Roskens Hall new home of the College of Education
The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) formally dedicated Roskens Hall as the new home of the College of Education with a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 23.
University officials who spoke included NU President James Milliken, Chancellor John Christensen, College of Education Dean Nancy Edick and Bob Whitehouse, chair of the NU Board of Regents. Other speakers were Clarence Castner, president of the University of Nebraska Foundation; Ruth Scott, a principal donor to the project; and Ron and Lois Roskens. Ron Roskens is a former UNO chancellor and NU president emeritus.
Roskens Hall now features state-of-the-art classroom facilities and outreach clinics focused on teaching, educational administration, counseling, learning disabilities and speech/hearing education. The building also has become a gathering place for education students outside of their class time. Previously home to UNO’s College of Business Administration, Roskens Hall was transformed in just a year.
The $13.7 million project, almost entirely paid for by private funds, includes a resource and innovation center; a state of the art science, technology, engineering and math center; and collaboration rooms. It opened for classes with the start of the 2011-12 academic year last month.
Ruth and Bill Scott and Dr. George Haddix, all of Omaha, were the principal donors to the Roskens Hall redevelopment project, a fundraising priority for UNO through the University of Nebraska Foundation’s Campaign for Nebraska. The Scotts made the lead gift to the project. Dr. Haddix, in addition to his facility donation, has also endowed two chairs since last year (one in the College of Education, the other in the College of Arts and Sciences) that focus on the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.
The building now includes an outdoor courtyard and a visually dramatic entrance and atrium on the building’s south side (known the Sally Ann Haddix Entrance), across from UNO’s Arts and Sciences Hall. The north entrance on Dodge Street is accentuated with a welcoming entrance and parking to accommodate clients coming from the community.
“We are only beginning to explore what this new building will do for our future educators. This renovation provides an enhanced experience for students, faculty and staff on so many levels,” Edick said. “Roskens Hall allows us to teach new ways of learning and leading in the profession of education. Our classrooms and common spaces now enhance collaboration among students, and provide partnership opportunities with the community.”