Organization:University of Nebraska Omaha

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University of Nebraska Omaha
University of Nebraska seal.svg
TypePublic research university
Established1908; 113 years ago (1908)
Parent institution
University of Nebraska system
Academic affiliations
Endowment$71.6 million
ChancellorJeffrey P. Gold
PresidentTed Carter
Academic staff
United States

Coordinates: 41°15′34″N 96°00′18″W / 41.259581°N 96.005053°W / 41.259581; -96.005053
CampusUrban, 534 acres (216 ha)
78 acres (32 ha) (North Campus)
154 acres (62 ha) (South Campus)[2]
ColorsBlack and Crimson[3]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I – Summit League, NCHC
Nebraska–Omaha wordmark.svg

The University of Nebraska Omaha (Omaha or UNO) is a public research university in Omaha, Nebraska.[4] Founded in 1908 by faculty from the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary as a private non-sectarian college, the university was originally known as the University of Omaha.[5][6] Originally meant to provide a Christian-based education free from ecclesiastical control, the university served as a strong alternative to the city's many successful religiously affiliated institutions.[7]

Since the year 2000, the university has more than tripled its student housing and opened a 450-bed student dormitory and academic space on its south campus in 2017.[5][8][9] It has also recently constructed modern facilities for its engineering, information technology, business, and biomechanics programs.[5] UNO currently offers more than 200 programs of study across 6 different colleges and has over 60 classroom, student, athletic, and research facilities spread across 3 campuses.[10][11] It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".[4]

The Omaha Mavericks compete in 15 NCAA Division I sports in both the NCHC and Summit League conferences. The ice hockey, basketball, and volleyball teams compete in the new Baxter Arena located on the university's Center street campus. Softball and baseball facilities are currently under construction.[12] UNO enjoyed national attention in 2015, when its men's hockey team reached the national semifinal (Frozen Four) of the NCAA tournament for the first time.[13]



The original Omaha University was founded in 1908 in the Kountze Place neighborhood of North Omaha. The first classes were located in the Redick Mansion, once at North 24th and Pratt Streets, from 1909 through 1917. As the university was established a few blocks north of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, most of its early faculty were recruited from Seminary teachers, as well as the faculty of what was then known as Bellevue College. There were 26 students in the first year, most of whom had graduated from Omaha Central High School. Three of the University's first four presidents were ordained Presbyterian ministers.[14][15] Two other buildings on the original campus included Jacobs Hall, a gymnasium erected in 1910, and Joslyn Hall, a classroom building erected in 1917.

Jacobs Hall was a gymnasium facing North 24th Street, built with $14,000 from the sale of land donated by Lillian Maul. The land, the first donation to the university, was near the present West Dodge campus of the university. It was the first new building constructed on the university campus. Joslyn Hall was built with funds donated by a well-known resident, George A. Joslyn. Donating $25,000 toward the building, he stipulated the school match that with another $25,000 in a year. The building was located just north of Redick Hall and was finished in January 1917. Joslyn Hall had three stories and a basement, with a total of thirty classrooms that accommodated 750 students. The building included chemistry and physics laboratories, an auditorium and music department.[16] Redick Hall was sold and moved in February 1917 to Minnesota, where it was adapted for use in a resort.

In the early 1920s a proposed "magnificent campus" was slated for development between 21st and 25th Avenues, bounded by Kountze Park and the Carter Lake Park. In 1927, businessmen formed the North Omaha Activities Association in order to redevelop Saratoga School's playing field into a football field for the University's football team. With new bleachers built to accommodate a crowd of one thousand, the Saratoga Field was home to OU's football team until 1951.[17] The school also served as OU's science call from 1917 to 1926.[18]

Change to public university status

The university became a public municipal institution in 1930, and it moved from the North Omaha campus to its present main location at 60th and Dodge Street in 1938.[5] The old campus buildings were redeveloped for a time as apartments and offices. In June 1964 Jacobs and Joslyn halls were the last two original OU buildings at 24th & Pratt Streets to be demolished. They were taken down in the early 1960s to make way for a 12-story Omaha Housing Authority apartment building for the elderly, which was completed in 1965.[16]

Dr. Milo Bail became president of Omaha University in 1948 and served until 1965. During that time, Omaha hotel magnate Eugene C. Eppley's foundation gave more than $1.2 million to the university. After Eppley's death, the Eppley Foundation donated another $50,000 to recruit distinguished professors. The Eugene C. Eppley Administration Building, designed by John Latenser, Sr.,[18] at the university was named in recognition of the gifts.[19][20] In 1952 the national Silver Wings student organization was founded at the University of Omaha. In 1976 the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library replaced the Eppley Library.

