July 2005 Department of the Month

Dusty Newton
director of the Office of Admissions, 308.865.8702

Staff Senate is pleased to announce that the UNK Centennial Committee is the July Department (“committee”) of the Month.

From its first meeting on October 30, 2001, the Centennial Celebration Committee has organized numerous events commemorating special dates in the history of UNK. One of the very first activities was the Centennial Logo contest that produced the logo used throughout the celebration. The first important 2003 date to be celebrated was March 26, which marked the100 year anniversary of the legislative act establishing a second state normal school in Nebraska. A proclamation by the Governor and an historical display at the State Capitol highlighted the event.  Later that summer, Centennial banners were placed around campus and Kearney, in time to welcome students to a new academic year.

Other activities organized by the Committee included a Founders Day ice cream social on September 1, 2003, celebrating the centennial of Kearney being selected as the site of the normal school.  On September 19, 2003, a Centennial Golf Scramble took place at Meadowlark Hills.  Over 80 persons participated in the successful outing, the proceeds from which were used to open a Centennial Scholarship fund. The first scholarship awards will be made to three undergraduates and a graduate student this fall.

2005 is a very important year in the Centennial Celebration. It was on June 19, 1905 that classes were first held by Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney.  The campus just celebrated that historic event with a UNK Birthday Party.  September 25 is also a significant historical date for the institution. It was on that day in 1905 that classes were first held on the Normal School campus. In 2005 this date will be celebrated during Homecoming week and will conclude with a Centennial Gala banquet on Friday, September 30.

Several additional projects are underway to provide a lasting reminder of the Centennial Celebration. Plans are being developed and fund-raising efforts are underway for a Centennial Plaza. Located around the Hostetler Amphitheatre, the Plaza will include a sitting wall and trees and plantings to make the area more functional and attractive. Donors will be recognized on bronze plaques to be permanently placed at the site.  A Centennial Book is also being written and will be available during Homecoming Week. This book will be a treasure of information and will be valued by the University for years to come. A Centennial Video is also being produced and will be unveiled at the Gala, and a new time capsule will be unveiled at the Plaza dedication during Homecoming week.

Members of the Centennial Celebration Committee include co-chairs Ken Nikels and Earl Rademacher, Ron Crocker, Trudy de Goede, Lois Flagstad, Roger Jasnoch, Anita Kucera, Kathy Livingston, Jan Mitchell, Glennis Nagel, Sharon Pelc, Jim Rundstrom, Rick Schuessler, and Kathy Smith.

Congratulations to the members of the Centennial Committee and thank you for all your work!