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From a dream to reality

Remarks at the ribbon-cutting on 15 August 2016
by UNO Chancellor John Christensen

Good morning, and let me add my thanks to all for joining us at this very special event. I’m honored to have the opportunity to share a few thoughts regarding this incredible Newman Center.

For me personally, this was a dream. A dream, inspired by the Archdiocese of Omaha, that would one day provide UNO students a place for worship and faith formation, as well as campus and community engagement. Also, a dream that UNO would join other colleges and universities across the country in having the privilege of a Newman Center available for our students.

Well, as you can see, that dream has become a reality.

This Center will provide housing for more than 160 students, many of whom are leaving home for the very first time…I would guess. Not unlike UNO’s current housing and learning communities, the Newman Center will provide places and spaces to live and learn, make friends for life…I’m sure, and have access to academic and personal support.

Simply said, our faculty and staff in areas such as Academic and Student Affairs, University Communications, Student Health, and Community Engagement are absolutely committed to partner and collaborate with the Center in all possible ways. I have no doubt we will grow campus life for all as we move forward.

For example, shuttle transportation will be provided to the Dodge, Pacific, and Center campuses, and UNO security staff will patrol the Center and support safety for all utilizing or living in the facility.

The Newman Center will support UNO’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness, one of which is spiritual wellness. And, as you know, wellness is critical to student development, day-to- day activities, and enhancement of unwavering faith.

I want you to know we will work to maximize collaboration at all levels whereby serving UNO’s No. 1 strategic goal…which is being student centered.

In closing, the Maverick Family offers our heartfelt thanks to the Archdiocese, Archbishop Lucas, Father Taphorn and their team… and of course the donors, contractors, and neighborhood partners. Clearly, this facility will change the opportunities for student experiences and success in significant ways. I want you to know I view today as a historic moment in UNO’s history as a public university. Bless you all for your contributions and participation.

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