Like the photos? View the entire 2016 Year in Review slideshow.
Top 16 of 2016
- 1. End of an Era - Chancellor Christensen Annnounces Retirement
- 2. Increased Enrollment, Diversity, Retention, Continue UNO's Metropolitan University Mission
- 3. President Obama Speaks at Baxter Arena
- 4. Celebrating Scott Campus
- 5. Renovated Milo Bail Student Center Opens
- 6. UNO: Top 10 University for Military, Veteran Students Again
- 7. UNO Hosts Vietnam Symposium
- 8. UNO Hosts Engagement Scholarship Consortium
- 9. TEDxUNO 2016 Focuses on "Breaking Through"
- 10. Taryn's Walk
- 11. UNO, UNMC Program Addresses Nebraska's Urban Healthcare Needs
- 12. UNO License Plates Hitting the Streets
- 13. Henry Doorly Zoo, UNO Join STEM Partnership
- 14. Marlin Briscoe Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame
- 15. Baxter Arena to Host Curling Trials
- 16. Men’s Soccer Top Seed, to Host Summit League Tourney Next Year
Forty-five years after starting his journey at UNO as a student, and 10 years after being asked to lead the university, Chancellor Christensen announced he will be stepping down from his current role. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni took to social media to thank Chancellor Christensen for his decade of leadership and dedication. UNO Student Body President Patrick Davlin wrote, “Chancellor Christensen has instilled the drive to succeed in everyone he’s met in his time at UNO, and it’s that drive that will continue to propel us forward in the years to come. #ThankYouChancellor for everything you have done and for making UNO what it is today.”
Chancellor Christensen’s retirement takes effect after University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds names his successor. After stepping down from his current position, Christensen will remain a part of the Maverick family, working on special projects that support UNO students.
The Maverick momentum continues. For the second year running, UNO welcomed its largest and most diverse incoming freshman class in school history. UNO’s reputation for academic excellence, opportunity, and affordability attracted 2,069 new freshmen for the 2016-17 academic year. This fall, total enrollment stood at 15,627 students pursuing undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and certificates, or enhancing their careers and personal lives through UNO’s rich academic offerings.
Less than a year after opening its doors, UNO’s Baxter Arena hosted comedians Larry the Cable Guy and Jim Gaffigan, musical artists Boston and Flo Rida, best-selling author John Grisham, and – most notably –President Barack Obama. President Obama’s visit, which followed his final State of the Union speech the day prior, was the first to UNO by any sitting president. Thousands of UNO students were among the crowd for what many were calling a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.
Students have called it Scott Campus for years. This fall, the name became official. UNO renamed what used to be known as Pacific Campus to Scott Campus in honor of Walter Scott, Jr., a longtime supporter of UNO. At a dedication ceremony, University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds said Scott’s generosity had transformed countless lives, both through his funding of university infrastructure and the Scott Scholarship.
The construction was well worth it. This year, UNO completed its makeover of the Milo Bail Student Center, a place where students can relax, connect with other Mavericks, and feel comfortable in their home away from home. The renovated student center boasts a modern layout, new dining options, and centrally located student support offices, such as the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Accessibility Services Center.Read more about the Milo Bail Student Center.
UNO remains a national leader in supporting our nation's military and veteran students. For the sixth consecutive year, Military Times named UNO one of the top universities in the country for military-affiliated students, also ranking UNO's College of Business Administration as the nation’s best business school for military and veteran students seeking education beyond a bachelor’s degree. High marks in graduation, retention, and support services helped UNO stand out from other universities.
Half a century after the war that changed our nation and the world, UNO hosted The Vietnam War: Lessons and Legacies symposium. The symposium featured experts, including many who courageously served the U.S. in Vietnam, discussing the impact of the war from a variety of perspectives. Keynote speakers included:
- Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
- Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage
- Former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General (Ret.) Martin Dempsey
- Former Nebraska Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey
- Municipal Judge Thomas Hagel
- CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin
Building on a commitment to community engagement, UNO welcomed nearly 500 guests to Downtown Omaha for the 17th annual Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) conference. Attendees representing higher education institutions in 37 states and five countries discussed how universities can build strong partnerships in the communities that they serve. Conference sessions included a wide range of topics, covering everything from food insecurity to STEM mentorship programs.
