Dana Campus Plan Revealed - Summer 2017
As president of the Dana College Foundation (the official legacy organization of Dana College), I am pleased to announce that a plan for the revitalization of the Dana College campus has been revealed. Dana alumni and citizens of Blair, Nebraska, should be pleased and excited at the opportunities it presents.
The campus will be owned by a non-profit corporation. This umbrella organization is drawing together several entities to work in collaboration, creating a community within a community in ways that benefit not only those organizations, but the city of Blair as well.
Headlining the plan is Grace University. Grace has sold its property in Omaha and will move to the Dana campus under a lease arrangement to open classes in 2018. We had all but given up hope that the campus would house a college again, so this development is tremendous. I urge alumni across the globe to welcome Grace University and the other organizations to the place we all call home.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Home will build and operate a memory care facility on the site of Omaha Village, the old married student housing (which will be razed).
Pending congregational approval, Christ Lutheran Church of Blair will occupy the Madsen Fine Arts Center and repurpose it as its ministry center. We praise God for the opportunity to restore the church to Dana and serve as this new community’s spiritual anchor.
One of the projects includes development of space for elderly low income housing. As such, the project is working with Holy Name Housing of Omaha as a potential manager of that phase.
Some athletic and recreational facilities will be made available for use through the city of Blair.
An eventual goal is to build a prominent mental health research center located on the Dana property.
The Dana College Foundation intends to help Grace University in whatever way we can to make them feel at home and become a new part of the campus’ rich heritage. We also hope to have a physical presence on the campus once again, to assure a continuation of traditional alumni activities and to enhance our connections to one another.
Much work must be done to accomplish this ambitious plan, but the potential it holds is nothing short of remarkable. I want to acknowledge and express our gratitude to Frank Krejci (developer who owns the campus) who saw that potential and allowed the plan to go forward. And especially to Ed Shada of Omaha who conceived the plan and is working to make it a reality.
We also offer our thanks and recognition to McKinnis Roofing for their outstanding work in repairing the damage to the campus from the devastating hail storm three years ago.
Dana College was always about raising people up to serve others. This new plan keeps that legacy alive, and we all should celebrate it. “Thy spirit live, another throng rise up and sing our song!”
Robert E. Coffey (’75)
President, Dana College Foundation