A retirement reception for Vicki Highstreet, special projects manager for diversity, equity and inclusion, will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. June 29 at the Nebraska Union Ballroom. Remarks are scheduled for 4 p.m.
Highstreet is retiring on July 22 after 40 years of service to the university. An alumna of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (Bachelor of Science 1975, Master of Arts 1986), Highstreet began her career as a K-12 grade educator and coach for volleyball, gymnastics and track and field. She returned to Nebraska U, serving as the wellness coordinator for the University Health Center. Her career with Campus Recreation began in 1988 where she expanded the fitness class offerings while coordinating instructional courses, including aquatics. Prior to her current role, Highstreet served in multiple roles at Campus Recreation, including as the associate director for programming and staff development, overseeing recreational programming like intramurals, sport clubs, outdoor adventures, group fitness, wellness, strength and conditioning, as well as academic and non-academic instruction.
“My point of emphasis was always to make a difference in the growth and development of the programming offered, of the staff I had the honor to supervise, and the students, both undergrad and grad, I had the pleasure to mentor,” says Highstreet.
A passion for developing students and young professionals in their personal and professional journey has motivated Highstreet throughout her career. She has been recognized with numerous awards and honors including a Regents Kudos Award, the James V. Griesen Award for Exemplary Service to Students and a NIRSA Honor Award, the highest honor for recreation professionals.
Recently NIRSA, the national organization for leaders in collegiate recreation, named Highstreet as one of 30 professionals over the past 30 years who have influenced emerging leaders in recreational sports to build a strong future for minority students in the field of collegiate recreation.
“Vicki’s commitment to building capacity within teams has been very valuable,” said Laurie Bellows, vice chancellor for student affairs. “She is a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion, and I am grateful for her leadership the past two years. We look forward to continuing to build from the work Vicki initiated.”
An advocate for her profession and in the community, she has served in several significant leadership roles as interim executive director for the central district of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD); vice president, president and executive director of the Nebraska AAHPERD; president of the American Association for Leisure and Recreation; regional director and district lieutenant governor of Sertoma; and as a state director, regional vice president and president within NIRSA.
Following C.S. Lewis’ philosophy that “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream,” Highstreet is ready to set new goals and dream new dreams in retirement. She also hopes the future includes continuing her passion projects, working with others in their personal and professional development.
The reception is free and open to the campus community.