OMAHA, Neb. – The University of Nebraska Omaha athletic department and the University of Nebraska Foundation today announced a leadership gift by local benefactors Brian and Carey Hamilton toward the construction of an on-campus Academic Excellence Center that will carry their name.
“We are very grateful to the Hamiltons for their support of our student-athletes and the investment that they have made in the students’ academic success,” said Trev Alberts, UNO’s Director of Athletics. “It is fitting that our first major facilities investment helps us strengthen the academic support for our athletes during their transition to Division I. The Brian and Carey Hamilton Academic Excellence Center will put us on par with many of our peer institutions in Division I.”
Brian, a graduate of UNL, and Carey, a graduate of UNO, are long-standing supporters of the University of Nebraska system and have held numerous volunteer leadership positions at UNL, UNO and UNK. The couple are trustees of the University of Nebraska Foundation, and Brian is a past member of the Foundation’s board of directors. The Hamiltons, who currently reside in Omaha, own Midway Chevrolet Cadillac Buick and Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Kearney, Neb., and Beardmore Chevrolet and Subaru in Bellevue, Neb.
“We’re extremely pleased to have the opportunity to help provide support for this academic center,” said Brian. “We want UNO student-athletes to have the tools they need to be successful both academically and athletically. The more resources they have, the better students they are — and the better prepared they will be to enter the workforce and to support the Omaha community.”
"I am so inspired by the work ethic of student-athletes,” said Carey. “They have extremely demanding schedules yet they charge on with winning attitudes. This center will provide our athletes with a conducive environment to learn and to excel and will provide the necessary resources to ensure their academic success. The fact that the Academic Excellence Center was such a high priority for UNO's Athletic Department speaks volumes for its leadership and vision."
“All of us are looking forward to an up-to-date, expanded Academic Excellence Center,” said Caleb Steffensmeier, a Maverick student-athlete and member of the men’s basketball team. “It will give us a place to maximize our study time and balance all of our responsibilities as student-athletes.”
The center will house study space and computers for UNO student-athletes. There will be separate rooms in which athletes can meet with tutors. The center also will have offices for UNO’s Director of Academic Success and other support staff.
The UNO athletic department has been working with the on-campus facilities department as well as local architects BVH Architects on the design of the center which will be located in existing space within the Sapp Fieldhouse. Construction will begin in the ensuing weeks, and the project is expected to be completed by the beginning of the fall semester.