A Year in Review: Highlights From the 2013-2014 Academic Year
The 2013-2014 academic year was a year of exceeding goals and trying something new. We exceeded our expectations with our 12,500 Hour Service Challenge, our Senior Class Gift, and our Relay for Life fundraiser.
We tried new things and found success including a new first-year biology experiment, recruitment for a new swimming program, enrollment for a new MBA program, new study abroad academic programs, a new tailgate park.
And we kept with tradition: success with national prestigious scholarships, another Xtreme Rat Challenge competition, Thanksgiving meals for nearby school families, and continued service locally, nationally and internationally.
Here are some highlights from the 2013-2014 academic year:
- While new students participated in the 19th annual Lend-A-Hand to Lincoln event, alumni and friends participated in new Lend-A-Hand events in Omaha, Kansas City, Denver, Washington D.C. and Tampa.
- We introduced an integrative studies major, giving undergraduates the opportunity to build their own majors. A new criminal justice major was added to University College’s adult program, and partnerships were formed with Duncan Aviation and St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center to offer courses onsite at company locations.
- First-year biology students were introduced to “Phage Biology,” which was part of a national experiment through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Students participated in extensive lab experiences that concluded with a trip to Virginia where two NWU presented their findings to national science experts.
- Facility improvements included the addition of Bostwick Park just south of Abel Stadium. The tailgate park was built in memory of former football coach Scott Bostwick. New field turf made of recycled tires was installed in Abel Stadium.
- Recruiting began for the university’s newest sport, men and women’s swimming.
- Homecoming came early and showcased the closing of our 125th anniversary. Honorary degrees were presented to Willis (’52) and Joyce (’55) Heim; Kelsy Arends and Ross Mumford were crowned homecoming queen and king; the first “Howl Like Hell” pep rally filled Abel Stadium; six alumni were honored at the Legends and Legacies Alumni Award dinner; five former athletes were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame; and the campus community celebrated the 12,500 Hour Service Challenge and learned they surpassed their goal with over 17,000 service hours.
- The annual Visions & Ventures Symposium explored the nation’s criminal justice system.
- The Nebraska Court of Appeals convened in O’Donnell Auditorium, marking only the second time the court heard cases on a college campus in Nebraska.
- NWU was again named a top national producer of Fulbright Scholarship winners among bachelor’s degree institutions. Spanish professor Cathy Nelson was selected to serve on the National Screening Committee for Fulbright Scholarship applications.
- Several national prestigious scholarships were awarded to NWU students including three Fulbright Scholarships, three Boren Scholarships, three Gilman Scholarships, six Academic All-Americans and one NCAA Postgraduate Scholar. Two students were selected for the Fulbright Summer Institute.
- Communication studies professor Karla Jensen was named the 2013-2014 Exemplary Teacher by the United Methodist Church Division of Higher Education.
- Keeping with its long-standing Thanksgiving tradition, the campus community collected meals to feed 95 Huntington Elementary School families.
- For the 39th year, students enrolled in the Basic Learning Principles psychology class trained white rats to perform in the Xtreme Rat Challenge.
- In January, NWU announced plans for a new MBA program in Lincoln and Omaha. Accounting professor Courtney Baillie was named the MBA program director. NWU will also offer a joint MSN-MBA degree and MSN to MBA Bridge program.
- Members of Global Service Learning traveled to Tuscon, Ariz. during winter break to serve Iskashitaa, an organization focused on sustainability for refugee populations. Meanwhile 14 students traveled to Australia for a 16-day Health and Human Performance course.
- Nebraska Wesleyan hosted the 2014 Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. NWU’s Brock Taute won the NCAA Elite 89 Award for highest grade point average among all competitors.
- Campus speakers included former U.S. Ambassador A. Peter Burleigh, Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculée Ilibagiza, Huffington Post Senior Religion Editor Paul Rauschenbush, and Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen, who delivered the inaugural William C. Kloefkorn Nebraska Writer’s Series.
- Senior Alex Langley attended the 58th session of the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York. She was among four U.S. college students selected to attend. Four NWU students were selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University.
- Students participated in an alternative spring break trip to Washington, D.C. to explore cultural differences.
- The University Choir traveled to Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska for its annual winter tour while the symphonic band used spring break to perform in Nebraska and Missouri.
- Alumni and colleagues honored emeriti professors Doris Yin Ming Hsu, David Mickey and LaVerne Rudell with endowed funds in their names.
- Willard Sorority celebrated its 125th anniversary and returned its sorority pin tradition.
- NWU staged a friendly competition against Doane College to see who could collect the most shoes for the People’s City Mission. NWU won with over 1,000 pairs of shoes.
- Colleges Against Cancer held its most successful Relay for Life fundraiser, exceeding their goal of $40,000 and raising $44,416.
- The Class of 2014 set a 20-year fundraising goal for its Senior Class Gift. Nearly 170 seniors donated and pledged funds, surpassing all classes since 1991.
- Former U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter delivered the commencement address to nearly 565 undergraduates and graduate students during Nebraska Wesleyan University’s 125th commencement.
- Art professor David Gracie was honored with the Prouty Teaching Award.
- The University Choir returned to New York City’s Carnegie Hall in May to perform “To Be Certain of the Dawn.”
- Global Service Learning members traveled to Fiji for their annual international service trip.
- Faculty led students on six summer study abroad programs to Greece, Italy, India, Austria, Germany, Japan, Honduras and Rwanda, which was the first time students have traveled to Africa for academic credit.