New Theme Houses, Outdoor Track Among Changes at NWU

When students return to Nebraska Wesleyan University on August 23, campus for the most part will look much like it did when they left in May. But summer was anything but quiet.

New theme houses were spruced up, a new outdoor track was built, new administrators got up to speed on their new responsibilities, and professors plotted out new ways to teach their courses.

Here’s what’s new at NWU:

  • Theme Houses: Nebraska Wesleyan students have a new housing option this year. Two theme houses will offer upper-class students the opportunity to explore the world by providing unique chances to learn, develop and grow within their house. The "green house" will promote a lifestyle that embraces humanity's freedom and have a positive impact on our environment. Some of their activities will include relief work with Project CURE, weekly discussion groups, environmental workshops with area elementary schools, and a spring break camping trip. The goal of the "dream house" is to reignite the desire for the children in the community to always dream big. Students living in this house will adopt a local elementary school and work with students, teaching them that big dreams are attainable and instilling the value of a college education. Students living in each of the theme houses will work alongside a faculty advisor.
  • New outdoor track: This spring Nebraska Wesleyan broke ground on a new outdoor track (The Woody Greeno Track), which will be completed in August. Nebraska Wesleyan will be the only school in its conference with an outdoor Mondo track, a surface used at many premier venues including the Olympic games.
  • Enhanced experiential learning opportunities: We’re enhancing experiential learning opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom through a wide array of hands-on experiences. Political science professor Kelly Eaton will now serve as assistant provost for experiential learning. She will work to position many Nebraska Wesleyan students for these unique opportunities that will include internships, service-learning projects and study abroad experiences.
  • Zeta Psi Fraternity has installed sprinklers in its house. The fraternity is the third of of six privately-owned Greek houses at Nebraska Wesleyan that have utilized the Greek Fire Safety Program. This program — offered by the University — provides the sororities and fraternities with 20-year, interest-free loans up to $67,000 to install sprinklers. The three remaining privately-owned Greek houses have each agreed to install sprinklers in their houses by Sept. 1, 2012. All other university-owned housing is equipped with sprinklers.
  • As part of the university’s strategic initiative of integrating living and learning, students enrolled in a first-year liberal arts seminar titled “Decoding Buffy the Vampire Slayer” will attend the class in the comfort of their own residence hall. NWU plans to offer more courses in the residence halls throughout the year. Because we are a residential campus, we seek to make the classroom and the residence hall seem less like separate spheres and more like two settings for a shared community undertaking.
  • Minors in finance and forensic science will be offered to the traditional undergraduates. Wesleyan Advantage, our program for adult learners, now offers its social work degree program in the evenings, and a new graduate endorsement in teaching English Language Learning is offered. Nebraska Wesleyan's Advantage Program in Omaha now offers a degree in organizational communication.
  • New administrators include Kelly Eaton, new assistant provost for experiential learning. She previously taught political science at NWU; Kathy Wolfe is the new dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She previously taught English at NWU.
  • Students will have the option of renting some of their textbooks at the Prairie Wolves Bookstore. Students can rent the textbooks when available, use them throughout the semester, and return them before the last day of finals. New and used textbook rental prices will be a percentage of the new retail price.

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Experiential learning will be enhanced this year leading to more internships, study abroad and service learning opportunities.
The Dream House is one of two new theme houses this year.
Zeta Psi Fraternity used a university loan program to install sprinklers in their house.
The Green House is one of two new theme houses. Students living there will focus their community service on healthy living.