Top University of Nebraska at Kearney Stories of 2016

Here is a look at the most-read stories of 2016 posted by the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s communications and news team.

This is not a subjective list of the top UNK news of the year, although many of these stories fit that label. Instead, this is a snapshot of the stories that you, the reader, clicked on the most when visiting the UNK News website.


500 attend UNK celebration of 25 years in University of Nebraska system

Friday marked a milestone for University of Nebraska at Kearney, as it celebrated the 25th anniversary of Kearney State College becoming part of the University of Nebraska system.

The celebration breakfast, hosted on campus under the Peterson-Yanney Bell Tower, was attended by 500 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

Chancellor Doug Kristensen greeted guests and reflected on the occasion. A similar celebration at the same location on July 1, 1991, marked the official transition from KSC to UNK.

Others speaking at the event included Faculty Senate President Noah Rogoff and Steve Nester, son of Bill Nester, who was Kearney State College’s president from 1983-91 and then first chancellor of UNK in 1991-93.


Chancellor Karaoke: Trip to campus takes an interesting detour for Doug Kristensen

A normal trip to University of Nebraska at Kearney campus for Chancellor Doug Kristensen takes an interesting detour when when he meets up with some Lopers heading back for the fall semester.

UNK implementing new tobacco policy Aug. 1

On Aug. 1, University of Nebraska at Kearney will take a community step to being healthier with implementation of a new tobacco policy.

Existing policy prohibits tobacco use in UNK facilities or vehicles, and within 10 feet of entrances or work sites on the grounds. The new policy expands “tobacco free” areas to all campus grounds, with the exception of locations in parking lots.

Administration: Student surveys show preferences; on to next phase

University of Nebraska at Kearney administration today announced it is moving forward with student-identified restaurants and beginning preliminary negotiations with those interested in locating in the Nebraskan Student Union.

Those moving forward will be Chick-fil-A, Raising Canes, Panda Express, IHOP, A&W, sbarro, and Johnny Rockets. These restaurants are allowed in the Union under the university’s agreement with its food services contractor Chartwells, and were preferred by students.

UNK responds to clown sightings on campus

On Tuesday night, there were a few reports and sightings of an individual dressed in a clown costume on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. This appears related to a nationwide social media phenomena happening at cities across the U.S., in as many as 32 states, and at universities including Penn State, Iowa, Missouri, University of New Hampshire, and now, UNK.

University HeightsUniversity Heights apartments to close in May 2017

Plans are under way to close University of Nebraska at Kearney’s University Heights apartments in May 2017, and the 43 student residents were informed this week.

The residents will have the months between now and the facility’s permanent closing to find alternate living arrangements, which could include the traditional residence halls on campus, or alternatively, apartments in the community.

The closing plan for the 56-year-old building has been in motion since as early as 2012 when plans for University Village – previously called “south campus” – were announced by the university. The private-public 104-acre mixed-use collaborative development has begun infrastructure and construction of the first university building – a 130-bed, $16 million apartment complex called Village Flats.

Governor signs budget package, moving Otto Olsen replacement forward

It’s official: the legislation to fund University of Nebraska renovation projects has passed and been signed by Gov. Pete Ricketts. What that means for UNK: A new Otto Olsen building.

The Governor on Wednesday approved legislation related to the University of Nebraska’s two highest priorities this year: a proposal to extend a state-university partnership on building renovation projects; and a proposal to improve the university’s competitive position in its president and chancellor searches. Both received strong support from state senators.

UNK students on way home after being stranded 24 hours in Pennsylvania storm

Ten University of Nebraska at Kearney students stranded in a bus this weekend on Interstate 76 in Pennsylvania are expected to return home early Monday.

Synek and nine others in UNK’s Students For Life organization were among those who became stuck Friday night about two hours east of Pittsburgh after a major winter storm slammed the region. The UNK students were travelling with 70 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students and participated in March for Life in Washington, D.C

Watts-Jon-RotatorJon Watts new UNK Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance

Following a national search, University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Doug Kristensen today announced the appointment of Jon Watts as the University’s new Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.Watts, of Kearney, was among five finalists for the position, and currently is UNK’s director of business services and accounts payable. Pending approval of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, the appointment is effective June 1.

