Jul 23, 2024  
ARCHIVED 2020-21 Graduate Catalog 
ARCHIVED 2020-21 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Introducing Doane University

History of Doane University

For 149 years, Doane University has occupied a distinguished place among the colleges and universities of the Midwest as Nebraska’s first and oldest private liberal arts and sciences school.

The history of Doane dates from 1857, when the General Association of Congregational Churches, in its first annual meeting in Fremont, Nebraska, resolved to lay the foundation of a literary institution of a high order in Nebraska. Fourteen years later, and after several unsuccessful attempts to establish Congregational schools across the state, an academy was founded in Crete on May 22, 1871.

The efforts of the local Congregational pastor and Thomas Doane, chief civil engineer for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad, were instrumental in advancing the idea of the academy.

On July 11, 1872, Doane College was founded. The college was officially incorporated at that time as a nonprofit institution governed by an independent, self-perpetuating board of trustees. It has received continuous accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, now named the Higher Learning Commission, since 1913.

Doane began its work in higher education for adults and “nontraditional” students when it offered its first professional development classes in Lincoln in 1981. The current Lincoln campus was established in 1988.

In 2016, Doane College became Doane University, reflecting its structure of multiple campuses, colleges, and the addition of online programs. The university is authorized to conduct all affairs considered essential to the liberal arts enterprise wherever it is carried on, including teaching, research, academic study, and granting degrees.

Doane is historically affiliated with what is now called the United Church of Christ. Doane serves as the representative institution for the Nebraska, Rocky Mountain, Kansas-Oklahoma, and South Dakota conferences of the UCC. Doane, although founded by Protestants, is open to students of all religions, as well as those who profess no formal religion.

Doane University Presidents

Doane University has been led by a succession of enlightened presidents. Doane’s first president, David Brainerd Perry, served from the official founding of the university in 1872 until 1912. He was followed by

Arthur B. Fairchild 1912-1914 (acting) David L. Crawford 1948-1954
William O. Allen 1914-1918 Donald M. Typer 1954-1966
John N. Bennett 1919-1925 Philip R. Heckman 1967-1987
Edwin B. Dean 1925-1936 Frederic D. Brown 1987-2005
Bryan S. Stoffer 1937-1942 Jonathan M. Brand 2005-2011
Bryant Drake 1942-1947 Jacque Carter 2011-

Mission Statement

Doane University creates distinctive educational experiences, rooted in the liberal arts, to prepare our students for careers and lives grounded in inquiry, ethics, and a commitment to lead and serve in the global community.


Doane University will be a comprehensive university, recognized for innovation, valuing the liberal arts and professional studies in order to empower and prepare students for life, career, and community engagement.


  • Inclusion: Doane values creating an environment in which all individuals and communities are able to fully participate, belong, and thrive in authentic ways.
  • Integrity: Doane values ethical and principled decision-making and taking responsibility for one’s actions.
  • Innovation: Doane values forward thinking and the ability to develop and implement new or re-imagined ideas in a collaborative environment.
  • Transformation: Doane values enhancing lives and developing potential.

Accreditation Statement

Doane University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL, 60604-1411). HLC may be reached at 800.621.7440 or hlcommission.org.

In addition, the College of Education at Doane University is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (1140 19th St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036).  CAEP can be reached at 202.223.0077 or caepnet.org. This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs.

Doane is also accredited by other standardizing agencies, including the Nebraska Coordinating Commission of Post-Secondary Education (140 N. 8th St., Suite 300, P.O. Box 95005, Lincoln, NE, 68509-5005), which can be reached at 402.471.2847.

Documentation of accreditation may be viewed upon request in the Doane University President’s Office.

Licensure and Certification

Doane University regularly updates program requirements in order to prepare students for licensure and certification as appropriate. In order to comply with federal disclosure requirements, up to date information about licensure and certification can be found on the General Licensure and Certification Disclosure page. Prospective and current students are encouraged to research the requirements in their current or intended state of residence to ensure that their intended enrollment in a program will meet the requirements of their state’s licensing agency.

Assessment Statement

Doane values the participation of undergraduate and graduate students in its institution-wide program to assess student achievement. This program is part of the institution’s responsibility to monitor student outcomes and assure the continuing quality of a Doane degree. Multiple strategies are used to gather information about student achievement throughout the college experience. Information collected as a part of the assessment program is used for assessment purposes only and is not used to evaluate individual performance. The university protects the confidentiality of data collected.

Doane University Memberships

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Nebraska
Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education
Council for the Advancement and Support of Education
Council of Independent Colleges
Great Plains Athletic Conference
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
Nebraska Council for Teacher Education
Nebraska Independent College Foundation