In December of 1941, W.W. Burr and H.C. Filley appeared before the NU Regents to make a final appeal to have Union facilities included in the basement of the Food and Nutrition Building on East Campus. The Regents were to some extent interested in the idea, but at a later meeting abandoned the concept.

In the Spring of 1946, students started a petition movement to accelerate the opening of a Union branch on East campus. In early December of 1946, a temporary Union was opened in the East Campus Student Activities Building. The Grand Opening held on March 21, 1947 attracted the largest Ag College crowd the campus had ever seen. There was dancing, dessert, punch and two performances by an UNL student under the stage name of Houdini Jr. He is better known now as one of the University's most recognized alumni: Johnny Carson.

Chancellor James H. Zumberge asked Animal Science professor Charles H. Adam to chair an ad hoc committee to review a program statement about a Union for East Campus. For 15 years the idea of an East Campus Union did not get passed the discussion stage. The primary obstacle was financing two Unions on separate campuses. In Adam's final report to Chancellor Zumberge, the committee noted that a cooperative between the cafeteria in the Food and Nutrition Building and a proposed East Campus Union was the best option. This seemed to be the forward motion that was needed to get the project off the ground.

In the Spring of 1975, bids were extended for the construction of the new Union Building on East Campus. The Union Board and Director, A. H. Bennett voted unanimously to change the name of the new facility to Nebraska East Union in October 1975. Thirty years after the temporary facilities in the Activities Building had been occupied; the East Campus Union opened its doors on a cold and blustery Monday, January 17, 1977.

The Nebraska East Union renovation is scheduled to complete in the Fall of 2020 and will continue to serve the university community for many years to come.

Fast Facts

  • Opened: January 17, 1977
  • Introduced By: W.W. Burr and H.C. Filley