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George Venteicher Helped Facilitate University Outreach to West Omaha

By Bill Wax

Builders of Bellevue University: Across the Years and Generations

In celebration of Bellevue University’s 50th Anniversary, we take time to recognize some of the many individuals and organizations that have helped to build the University into Nebraska’s largest private college or university. Helping find a west Omaha satellite location and improve its athletic facilities made Omaha attorney and real-estate developer George W. Venteicher a Builder of Bellevue University.

George Venteicher Helped Facilitate University Outreach to West Omaha

George & Susan V PhotoBellevue University is one of many beneficiaries of George W. Venteicher’s professional expertise, generosity and involvement. His highly successful career began more than 50 years ago. After an exemplary record in college and law school, he served as an assistant Attorney General of Nebraska from 1964 to 1967. He left the public sector to found a successful Omaha law firm which specialized in real estate development and developed millions of square feet of commercial and residential space. In 1981, he and business partners founded KVI Associates, which developed Omaha area including Oak View Mall and North Park, as well as developments in Iowa, Arizona, and Colorado.

In the mid-1990s, Bellevue University was leasing classroom and student support space in a strip mall near 120th and Center streets and was actively evaluating several sites for a permanent west Omaha location. Venteicher made an affordable building site available in North Park, near 120th and Miami streets, which ultimately became the University’s Lozier Professional Center. Since opening in 1998, the 20,000 square-foot Lozier Professional Center has been a mainstay for the University, providing classrooms, computer labs, faculty and administrative space to serve about 1,000 students per year in a range of programs, from professional certification through the master’s degree level. The facility also provides a quality venue for dozens corporate meetings and training sessions and other events throughout the year.

Since joining the University’s Board of Directors at the urging of friend and Board Member Fred Hawkins, Sr. in 2001, Venteicher has supported several program and facilities development initiatives. “I liked the University because of its mission and because it serves a special niche—the second-chance students and others who deserve an opportunity,” he said. “It has a definite place and the community benefits from it. If it wasn’t here, a lot of those students wouldn’t be getting their education, and education is really important.”

Venteicher and his wife, Susan, were major contributors to the 3,000 square-foot Venteicher Wellness Center addition to the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center, which was completed in 2003 on the main campus in Bellevue.

Venteicher Wellness Center ExteriorKnown as someone with a strong character who “does business on a handshake,” Venteicher also supports outreach initiatives of the University’s American Vision and Values program, which emphasizes America’s founding principles of freedom, personal responsibility, free-enterprise, and involved citizenship. “Bellevue University teaches values, and that’s how you become a good citizen and benefit your community,” he said.

In 2007, Bellevue University presented an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree to Mr. Venteicher in recognition and appreciation for his professional accomplishments, philanthropy and service to humanity.