The university was integrated into the University of Nebraska system in 1968.


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[22] RNP
Washington Monthly[23] 163[21]

UNO is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity."[4] UNO is the home of the Peter Kiewit Institute a $70 million computer science facility and engineering facility. PKI houses UNO's College of Information Science and Technology, UNL's College of Engineering and Technology, and the Holland Computing Center, which houses the Firefly supercomputer.[24] The College of Information Science and Technology offers undergraduate/graduate degrees in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Bioinformatics (graduate degree offered in collaboration with UNMC's Pathology's graduate program), Information Assurance, and Information Technology Innovation. In 2002, UNO became the first university in Nebraska to offer an ABET accredited computer science degree and the only university in the state with an ABET accredited information systems program.[25]

UNO's School of Public Administration offers a Master of Public Administration degree. UNO's Division of Continuing Studies,[26] which offers the Bachelor of General Studies, is ranked in the nation's top 20 Best Online Bachelor's Programs by U.S. News & World Report[27] for 2013 and 2014. The College of Business Administration's Master of Business Administration students ranked in the top 5% nationally, while the undergraduate students ranked in the top 15% on a 2007 standardized exam on business topics conducted by the Educational Testing Service.[28] The College of Business has continuously held accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1965. In 2013 the Department of Accounting was granted separate AACSB accreditation for its undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2014 the college opened the Jack & Stephanie Koraleski Commerce and Applied Behavioral Laboratory (CAB LAB). The lab is used by researchers in the college and across the university to conduct a range of research for businesses and governmental entities across the country.

UNO's College of Public Affairs and Community Service is home to the Goodrich Scholarship Program, a prestigious program that provides full-tuition scholarships, counseling services and a rigorous curriculum to high achieving Nebraska residents.

UNO maintains a widely regarded online film journal called the Journal of Religion and Film.


Kaneko-UNO Library Study space

The University of Nebraska Omaha is located in midtown Omaha, with a campus separated in three by Elmwood Park and Aksarben Village (The campus north of Elmwood is referred to as 'Dodge Campus,' the campus south of Elmwood but north of Aksarben Village as 'Scott Campus,' and the southernmost campus, home to Baxter Arena and south of Asksarben Village, as 'Center Campus'). UNO also operates the Kaneko-UNO Library, at 12th and Jones streets in downtown Omaha.

Dodge Campus

Dodge Campus is the largest and primary campus for the University of Nebraska Omaha. The following colleges and their associated facilities are located on Dodge Campus:

University of Nebraska Omaha North campus
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Communication, Fine Arts, and Media
  • College of Education
  • College of Public Affairs and Community Service
  • Graduate Studies
  • International Studies
  • Service-Learning Academy

Additionally, Dodge Campus is also the home to the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, the Strauss Performing Arts Center, the UNO Art Gallery, and the Black Box Theater.

University Village and Maverick Village student housing complexes, each composed of multiple buildings, are spread across the western edge of Dodge Campus, and additional housing is present on Scott Campus.

The H&K (Health and Kinesiology) building houses the Athletic Training Department as well as student fitness areas. Attached is the Sapp Field House and Al F. Caniglia Field where athletics practice. The Pep Bowl is located near Caniglia Field.

Scott Campus

Scott Campus (formerly Pacific Campus) houses the primary facilities for the College of Business Administration and the College of Information Science and Technology, which includes the Peter Kiewit Institute, the Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering, and the Firefly supercomputer. The College of Information Science and Technology houses the only National Security Agency (NSA) designated Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO) in the State of Nebraska.[29][30][31][32] Furthermore, College of Information Science and Technology has been designated as the NSA Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) since 2002 and renewed twice since then.[33][34]

The Scott Technology Center incubator, which aims to assist start-up enterprises, is also located on the Scott Campus. The Scott Data Center and Scott Conference Center are other features of Scott Campus. The campus was renamed in the Fall of 2016 to honor Walter Scott Jr.

