Dear Alumni and Friends,
The 125th anniversary of The Nebraska Wesleyan University is upon us! Our anniversary theme is “125 Years Anew.” We’ll celebrate all through 2012 and 2013.
Here are the key dates of our founding, plucked from Professor Emeritus of History David Mickey’s (’39) authoritative history, Of Sunflowers, Coyotes, and Plainsmen, Volume I:
- December 17, 1886: Methodists agree to establish The Nebraska Wesleyan University.
- January 20 and February 23, 1887: NWU’s charter and bylaws are adopted.
- April 1887: Ground is broken for “The Main Building” (Old Main).
- September 22, 1887: The cornerstone is laid for Old Main ($75,000 construction cost).
- September 24 and 25, 1888: The faculty meets and conducts first classes.
We’ll center our 125th anniversary celebrations on the September dates. I hope that many of you will return to campus in September 2012 and September 2013. Watch for announcements and invitations. And plan to attend the all-class reunion at Homecoming this October.
May the 125 years ahead be as filled with achievement . . . as has been the case since those founding years.
A strong, vibrant and dedicated faculty is the heart of every successful university over the long course of its history. I want to remember especially now the eight founding professors of The Nebraska Wesleyan University:
Charles F. Creighton, chancellor
William T. Cline, professor of history and English; librarian
Charles M. Ellinwood, professor of chemistry and physics; registrar and treasurer
I. J. Lowe, professor of Greek and languages
Ella King Lowe, principal of the Art Department
Helen Almena Parker, instructor in elocution
J. P. Vance, chair of music
A. R. Wightman, professor of Latin and literature
On the first day of classes, they welcomed a mere 25 students. Only four years later, though, a photograph of a chapel service in Old Main shows some 200 people present. The young school had grown well! It would graduate a total of 124 students in its first 10 years.
What a wonderful heritage we have at Nebraska Wesleyan University. What a great couple of years of celebration begin now.
As we honor the past, I extend my heartfelt thanks to you for your commitment to Nebraska Wesleyan and especially to its future. May the 125 years ahead be as filled with achievement—buttressed by generous support by alumni and friends—as has been the case since those founding years.