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125 years of memorable moments

By Mike Falco
News Editor

A group of members of the Creighton ROTC pose in uniform on the football feld in 1924.
Below: The Rev. William Rigge, S.J., was known at Creighton and worldwide for his advances in science, including his work with the observatory.

Photos courtesy of Creighton Archives

After a two-month hiatus from the ranking of the 125 most important events in the 125 years of Creighton, I am returning with the final 25. Many people may be wondering why it took so long to finalize the list, which I am sure you have anxiously been waiting for. Well, the answer is simple: I wanted to build anticipation for the finale of the greatest Creightonian series in its 76-year history. Be reminded, these dates are dependent on old Creightonians and other sources and are subject to inaccuracies. Now, without further ado, here are the final dates:

Hard Times
Although this is a short list, and I am sure that some tragic event that affected the campus is being overlooked, these tragedies are notable:

101. Nov. 11, 1874: Edward Creighton died.

102. July 13, 1877: Construction collapsed during the building of the Administration building. There was a near fatality but the victim was rescued.

103. Feb. 8, 1907: John A. Creighton died.

104. Oct. 8, 1911: A fire at the university caused heavy damage.

105. Oct. 1918: The influenza pandemic spread across the United States, forcing the closure of all schools at this university.

106. 1945: Following World War II, Creighton faced dire financial problems and was on the verge of closing the doors of all the professional schools.

107. Nov. 1979: Peter Kiewit, considered the wealthiest Omahan at the time, died. In 1976, Kiewit donated $4 million and served on the Creighton University Board of Directors.

108. Feb. 6, 1981: Two students were struck and killed by a drunken driver at a party south of Lincoln, Neb.

109. March 15, 1981: Four students were killed on Interstate 480 during their return from South Padre, Texas. Combined with the two student deaths from a month before, the campus was sent into shock.

110. Nov. 16, 1989:
Six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter were killed at their home in war-torn El Salvador. Although the tragedy took place in Latin America, Creighton’s Jesuit affiliation made the misfortune hit home.

111. Sept. 11, 2001: The tragedy impacted the entire world, and Creighton was no different. Students attended Mass, candlelight vigils and watched the tragedy unfold at home or in the classroom.


Here are some random important events in Creighton history:

112. June 8, 1906: Eugene Noonan won a gold medal in a Latin contest.

113. Feb. 4, 1911: In a court case, the Rev. William Rigge, S.J., proved a man was innocent of a crime by analyzing the shadows in a picture.

114. Jan. 27, 1919: The Reserve Officers Training Corps formed at Creighton University.

115. Dec. 18, 1921: Alpha Sigma Nu, a student honors society, was formed.

116. 1946 – 47: The DePorres Club was formed by the Rev. John Markoe, S.J. The club’s mission was to improve interracial relations on campus.

117. 1974: Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns graduated from Creighton University.

118. April 1974: Henry Cabot Lodge received an honorary doctorate from the law school.

119. Oct. 14, 1988:
The current baseball stadium was dedicated with a 1,600-foot sandwich that set the Nebraska State Record.

120. Feb. 10, 1989: A student attempted to protest the closing of KOCU, Creighton’s radio station. The protest lasted 30 minutes, when a student attempted to lock himself in the radio booth.

121. May 1989: KOCU closed after the spring semester.

122. Nov. 14, 1995: Shannen Doherty was on campus to film the made-for-TV movie “Gone in the Night.”

123. Sept. 7, 2001: Creighton fell from the top spot in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking. Creighton returned to the top in 2004.

124. August 2002:
The Creightonian celebrated its 75th anniversary.

125. 2003 – 2004: Creighton University celebrated 125 years of sports, buildings, scandal, tragedy and so much more.