On June 3, 2015, it was announced that the new athletic arena will be named Baxter Arena.[35]


The university's sports teams, branded as "Omaha", have been nicknamed the Mavericks since 1971.[36] In 2011, 13 of the 16 sports that the university then sponsored moved from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I and The Summit League. The exceptions were men's ice hockey, which already competed in Division I; and football and wrestling, both of which UNO dropped. Wrestling had been the school's most successful sport with national championships in 1991, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.[37] The Omaha men's ice hockey team, the state's only Division I ice hockey program, became charter members of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2011 with play beginning in the 2013–14 season, following a major conference realignment. Previously, Omaha had been in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association since 2010–11. Omaha added teams in men's golf and men's soccer in 2011.

Men's sports at UNO include tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf and hockey. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and volleyball. The women's softball team won the Women's College World Series national championship in 1975 as a member of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women . The women's volleyball team won the NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Tournament in 1996. The women's soccer team won the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship in 2005.

Greek life

IFC Fraternities
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Theta Chi
  • Delta Chi
Panhellenic Sororities
  • Chi Omega
  • Alpha Xi Delta
  • Sigma Kappa
  • Zeta Tau Alpha


KVNO 90.7 FM is produced and broadcast from UNO's North Campus. The station's format is primarily classical music, although approximately 10% of its broadcast time is devoted to athletic and campus events. MavRadio (HD FM 90.7-2) is a student produced college/indie station also produced and broadcast from UNO's North Campus. The Gateway is the school's student newspaper, published bi-weekly during the spring and fall academic semesters.

Notable people

Notable alumni

  • Charles J. Adams, United States Air Force Brigadier General
  • Karrin Allyson, Grammy Award-winning American jazz vocalist
  • Shaq Barrett, linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Joshua Becker, minimalist writer
  • Erin Belieu, poet
  • Joseph Berg Esenwein (1867–1946), editor, lecturer and writer
  • Jason Brilz, Retired professional mixed martial artist who fought for the Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • Marlin Briscoe, first African-American to start at quarterback in the NFL, College Football Hall of Fame inductee 2016
  • Tyler Cloyd, pitcher for Cleveland Indians
  • Abbie Cornett, politician
  • Russell C. Davis, United States Air Force Lieutenant General
  • Merlyn Hans Dethlefsen, Medal of Honor recipient[38]
  • Roger Donlon, Medal of Honor recipient
  • Harold Dow, CBS News correspondent and investigative reporter
  • Jake Ellenberger, NCAA All-American wrestler; professional Mixed Martial Artist, Welterweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship[39]
  • Dan Ellis, current goaltender for the Florida Panthers and the 60th overall pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft
  • Dick Fletcher, Emmy Award-winning television meteorologist
  • Peter Fonda, actor, attended Omaha University, but did not complete his degree
  • James W. Fous, Medal of Honor recipient, attended but enlisted in the Army and Killed in Action before completing his Business degree[40]
  • Laurie S. Fulton, American attorney and former United States Ambassador to Denmark
  • Mike Gabinet, current ice hockey head coach at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the 237th overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft
  • Jake Guentzel, forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins and 77th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft
  • Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of Defense
  • Paul Henderson, reporter for The Seattle Times, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1982[41]
  • John L. Holland, psychologist who developed The Holland Codes
  • David C. Jones, United States Air Force General, 9th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • James H. Kasler, Korean War Flying ace, only person to date awarded the Air Force Cross (United States) three times[42]
  • Ree Kaneko, artist
  • Jeff Koterba, Editorial Cartoonist, Omaha World Herald
  • John J. (Jack) Koraleski former Chairman and President of Union Pacific Railroad, current board member of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.
  • James J. Lindsay, United States Army General
  • Zach Miller, current NFL tight-end for the Chicago Bears and the 180th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
  • Jeremy Nordquist, Nebraska State Senator
  • Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes attended UNO, but did not complete his degree
  • John L. Piotrowski, United States Air Force General, Vice Chief of Staff of the USAF
  • Scott Parse, former NHL wing and the 174th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft
  • Penny Sackett, Astronomer, Chief Scientist of Australia
  • Dorothy Hayes Sater, journalist, early television reporter
  • Carol Schrader, Omaha news anchor and celebrity
  • Andrej Šustr, defenceman for the Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Gerald Theunissen, banker in Jennings, Louisiana, who served from 1992-2008 in both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature
  • Leo Thorsness, Medal of Honor Recipient[43]
  • Jack L. Treadwell, Medal of Honor Recipient[44]
  • Vicki Trickett, actress
  • Leslie J. Westberg, United States Air Force Brigadier General
  • Colleen Williams, television reporter
  • Johnnie E. Wilson, United States Army General
  • James R. Young, former Chairman and President of Union Pacific Railroad.
  • Greg Zanon, defenceman for National Hockey League's Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, and Colorado Avalanche and the 156th overall pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft
  • Greg Zuerlein, kicker for the Los Angeles Rams
  • Steven K. Bonnell II, Twitch streamer and YouTube personality