Don Welch remembered for poetry, inspiring UNK students

Don Welch, an award-winning Nebraska poet and longtime English professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, died Saturday at his Kearney home. He was 84.

Welch, who had a bronze sculpture dedicated to him on the UNK campus in 2001, taught at UNK from 1959-97 and authored several published poetry collections. He was a regular contributor to literary magazines.

Stevenson-and-Hanson-webBroadcast students Hanson, Stevenson win national award for KLPR

Two University of Nebraska at Kearney broadcasting students won a prestigious national award for their sports talk show.

Andrew Hanson and Nick Stevenson won first place in the 2016 Intercollegiate Broadcasting Systems competition in the Best Sports Talk Program category.

UNK professors advocate for health, physical education funding in Washington

University of Nebraska at Kearney professors are working to ensure health and physical education are appropriately funded by the federal government.

Matt Bice and Megan Adkins, both assistant professors of kinesiology and sport sciences, will join nearly 200 physical and health educators from across the country in Washington, D.C., Tuesday and Wednesday (March 1-2) to meet with congressional representatives.

Brodersen leaves UNK Athletics, Joins NU Foundation

University of Nebraska at Kearney alumnus and longtime UNK athletics department staff member Rich Brodersen will join the University of Nebraska Foundation on Oct. 1 as director of development, leading fundraising for the UNK athletics department and College of Fine Arts and Humanities.

“Rich’s campus experience and relationships within the university community will be a great benefit to our ability to partner with donors and engage with UNK alumni,” said Lucas Dart, vice president for UNK alumni relations and development.

Dylan-Wells-Tennis-wAccident, paralysis not keeping Dylan Wells from pursuing UNK degree

Dylan Wells had just finished branding cows. He and a friend decided to go trap shooting.

It was May 3, 2014. His junior year at Axtell High School.

“I dropped him off at his house, went to my house and grabbed our shotguns, our blue rock and everything,” Wells recalls. “We were headed back out, and we were driving kind of fast. I hit my brakes and they locked up.”

In a matter of seconds, Wells’ pickup swerved on the gravel road north of Axtell and ramped over the ditch. It flipped end-over-end twice and barrel rolled six to eight times before slamming to a stop in a bean field.

Professor, student discover fossils that illustrate Kearney’s landscape 24,000 years ago

A discovery by University of Nebraska at Kearney geography professor Jeremy Dillon and undergraduate student Ashley Larsen will determine the landscape and climate of Kearney nearly 24,000 years ago.

While working on STATEMAP, a project funded by the United States Geological Survey producing geological maps, Dillon needed to drill a test hole to better understand the surface area near Kearney’s Cherry Avenue.

He asked Larsen, a senior geography major from Lexington, to help.

“We encountered something that we absolutely did not expect,” Dillon said.

Twenty-seven feet below the ground’s surface, they found organic rich, dark sediment in the core samples.

Joe Carlson brings military, police background to UNK criminal justice classrooms

Joe Carlson was 10 years old when his dad took him to the county parade near the family farm in southern Idaho.

As floats, automobiles and performers strutted down the street, one group instantly caught Carlson’s attention.

“There were two police officers riding big Harley Davidson motorcycles. I wanted one of those motorcycles, but my dad said I had to be a police officer (to ride one). That got in my mind that it would be something I’d like,” recalls Carlson, longtime professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.


Bobby Jacobs 2Best of the Rest

UNK conducting class goes underwater to learn proper technique

Forty-four years and counting, Bev Mathiesen still thriving at UNK

Calvin Koziol wins Best Warrior event; National Guard Soldier of the Year

From Tokyo to Kearney, Ryo Suzuki familiar face at UNK

Statement on Death of Marlene Rashidi

Frank House experiences record-setting year with 5,985 visitors

David Nabb showcases one-handed sax at London’s House of Lords

UNK adding new parking lot on Ninth Avenue

Ford Clark creating enthusiasm for campus radio

UNK seeking its own Nebraska license plate