20th Annual Governor’s Lecture with Historian David Reynolds

WWI historian David Reynolds delivered the 20th annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities October 1 before an audience of more than 850 people at the Holland Center in
Omaha. Reynolds, a professor at Cambridge (UK) University and frequent presenter on BBC history programs, spoke on how WWI—though often overlooked in the US—has influenced our nation and the world in the 21st century.

Reynolds1_Leaning_Dan“As the world grapples with social  and geopolitical challenges in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere, David Reynolds’ insights about how World War I has affected international  relations over the past century is particularly timely,” said Chris Sommerich, HN executive director. “I think that we came away from this lecture with a better understanding of how Nebraska’s interests and connect with past and current conflicts in the world.”

With presenting sponsors First National Bank and the University of Nebraska, the lecture was preceded by an annual benefit dinner that raised more than $150,000 for Humanities Nebraska’s statewide programming. HN board members Nick Baxter and Kathy Wilson were co-chairs for the event.

SmithsMoment2_slh_HNWebsiteOmaha philanthropists and community leaders Annette and Paul Smith received the 2015 Sower Award in the Humanities. Frequent participants in arts and humanities events in Omaha and elsewhere in Nebraska, the Smiths were instrumental catalysts for the Louder Than a Bomb slam poetry program and support many other non-profit ventures.

HN is grateful to the many donors and sponsors (see below) who helped make the benefit dinner successful, surpassing HN’s fundraising goal. The lecture was rebroadcast on NET Radio and KIOS/Omaha on December 7 and will later be available on the NET Radio website.

View more photos here.

2015 Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities Donors 


First National Bank

University of Nebraska


Carol Gendler

Valmont Industries, Inc.


Mammel Foundation

Barb & Ron Schaefer

James C. & Rhonda Seacrest

The Todd & Betiana Simon Foundation

Annette & Paul Smith

Studio Polymath


Accelerate Nebraska

Adams Land & Cattle Co.

Bank of the West

Anne & Nicholas Baxter

Ray Carr

Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, LLP

Kim & Tom Dinsdale

Roy & Gloria Dinsdale

Kate & Sandy Dodge

James & Sandra Gallentine/Matt Wood & Tracy Sanford


Chris & Ron Harris

Richard D. Holland Foundation

Jane Renner Hood

John C. Kenefick Faculty Chair in the Humanities at  Creighton University

Brad & Amy Knuth/Bryan & Heather Schneider

Kutak Rock, LLP

Ellen & Charles Lierk

McGrath North Mulling & Kratz PC, LLO

Metropolitan Community College

Cynthia & Robert Milligan

William J. Mueller & Kim M. Robak

Mutual of Omaha Bank

Nebraska Machinery Company

Nebraska Printing Center

Bob & Mary Nefsky

Sen. Don & June Pederson

Peru State College

Phillip & Terri Schrager Foundation/Beth & Harley Schrager Foundation

Chuck Shoemaker & Lynne Friedewald

Slosburg Family Charitable Trust

Roger & Liana Steele

Streck, Inc.

Union Bank & Trust Company

UNO – College of Arts & Sciences

Irv & Gail Veitzer

Katherine L. Walter

Katie Weitz

Weitz Family Foundation

Ted & Sheila Weschler

Kathy & Mark Wilson

Peter & Kristae Zandbergen


Abel Foundation


Borsheims Fine Jewelry & Gifts

Doug & Dawn Buchanan

Creighton University –  President’s Office

Lana & Lon Flagtwet

Fraser Stryker PC LLO

Nelnet Inc.

Planet Group, Inc.

Security National Bank

Seline Family Foundation, Inc.

Gene & Ann Spence

Paulette & Robert Stefka

Wells Fargo

Stavely & Ellen Wright


Andrew Alexander &  Linda Kruckenberg

Lloyd E. Ambrosius

Fred & Robyn Amis

Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, Ph.D.

Dr. Ken & Annie Bird

Daniel & Barbara Bohi

Jon Bohlke

Eric & Ruth Brown

Joan Carnaby

Susan E. Conine

Sen. LaVon Crosby

Robert H. Culver, Jr.

Gerald B. & Kit Dimon

Russ & Annette Eisenhart

Mike & Jan Guilliatt

Barbara Haggart

Marilyn & Ron Hayek

Charles & Margaret Hermes

Fred & Teresa Hunzeker

Mike & Julie Jacobson

Dr. & Mrs. F. William Karrer

Ruth & James H. Keene, III

Virginia K. Knoll

Roger & Carol Lewis

Mary & Rodrigo Lopez

Mary Ellen Mulcahy

Nebraska Bank of Commerce

Natalie & Sam Olson

Dr. Oliver & Karen Pollak

Kyle & Paul Prentiss

Ann Rawley

Carol R. Rempp

Rose Blumkin Foundation

David & Trixie Schmidt

Mark Howard Schulze

Chris & Vicki Sommerich

The Strawhecker Group

William & Heather Thomas

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Carol & Tom Waring



NEH Head Says Humanities Funding Still A Question Mark

National Endowment for the Humanities Acting Chairman Jon Peede was in Omaha re