It was a special year for UNO in 2014 with countless events, achievements, special guest visits and national recognitions for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Perhaps no bigger event occured at UNO in 2014 than the opening of the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center.
As the crowning achievement of Nebraska's premier metropolitan university, hundreds of supporters filled the new center to celebrate all of the achievements from UNO students, faculty and staff in the Omaha community and usher in a new era of collaboration, which has already born fruit in the form of national recogniton.
"Barbara Weitz CEC Now Open"
During the Thursday, April 17, dedication of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) newest addition, a building dedicated to UNO’s community engagement efforts, three special presentations were made for additions to the center and to the campus.
Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center
As one of the lead donors for UNO’s new 60,000 square-foot, $24 million Community Engagement Center, the Weitz Family Foundation helped ensure the completion of one of the only university-based facilities that is wholly dedicated to facilitating and educating about community engagement.
In recognition of their significant contributions, the center is now named in honor of Barbara Weitz, a retired faculty member of UNO’s Grace Abbott School of Social Work. Weitz taught at UNO from 1989 through 2005.
The Weitz family was in attendance for the Thursday, April 17, ceremony, when the announcement was made.
Jess’ Resource Center
As the University of Nebraska Foundation development officer for the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service and the College of Information Science and Technology, Jessica Lutton Bedient was intimately connected with the UNO campus and community and dedicated to helping others both in Nebraska at around the world.
On Oct. 13, 2010, Jessica passed away following an automobile accident just weeks after her marriage to Tony Bedient, a golf coach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Despite only being 26 at the time of her death, Jessica had already touched and impacted many lives.
In honor of Jessica’s life and commitment to service, a resource center inside the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center will carry her name.
The resource center is designed to provide students, faculty and staff easy access to volunteer and service opportunities was formally dedicated on Thursday as part of the Community Engagement Center’s official opening.
The UNO Distinguished Endowed Directorship for Service Learning
As part of the April 17 dedication of the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Barbara Weitz announced the creation of the UNO Distinguished Endowed Directorship for Service Learning.
The endowed directorship was established by a gift from the Weitz Family Foundation to the University of Nebraska Foundation. It will provide annual dollars to the holder of the directorship each year to be used for research, program support, operations and other needs of the UNO Service Learning Academy.
Paul Sather, director of the UNO Service Learning Academy, accepted the endowed directorship in place of the eventual holder of the title, who will be named at a later date. Once Sather has retired, the directorship will carry his name and be known as the Paul Sather Distinguished Directorship.
Named a Community Engagement University by Carnegie Foundation in 2006, UNO is now one of the only universities in the world to have a building solely dedicated to community engagement efforts around the world.