The following message from Chancellor Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA, appeared in the Omaha World-Herald’s editorial page on Sunday, Jan. 2.
The Omaha we know today was shaped by strategic investments in projects that addressed the state and the nation’s most urgent needs.
More than 150 years ago, the need to transport people and goods westward led to the establishment of Union Pacific in Omaha. The selection of our city as a trailhead for the way to the west was an economic catalyst that also shaped our identity as a determined, resilient community.
After World War II, when the United States needed a headquarters for its nuclear strike forces, the Department of Defense selected Offutt Air Force Base as the location for Strategic Air Command. Today, Offutt is one of Nebraska’s largest employers and has annual economic impact of $2.7 billion. As young professionals and their families flocked to our community to fill jobs created by these economic booms, teachers were in high demand to educate their children. The need for an educator pipeline became imperative. Today, 50% of teachers in the metro area and one-third of all teachers in Nebraska hold at least one degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
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.