Welcome to the Nebraska East Union

Welcome to the Nebraska East Union. A recently completed (2021) $28.5 million renovation has made the Nebraska East Union one of the must see destinations on East Campus. Premier event and meeting spaces, comfortable and engaging lounges, and some of the best coffee and food on campus can be found in the Nebraska East Union. The Nebraska East Union is also home to six time (NCAA) and overall eight time National Championship Husker Women’s Bowling team. The Husker Bowling Center provides a unique bowling experience and is available to the campus community and public for open bowling and rentals. Regardless of your reason for visiting the Nebraska East Union, you are welcome here and encouraged to stay a while!

Mission of the Nebraska Unions

The Nebraska Unions create environments and facilitate opportunities that bring the UNL community together by creating memorable experiences and lasting connections.

Vision of the Nebraska Unions

The Nebraska Unions build a sense of home for the UNL community.

Brief History of the Nebraska East Union

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.

In October 2018 the Nebraska East Union began a 2 year renovation project. The renovation was made possible through a partnership with ASUN, CASNR, IANR, and the Athletic Department. The $28.5 million renovation highlights included:

  • 30% expansion of the Great Plains Room, making it the premier large group meeting and event space on East Campus.
  • Renovation and relocation of East Campus dining. The move to the 1st Floor provided expanded food and seating options for the whole campus community as well as students on meal plans.
  • Husker Bowling Center was upgraded to expand the women’s varsity team space as well as enhance the Husker Experience for all bowlers using the space.
  • New Starbucks located at the new South Entrance connected to Legacy Plaza.
  • New and increased lounges and study rooms for building community.
  • Completed in 2021, the Nebraska East Union is positioned to serve students and the UNL community for years to come. It truly is a gem on UNL’s East Campus!