On Friday, May 8, the Maverick community - from Omaha and beyond - gathered together to celebrate our students as UNO held its first-ever virtual commencement ceremony.
If you missed our streaming event, or wanted to rewatch your college's ceremony, we have you covered. You can see all the ceremonies by visiting our Commencement website.
Learn more about our May 2020 Commencement ceremony below and read some amazing stories from the most recent members of our alumni network.
Friday, May 8, provided the Maverick community to recognize and celebrate our students receiving their degrees through a virtual commencement ceremony in May.
Each of our college's ceremonies are still available for viewing:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Business Administration
- College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media
- College of Education
- College of Engineering (UNL)
- College of Information Science & Technology
- College of Public Affairs and Community Service
- Graduate College
About the Ceremonies and Conferral of Degrees
Moving commencement to a virtual format for May 2020 enabled UNO to follow through on its commitment to celebrating the accomplishments of its students while remaining mindful of the health and safety of the campus and Omaha communities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
"Commencement is a critical event for the UNO community as we recognize the academic achievements of those who have worked so hard to attain a degree," said Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "While the ceremonies this spring will certainly be a change of pace, an online celebration allows us to keep some sense of normalcy in these uncertain times and enables us to provide our graduates with well-deserved recognition."
In this virtual format, students were recognized in a ceremony specific to their respective academic college. Separate virtual ceremonies for undergraduates were be held for each of UNO’s academic colleges and the UNL College of Engineering. A separate ceremony was also held for those receiving graduate degrees from UNO.
Each virtual ceremony includes: Remarks from Chancellor Gold, the awarding of the Chancellor’s Medal to a faculty or staff member in recognition of their extraordinary service to the university, and remarks from the dean and a student speaker from each college. Each ceremony will conclude with the conferral of degrees.
The conferral of degrees includes individual recognition of each student. Each student’s name is read aloud as their name, photo, and degree received are displayed for the audience.
Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters to Mr. Samuel Bak
This May, UNO awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters to Mr. Samuel Bak. Mr. Bak is a renowned artist and survivor of the Holocaust. As a survivor, he has dedicated his life’s work, over 8000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures, to expressing the human condition. Mr. Bak’s work was celebrated on the UNO campus last fall through an exhibit of his art toured by over 4000 community members and his public lecture as part of Human Rights Week.
Order of the Tower Recipients
The Order of the Tower is awarded to individuals whose exemplary service and/or financial support have advanced the mission of UNO. This award is being presented to the Goldstein Family, including Don Goldstein, Gail Raznick, and Kathy Goldstein, the children of Shirley and Buddy Goldstein, will accept the award. Buddy and Shirley became involved with Human Rights after a 1973 trip to the Soviet Union sparked an interest in assisting European refugees after WWII. Shirley became a well-known and vocal activist in fighting for emigration rights of Soviet Jews. Buddy and Shirley enlisted the help of friends, neighbors, and Omaha’s Jewish Federation to support those hoping to emigrate. They also helped organize the resettlement of those coming to Omaha.
This led to the establishment of the Goldstein Lecture on Human Rights at UNO in 1997, which provides a wide range of views on human rights and human rights issues. After the passing of Buddy in 2012, Shirley and her three children furthered the family’s Human Rights legacy at UNO by establishing the Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Center for Human Rights in 2017. After Shirley’s passing in 2017, the family established the Goldstein Family Community Chair in Human Rights. Buddy and Shirley’s legacy continues through the work, study, and involvement of UNO faculty, students, and the Omaha community.
Chancellor’s Medal Recipients
The Chancellor’s Medal recognizes extraordinary service to UNO by a faculty or staff member. It will be awarded to Cathy Pettid, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success and Dean of Undergraduate Students, and Louis Pol, former dean of UNO’s College of Business Administration.
Pettid is responsible for many of the wraparound support services that help students achieve in the classroom and beyond. Since beginning her career in UNO in 1995 as a staff counselor and academic advisor, she has served in various roles including Director of Counseling and Psychological Services and Senior Director of Achievement for the Division of Student Success. She also serves as UNO’s interim ADA/504 Coordinator and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women Outstanding Achievement Award in 2014.
Pol joined UNO’s College of Business Administration in 1984 and was promoted to professor in 1987. In 2003, he became the seventh dean in the college’s history and served as dean until 2019. He has rejoined the faculty as a professor of marketing. Under his leadership as dean, the college made significant advances in the areas of facilities, student support, program development, and fundraising. In 2010, the college moved into Mammel Hall, which is currently under construction for a new addition to the building. Programs in collaboration science, entrepreneurship, supply chain, analytics, behavioral research, and sales were launched under Pol’s leadership.
Just because our May 2020 ceremony has concluded doesn't mean you can't continue to show your support for our most receent graduating class.
We hope that in the coming days, weeks and months, you will share your stories, photos, videos and more with us though our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn with the hashtag #MavSpirit.
Here are just a few of the amazing contributions you've already shared with us.
- Frequently asked questions
A digital program for May 2020 Commencement is available for families to download.
Continue the celebration with UNO's commencement playlist on Spotify.
- Keep the #MavSpirit going with these special UNO Zoom backgrounds.
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.