13:53 PM

Bellevue University Unveils New Military Hall of Fame

William V. "Bill" Brooks

BELLEVUE, Nebraska – Bellevue University unveiled its new Military Hall of Fame to more than 900 attendees at the University’s 2021 Signature Event held Monday, Sept. 27, at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha, Neb. Bellevue University is one of the nation’s leaders in educating students, especially military members and veterans, for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills.

The purpose of the Military Hall of Fame is to pay tribute to the men and women of prior or current military service who exemplify great character and service. Inductees to the Military Hall of Fame will receive the Brooks Award, named after William V. “Bill” Brooks. Bill Brooks served as a Marine fighter pilot and fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Midway that took place in the Pacific on June 4, 1942. He was the last American known to have flown a Brewster Buffalo in combat and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement during that battle. 

After the war, he returned home to Nebraska and started several successful businesses. He led the effort to found Bellevue College – which is now Bellevue University – in 1966. He served as one of the original members of the board of directors and he was one of the institution's first graduates in 1967. Bill Brooks and his wife, Jane, continued to generously support Bellevue University until his passing in 2010 and hers in 2019.

The inaugural inductee into the Bellevue University Military Hall of Fame and first recipient of the Brooks Award is World War II veteran and Bellevue University founder William V. “Bill” Brooks. In announcing his selection, Dr. Hawkins noted “his great service and sacrifice benefiting our community and our country and his outstanding vision and efforts to found Bellevue University,” The award was accepted by Brooks’ children and grandchildren.

“The Bellevue University Military Hall of Fame pays tribute to the men and the women of the military who exemplify great character and great service,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Recipients who have honorably served our country through their military service and sacrifice, who have a lifetime of accomplishments and who support the mission, vision and values of Bellevue University will be inducted annually into the hall and each inductee will receive the Brooks Award.”

Bellevue University’s Military Hall of Fame will annually recognize one to three individuals for induction from nominees submitted from across the country. A selection committee that includes military representatives will determine the annual recipient(s).

About Bellevue University

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University is a non-profit university with more than 60,000 graduates worldwide. The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, while making college affordable. Routinely ranked among the nation’s top military and accessible institutions, the University serves residential students at its main campus in Bellevue, Nebraska, and everywhere online with more than 80 degree programs uniquely designed for working adults. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org).