College of Business Administration celebrates 60 years of growth


By Bill Stanton, Contributor

The College of Business Administration (CBA) at UNO celebrated its 60th anniversary on Friday, Sept. 14.
The evening’s festivities included an alumni panel in which three different graduates from the college spoke about their experiences at UNO and their careers since graduating.
Following the panel, Dean Louis G. Pol introduced three speakers, including William Muse, former dean of the College of Business Administration.
Muse served as dean of CBA from 1973 to 1978. He went on to serve as dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M and as president of both University of Akron and Auburn University.
Before retiring in 2003, he served as chancellor of East Carolina University. He continues to be active in business and education.
This was Muse’s first trip back to Omaha in some time. He told the audience that he had a chance to tour the “new” Omaha and noticed how much the city has grown, relating back to the growth of the college.
“What’s most remarkable is what we have become as a business school,” Muse said.
CBA’s current home is Mammel Hall at 67th and Pine St. Mammel Hall opened for the 2010 fall semester. The design for the building is a large, curved L-shape at 120,000 square feet. It features a large, open atrium, interactive touch screen-video displays; a two-story, 196-seat auditorium, and glass-walled classrooms.
Before moving to Mammel Hall, the College of Business Administration was previously housed in the Arts and Science Building and Roskens Hall, which is now home to the College of Education. Muse remembers his time as dean of the college when he had to share his office with three other people. Now, he said, that same office would hardly be big enough for one person.
Herb Sklenar spoke on the alumni panel and at  the main event. Sklenar is a 1952 graduate of the CBA. After graduating he took a job at Vulcan Materials Company and enjoyed a long tenure before retiring in 1997.
He spoke of his time at UNO, then called the Municipal University of Omaha. Born to immigrant parents, his father was a baker. Sklenar told the audience he was the first member of his family to graduate from college. A good deal of his speech was about how his time at the CBA prepared him for success in furthering his education and beyond.
“UNO is a superb asset to the greater Omaha area and to the state of Nebraska,” Sklenar said.
Many of the speakers at the event spoke of how impressed they were with the growth of the college and its national recognition. A few of the speakers had not seen Mammel Hall before and remarked that the facility ranks up there with the best business colleges in the country.
At the end of the event, Dean Louis G. Pol addressed the crowd, thanking the many people both past and present who helped make the growth of the college a reality. He thanked everyone from the alumni and donors to the current faculty and students.
He finished the night showcasing the past and present, a testament to the growth and excellence of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The evening was completed with refreshments, socializing and a tour of Mammel Hall, home of the future of the CBA.
“There is a lot to be grateful for today,” Pol said.