Notable faculty

  • Chris W. Allen, journalism and communication professor
  • W. Meredith Bacon, political scientist
  • Jeremy Castro Baguyos, musician-researcher
  • Warren Buffett, investor, philanthropist
  • Harry Duncan, printer, author, publisher
  • Sheri Everts, educator, higher education administrator
  • Wanda Ewing, artist
  • Bruce E. Johansen, journalist, author
  • Anna Monardo, novelist
  • Carey Ryan, psychologist
  • Cassia Spohn, criminologist
  • Nicholas Stergiou, exercise scientist
  • Z. Randall Stroope, composer, conductor
  • Shaista Wahab, librarian, author
  • Mary E. Williamson, WASP, public relations, communications professor
  • Abdul Salam Azimi, former Chief Justice of Afghanistan
  • Jave Yoshimoto, artist

See also

  • Education in North Omaha, Nebraska
  • The Nebraska Review
  • Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "UNO Factbook". 
  2. "University of Nebraska--Omaha". 
  3. "Color Palette". 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Carnegie Classifications Institution Lookup". Center for Postsecondary Education. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Howard K. Marcus. "Student housing, campus expansion and now new arena transform UNO". Omaha World Herald. 
  6. Jim McKee. "The University of Omaha born in an Omaha Victorian mansion". Lincoln Journal Star. 
  7. "History of UNO". 
  8. Kate Howard. "Private developer to completely finance new UNO residence hall". Omaha World Herald. 
  9. Baker, Kamrin (22 August 2017). "Over 400 students move into Scott Crossing". The Gateway. 
  10. "UNO Academics". 
  11. "University of Nebraska at Omaha Map". 
  12. "Editorial: UNO plans for baseball/softball facilities build on sound planning". Omaha World-Herald. 7 June 2019. 
  13. Barbara Matson. "Omaha goes all in, and it's paying off in Frozen Four". Boston Globe. 
  14. "History of Omaha at a glance" , Douglas County Historical Society. Retrieved 4/10/08. p 65.
  15. (1993) A History of UNO . University of Nebraska Omaha. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Old campus fades into oblivion", UNO Alumni Newsletter. August 1964. Retrieved 4/29/08.
  17. Saratoga Field University of Nebraska Omaha website.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "West Dodge Campus Choice Gave Unique Building Design", The Gateway - UNO. Retrieved 3/26/08.
  19. "There's more to UNO buildings that just a name" , Gateway. July 10, 2004. Retrieved 2/3/08.
  20. "University buildings" , UNO Gateway. Retrieved 2/4/08.
  21. "2014 National Universities Rankings". n.d.. 
  22. "2021 Best National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 
  23. "2020 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. 
  24. Holland Computing Center. Holland Computing Center Website Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  25. Database Search. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
  26. "- University of Nebraska Omaha". 
  27. "Best Online Bachelor's Programs". 
  28. Press Release. University of Nebraska Omaha.
  29. [1] List of Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations.
  30. [2] UNO's Cybersecurity Program Receives NSA Honor.
  31. [3] NSA Designates UNO as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations.
  32. [4] Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations Track.
  33. [5] NSA Announces the Designation of Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
  34. [6] List of Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.
  35. "UNO's new athletic arena gets a name". Omaha World Herald. 
  36. UNO - excerpt from Summer 1971 yearbook, Tomahawk
  37. Retrieved on April 12, 2014.
  38. "Captain Merlyn Hans Dethlefsen". 
  39. "Jake Ellenberger UFC Bio". 
  40. Central High School Foundation | James W. Fous
  41. Paul Henderson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Seattle Times reporter who championed the underdog, dies at 79 | The Seattle Times
  42. "UNO Alumni Association - Retrospect". 
  43. "UNO Alumni Association - UNO Magazine Fall 2013 - Boys in the Service". 
  44. Wood, Charlie. "FSB Hill 4-11, Biography of Jack L. Treadwell". 

Further reading

  • Oliver B. Pollak and Les Valentine, University of Nebraska at Omaha: The Campus History Series (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2007).

External links