Charter Week at Nebraska is roaring to a grand finale with open houses, free ice cream, a performance gala and the public opening of Morrill Hall’s fourth floor exhibition space.
The weeklong, statewide event is a two-fold celebration, honoring the 150th anniversary of the Feb. 15, 1869 passage of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s charter and part of the yearlong observance of the institution’s sesquicentennial.
Today, exactly 150 years from the day the Nebraska legislature passed the act that established Dear Old Nebraska U, the university will hold a Charter Day Open House at the Wick Alumni Center and Nebraska Dairy Store, as well as an N150 performance gala at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. On Feb. 16, “Cherish Nebraska,” the new fourth floor exhibition space at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Morrill Hall, opens to the public.
The festivities begin with the 10 a.m. to noon open house at the Wick Alumni Center, 1520 R St. The sesquicentennial celebration moves to the Dairy Store on East Campus to unveil the new Nifty 150 ice cream flavor from 1 to 2 p.m.
The gala, “A Celebration of Music and Milestones,” begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center. The Charter Week grand finale is a sesquicentennial multimedia concert showcasing the university’s history with more than 300 artists, two world-premiere musical works, fireworks and a toast to the next 150 years.
“Music and Milestones” is hosted by Jeff Zeleny, a Husker alumnus, native Nebraskan and senior White House correspondent for CNN. It will include appearances from other notable alumni and actress Marg Helgenberger. Tickets for the gala are required and available through the Lied Center box office.
The open houses at the Wick Alumni Center and Dairy Store are free and open to the public.
Hosts for the Wick Alumni Center open house include Chancellor Ronnie Green, college deans and select Husker coaches. The event will feature a display of objects from the university’s history, including charter documents; a model of University Hall, the first building on campus; national championship items; a proclamation reading; N150 cupcakes; signing and purchase opportunities for the new “Dear Old Nebraska U” sesquicentennial book; video booth to record and share Husker memories; photobooth; public signing of the N150 flag before it begins a global journey; and an opportunity to participate in the inaugural 24-hour “Huskergiving Challenge.”
Featured open house speakers include Green; Shelley Zaborowski, executive director of the alumni association; Kevin Hanrahan, president of the faculty senate; and Hunter Traynor, president of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska.
The Dairy Store celebration will include Nifty 150 ice cream for all guests, photo booth, N150 pins, calendars and the N150 flag. College deans will join the chancellor for the afternoon celebration.
The opening of “Cherish Nebraska” to the public on Feb. 16 caps Nebraska’s Charter Week celebration. The new space features the natural history and cultural history of Nebraska.
Much of the privately funded, $11.4 million expansion explores Nebraska’s ecosystems across multiple time scales, from mere millennia to hundreds of millions of years ago. Several areas illustrate how warming and cooling have transformed the state’s cover from shallow seas to tropical jungles to massive glaciers to its now-familiar prairies. Many highlight the array of animals, plants and bacteria that once flourished – then migrated or perished – amid that changing climate.
Nebraska’s Charter Week observance is part of N150, a celebration of the university’s 150th year.