09:40 AM

50th Anniversary Open House a Hit; Honors History, Vision

50th Anniversary Open House a Hit; Honors History, Vision

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

SONY DSCWith new banners unfurled across campus at the beginning of the week, the University continued its year-long celebration of its 50th Anniversary with an Open House on Friday, October 28. The event included food catered by four University alums and displays at several locations throughout campus.

SONY DSCWhile the food at the Margre H. Durham Student Center made it the hub of the event, attendees also enjoyed displays at the R. Joe Dennis Learning Center, Riley Technology Center, Freeman/ Lozier Library, and Hitchcock Humanities Center.




Members of the Premier Partner Network team greeted people in the lobby of the Learning Center, while the new science labs in the rear of the building proved to be a main attraction.

croplabWilly Theisen, a noted Omaha restauranteur and entrepreneur, was particularly impressed with the new facility after touring it with University President Dr. Mary Hawkins.

“I’m almost speechless after we ran through this,” he said. “The new science facility is state of the art. It’s probably ahead of state of the art. The way it’s laid out, the vast amount of high tech equipment, all brand new -- I haven’t ever seen anything quite like that.”

The longtime Omaha resident lauded the growth of the University over the years and its role in the community.

“It’s such a vast array of students -- ages, backgrounds, ethnicity,” he said, noting the University impact on the local community as well as the accessibility online. “It’s a place you have to take a real hard look at as far as higher education. We’ve got others in the city, but this is very unique.”

SONY DSCIn the Riley Technology Building, displays highlighted the new teacher education program, the math lab, and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy as well as the Kirkpatrick Signature Series. Visitors could learn about the new Opportunity Campus in the Freeman/Lozier Library, while the College of Continuing Education, the Center for Student Engagement, and Supply Chain, Transportation, and Logistics Management program had displays in the Hitchcock Humanities Center.

SONY DSCAlumni-owned businesses B&B Classic Dogs (Diane Bruce), Maria Bonita Catering (Itzel Lopez), Patricia Catering (Patricia Regan), and Stickalicious Pops (David King) helped keep attendees well fed during the event.

“For me it was a great event because a lot of people hadn’t heard of us, so it’s a good introduction for us,” said Bruce, who owns B&B Classic Dogs. “Bellevue University always takes good care of their alumni and to see new faces made it even better.”

An opportunity to highlight the past achievements of the University, its present workforce, and its vision for the future left Hawkins well pleased.

cropbridge“The Open House really allowed us to shine a light on the accomplishments of the University and publicize what we have to offer and where we want to go next,” she said. “We’re very proud of the history of our University and excited about where we are headed.”

The University garnered a little publicity in advance of the event with an article on the front page of the Midlands section of The Omaha World-Herald.

img_0470In advance of the 50th Anniversary Open House, banners, placards, and other features were placed around the University. In addition to approximately 80 banners outfitting the light poles, there are seven large banner sets around the main campus and Lozier. The locations of these banners are the south exterior side of Humanities (facing the parking lot), the bell tower, the west side of the Lozier building (visible from 120th Street), the ESB atrium, Learning Center lobby, the Military Veteran Services Center lounge, and the ASB lobby.

Designed by Alicia Freeman and Becky Urlaub from the University’s Marketing Department and printed and installed by University partners at Identity Marketing, the banners were created with a goal of generating awareness of and excitement for the University’s 50th anniversary.

SONY DSC“We were hoping to bring a touch of nostalgia to the Open House event as we look back at history, and also a sense of pride as we recognize all that we’ve accomplished over the last half century,” said Urlaub. “The entire project has been a lot of fun – looking through all the old photos, learning about our history, seeing all the banners go up on campus. We’re very pleased with how everything turned out, and with the positive reactions from students and employees. I had a student stop and ask me about them, thanking me for them and saying that the banners make it ‘feel like a real college’.”

croptableA timeline documenting the University’s 50th-year history, written and designed by Urlaub and Freeman, adorns the glass wall of the Quiet Room in the Student Center. Urlaub and Freeman again collaborated to create

“Bellevue University has a very interesting history that deserves to be told – in a big way. The timeline in the student center was designed to do just that,” Urlaub said. “We wanted to place it in a high traffic, highly visible location where it can be enjoyed all year.”