Connection with Nebraska highlighted in NU President Milliken installation celebration Jan. 26-27
"A Love of Place” is the theme of the installation of the sixth president of the University of Nebraska. James B. Milliken will be installed on Jan. 27 in Omaha, one of a number of events spanning two days, four cities, and 956 miles. Activities will include the official installation ceremony, an academic panel discussion, a celebration of the arts, public receptions, and fellowship. “

“President Milliken, the first Nebraska-born president and alumnus president, brings a special appreciation and steadfast commitment to the office,” said installation committee co-chair Peter Longo, a political science professor from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. “President Milliken’s profound understanding of ‘place’ will serve as the foundation for his leadership. President Milliken loves Nebraska and he is proud to celebrate the love of ‘place’ with the people of Nebraska.”

The installation events are hosted by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

The installation of a university president is a long-standing tradition in the academic community, and is rich with history and symbolism. The events are intended to bring together the academy and the public, creating an opportunity for reflection and celebration of the institution of public higher education.

For the first time, installation events will include multiple locations across Nebraska. This is reminiscent of Milliken’s first week on the job, which he began in Scottsbluff, Neb. and ended in Nebraska City, with many stops in between, to start a conversation with Nebraskans about the future of their university.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, Milliken will travel to Scottsbluff for a community lunch with invited guests at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center at 11:30 a.m. He will then stop in Kearney for a 4 p.m. public reception at the Museum of Nebraska Art. On Thursday, Jan. 27, the formal installation will take place at 10 a.m. in a public ceremony at the Strauss Performing Arts Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) followed by a public reception at the Milo Bail Student Center. At 3:30 p.m., Milliken will moderate a panel discussion on the future of public higher education at Kimball Hall on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Participants will include: Molly Corbett Broad, president of The University of North Carolina; Peter Magrath, president of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges; Linda Pratt, professor and chair of English at UNL, and Graham Spanier, president of The Pennsylvania State University and former UNL chancellor. The panel will be followed by a public reception at the Van Brunt Visitors Center at 5 p.m.

President Broad will deliver featured remarks at the installation ceremony. Other speakers and dignitaries addressing the audience will be UNL English professor and U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck, Lt. Gov. Dave Heineman, Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education chairman Dick Davis, University of Nebraska Medical Center professor James Armitage, and UNL student Regent Katie Weichman. University of Nebraska Board of Regents Chairman Howard Hawks will preside at the ceremony officially installing Milliken.

The installation ceremony may be viewed live via the Web at In addition, UNO-TV will broadcast the event live on “The Knowledge Network,” Cox cable channel 17 and Qwest Choice channel 77. It will be replayed on NETV2, the statewide cable television service of Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, at 9 p.m. CT on Jan. 27. The event will also be available live via satellite (Neb*Sat channel 500) and may be viewed on the UNL and State Capitol closed-circuit television systems.

Milliken took office as president of the University of Nebraska on Aug. 1, 2004. Milliken previously served as senior vice president for university affairs for the 16-campus University of North Carolina. Prior to that, he served 10 years in various administrative posts at NU, was an attorney on Wall Street, and was a congressional aide to former Nebraska Rep. Virginia Smith. Milliken is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, with distinction, in English in 1979. He attended New York University School of Law as a Root-Tilden Scholar, graduating in 1983. Milliken was born and raised in Fremont, Neb., and is the third generation of his family to graduate from the University of Nebraska.

The University of Nebraska includes four campuses: the University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The president is the university’s chief executive officer.

Installation event recap: Wednesday, Jan. 26

  • Community luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Panhandle Research and Extension Center, 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff (invited guests only)
  • Reception, 4-6 p.m., Museum of Nebraska Art, 2401 Central Ave., Kearney
Thursday, Jan. 27
  • Installation ceremony, 10 a.m., Strauss Performing Arts Center, UNO, 6001 Dodge St., followed by reception at the Milo Bail Student Center ballroom, 6001 Dodge St.
  • Academic panel discussion on public higher education, 3:30-5 p.m., Kimball Hall, UNL, 11th and R streets, followed by reception at the Van Brunt Visitors Center, 12th and R streets
Members of the public who wish to attend the Kearney reception, the installation ceremony and reception in Omaha, and/or the academic panel and reception in Lincoln are requested to RSVP via the Web at

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