03:08 AM

Bellevue University and Offutt AFB Celebrate 40-Year Partnership

Milestone Will Be Marked With May 11 Program at Military Veteran Services Center

A unique partnership between Bellevue University and the personnel at Offutt AFB that began more than four decades ago will be celebrated on Friday, May 11, noon to 1 p.m., during a special program at the University’s Military Veteran Services Center (MVSC) at 2108 Harvell Circle, Bellevue, Nebraska. Col. Corey M. Ramsby, Commander, 55th Communications Group, and Todd Saylor, Chief of Innovation and Development for the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), will be the guest speakers at the event.

“Bellevue University was founded, in part, to serve active duty and veteran military personnel at Offutt Air Force Base’s 55th Wing,” explained Jim Grotrian, Bellevue University Executive Vice President. “The University has had a partnership with Offutt Air Force Base for 40 of the 50 years we’ve been in existence and during that time we’ve educated thousands of military personnel.”

Offutt AFB has played a role in American military history for nearly a century. It began with the construction of Fort Crook in the late 1800s and the evolved over the years. The 61st Balloon Company became the first air unit to command the post in 1918 and the first flying field was designated in the spring of 1924. Throughout the 1940s, Fort Crook and Offutt Field saw significant activity due to a bomber plant that was constructed and which built the B-29s which dropped the atomic bombs in Japan. Offutt Air Force Base began officially in 1948. Since then, the base has served as the command for a number of key operations, including the Looking Glass airborne command, intercontinental ballistic missile site support, worldwide reconnaissance and today, home of the 55th Wing.

Today, Grotrian said, Bellevue University and its MVSC continue to serve military personnel stationed locally at Offutt and around the globe through “unprecedented access to education, transition assistance, career services and more.” About 30 percent of the University’s current student body is military, either active duty, veteran or from a military family. The University is also consistently recognized as one of the most military-friendly schools in the country.

Todd Saylor, who will speak at the partnership celebration, is a Bellevue University alumnus. Saylor earned his Master of Arts in Leadership degree from the University in 2007. Col. Ramsby, who will also speak, leads the Air Command’s only Communications Group. His team of more than 300 airmen and women provides vital cyber support and command and control communications for one of the U.S. Air Force’s largest wings, and more than 50 associate units.