UNO’s second annual TEDx event, held in February 2016, was another big success. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. This year’s theme, “Breaking Through,” inspired audience members to go have their own breakthroughs. Speakers included an entrepreneur, a scientist, and a comedian, just to name a few. Tickets for the event were sold out.
Relive your favorite presentations from TEDxUNO 2016, and watch for updates about next year’s event.
Taryn Schaaf’s story is really about perseverance, about not letting obstacles get in the way of achieving your dreams. The UNO alumna's life changed drastically after an ATV accident caused her to lose all movement in her lower body. The accident made her realize the impact a skilled social worker can have on a grieving family. So, Taryn returned to school to focus on getting a degree in social work from UNO. Her dream was to one day walk across the commencement stage to receive her diploma. With the help of QLI, one of the nation’s most respected centers for brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation, and a robotic exoskeleton device, Taryn was able to reach her goal.
Two institutions working together to address community needs. That’s what the Urban Health Opportunities Program (UHOP) is all about. A new collaborative program between UNO and UNMC, UHOP provides a unique opportunity for students seeking to be a part of the next generation of physicians.
This year, UHOP announced its first four cohorts of students selected to help address a need for medical professionals with diverse backgrounds. Students in the first year of the UHOP program are either current Mavericks or incoming freshmen. All future additions will be high school students who will commit to enrolling at UNO and, eventually, UNMC.
Soon, many Mavericks will be driving in style. Why? UNO collected 250 license plate applications required by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles to send them into production. Since the plates were announced in October 2015, faculty, staff, students, and alumni submitted applications. Chancellor Christensen’s family turned in the last three applications needed to make the plates a reality.
This year, the Omaha Citywide STEM Ecosystem, led by Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and UNO, and in collaboration with more than 30 other Omaha organizations, was selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative. The initiative is focused on bringing all in and out-of-school learning platforms together, from Pre-K through higher education, including the voice of the workforce, to ensure that all people have equal access and opportunity to succeed in the STEM fields.
A true Maverick, UNO alumnus Marlin Briscoe was officially inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this year. Briscoe was a football legend at UNO – formerly Omaha University. He set 22 records, including 52 touchdown passes, 4,935 yards passing, a 55 percent completion record, and a career total offense record of 6,253. He then went on to blaze trails in the NFL, becoming the first black starting quarterback in pro football history.
A dinner was held in September 2016 to congratulate Briscoe for making it into the College Football Hall of Fame. A day later, a life-sized statue of Briscoe was unveiled at Baxter Arena.
The Olympic Trials are coming to UNO. That’s right, you read it. Baxter Arena was selected as the site for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling. The Trials, which will take place in November 2017, will mark the first time that Omaha will host a major curling event.
“Omaha has been the first stop for many world-class athletes on their way to the Olympic Games, and we are grateful the University of Nebraska Omaha will be a part of that tradition,” said Trev Alberts, Vice Chancellor of Athletics.
It doesn't get much bigger than this. But next year, it just might. For the first time in program history, the UNO men’s soccer team advanced to the Summit League title game. The team’s win over Eastern Illinois put them at 10-4-4 on the season. As a top seed, UNO will have the privilege of hosting the Summit League tournament next year.
Top 16 News Stories of 2016
1. KETV: Dance Class Offers Therapy for Parkinson’s Patients
2. Associated Press: $2.2 Million Dollar Grant to Benefit Afghan Universities
3. Omaha World-Herald: John Grisham Speaks at Baxter Arena
4. KVNO News: USSTRATCOM, National Defense University Hold Courses at UNO
5. Omaha World-Herald: From a Desk at UNO, Students Send Signal
6. Omaha World-Herald: UNO Set to Teach More K-12 Teachers
7. KMTV: UNO to Take Ownership of First Data Building
8. WOWT: UNO Sponsors Film Streams’ Student Movie Night
9. Associated Press: Homecoming Royalty Changes at UNO
10. Omaha World-Herald: UNO Becomes Home to Queer Omaha Archives
11. Omaha World-Herald: UNO Goes Smoke-and-Tobacco Free
12. WOWT: Researcher at UNO Seeks a More Sensible Shoe
13. Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska Organizations Partner with UNO to Provide Continuing Education to Child Welfare Workers
14. KETV: UNO Speech Team Claims Second Consecutive State Championship
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