball) set the UNO record with 1,961 career kills and remains among the career leaders in digs (1,691) and attack percentage (.310). The Dixon, Neb., native was a second-team All-American as a freshman in 1997 and a first-team pick in 1999 and 2000. She was a four-time all-North Central Conference and all-region selection and was an academic all-NCC pick three times.
Stephanie (Kruse) Kros (soccer) was a first-team All-American and two-time first-team all-Central Region selection. The 2002 North Central Conference Player of the Year, she was the only Division II player selected to the 2002 NSCAA/Adidas Scholar All-American First Team. She helped UNO win three NCC titles and earn a berth in the 2002 national championship match. She ranks third in school history with 112 career points and second with 45 career goals and is among the leaders with 22 career assists. She holds the single season record of 24 goals.
Marv Nevins (football) played for what then was Omaha University. He was a football lineman from 1954-56 while also serving as a team captain and later an assistant coach after his playing days. He was a starter at tackle during a stretch in which Omaha University went 30-5-1, including a win in the 1955 Tangerine Bowl game. The Omaha native was named to the school’s all-time Omaha University team by the Gateway student newspaper in 1972.
Les Sigman (wrestling) had an outstanding career, finishing as the all-time winningest wrestler in UNO history. A part of three national championship teams at UNO from 2003-06, he became just the fourth wrestler in Division II history to win four national championships and was 179-7 in his career. Also a four-time All-North Central Conference champion, Sigman was named NCC Wrestler of the Year and Outstanding Wrestler in the NCAA II National Tournament in 2006 after going 47-0 his senior season. As a junior, he set the all-time single-season win mark in a 51-3 season.
Outstanding Service Award
Established in 1974, the Outstanding Service Award honors faculty, staff, alumni or friends who have shown long, outstanding service to the Alumni Association and/or university.
Chuck Holderness served as chairman of the UNO AFROTC Alumni Chapter from 2010 to 2013. He helped the chapter grow its scholarship disbursements and was a frequent attendee at UNO Alumni Association Board of Director meetings as an ex-officio member. He is a retired Lt. Col. in the U.S. Air Force. Holderness served 24 years in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He was an intelligence officer stationed at Offutt Air Force Base and assigned to USSTRATCOM.
Young Alumni Achievement Award
Jeff Slobotski, a 2001 UNO graduate, will receive the inaugural UNO Young Alumni Achievement Award recognizing outstanding career achievement, active community involvement or exceptional service to the university of graduates 40 years of age or younger.
Slobotski is co-founder of Silicon Prairie News, a digital media company dedicated to highlighting and supporting entrepreneurs, creatives and investors through an emerging model for grassroots entrepreneurial ecosystem development in and around Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City. Slobotski launched the Big Omaha and Big Kansas City events, bringing together members of the entrepreneurial community, including founders, investors, designers, and emerging leaders to build community, start conversation and provide inspiration.
High-resolution photos of all recipients can be downloaded at this Dropbox link: http://bit.ly/unonoh.
For more information on the UNO Alumni Night of Honor, please contact Anthony Flott at email@example.com or 402.554.2989.
For more information on the UNO Athletics Hall of Fame, contact Dave Ahlers, assistant athletic director, communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.554.3387.
For media requests, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at email@example.com or 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.