While Maverick basketball was the focal point of the weekend’s Summit League Basketball Tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 7-10, a celebration thousands of miles in the making also took place.
That weekend, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Office of Spirit and Tradition made its 50th Spirit Trip – a major milestone for the unit that transports students across the country to support Maverick athletics. Bill Pickett, who organizes each trip as the office’s director, spoke to the importance of the program.
“There’s an energy that the students bring to home athletic events that fans and athletes feed off of,” Pickett said. “When we take students on the road, not only does it provide them an exciting, meaningful experience, they get to share their energy with a new fan base in a new city. I can’t think of a better group of ambassadors to represent UNO or a better way to share UNO’s culture.”
Brittany Kohl, a Student Affairs in Higher Education graduate student, has been on more than 15 trips in the last three years with the group. Kohl, who has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair, said the trips along with Pickett’s support have “meant the world” to her, and helped make her the person she is today.
“UNO has completely become my everything,” Kohl said. “If it wasn't for friends really pushing me to get involved, I wouldn't be where I am today. I went from the little girl in the wheelchair who barely spoke to the girl who gets involved and helps out with whatever she can when it comes to campus activities.”
Be sure to learn more with this 2019 feature story on this history of UNO's spirit trips from the UNO News Center.
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.