Doane University is a leader in higher education, grounded in its commitment to academic excellence, building leaders, innovation, community, and a special sense of place for each student. These are the qualities that have made Doane successful for 151 years and will help build an even stronger university for the future.
Doane creates the ideal setting for experiences and connections with lifelong value for students of all ages through these commitments. Our innovative approach to education integrates learning in the classroom with our students’ work and life experiences.
Doane University is dedicated to a student-centric approach to higher education, fostering success for all of our students. Our emphasis on our students is shown through how we:
- produce leaders through a complete, personal, well-rounded education linked closely to career and professional preparation;
- provide graduates with appropriate academic programs and skills to prepare them for satisfying and profitable careers;
- put an emphasis on campus inclusivity to enhance educational opportunities for all;
- extend our education to strategic campus locations in Nebraska’s largest metro areas, taking learning off-campus through internships, work, and a variety of impressive public events;
- take an innovative approach to traditional and adult undergraduate education, making the university a leader in higher education in the midwest.
History of Doane
For 151 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. No matter the changes, Doane has continued to hold on to its liberal arts origins, prioritizing teaching, research, academic study and helping students reach success in all aspects of their education.
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.
Education for a Lifetime
Throughout Doane’s 150-year history, the university has provided students with dedicated faculty and quality programs. The highest priority for Doane faculty is to continually improve the teaching and learning process. They are also active with scholarly research and publication, community service, and campus life.
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.
Doane University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (230 S. LaSalle St., Ste. 7-500, Chicago, IL, 60604-1411). HLC may be reached at 800.621.7440 or email@example.com.
In addition, the Teacher Education unit 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.
The Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Ste 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248). NASM can be reached at 703.437.0700.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Doane University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001). CCNE can be reached at 202.887.6791.
Doane is also accredited by other standardizing agencies, including the Nebraska Coordinating Commission of Post-Secondary Education (PO Box 95005, Lincoln, NE 68509-5005; 140 N. 8th Street, Ste. 300, Lincoln), 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.
Doane values the participation of all 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 university 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
Doane University Presidents
Doane University has been led by a succession of enlightened presidents. David Brainerd Perry, Doane’s first president, served from the official founding of the university in 1872 until 1912. He was followed by:
- Arthur B. Fairchild 1912-1914 (acting)
- William O. Allen 1914-1918
- John N. Bennett 1919-1925
- Edwin B. Dean 1925-1936
- Bryan S. Stoffer 1937-1942
- Bryant Drake 1942-1947
- David L. Crawford 1948-1954
- Donald M. Typer 1954-1966
- Philip R. Heckman 1967-1987
- Frederic D. Brown 1987-2005
- Jonathan M. Brand 2005-2011
- Jacque Carter 2011-2021
- Roger A. Hughes 2021-
The university provides a strong financial base for education through endowment growth, annual fiscal integrity, annual gift income, a competitive comprehensive fee, and a supportive scholarship program.
Crete Campus Buildings and Scenic Locations
Doane University’s first students in the late 1800s studied in one primary building, Merrill Hall, which was destroyed by a fire in 1969. Through years of careful stewardship by faculty, staff, and students, Doane’s traditional campus in Crete is one of the most celebrated in the midwest.
Bauer House has been the official home of the Doane University president since its dedication in 1965. The home was built in 1950 and donated by Dr. John Bauer, a 1904 graduate. The three-story home is located on Boswell Avenue, near the south entrance to campus.
Boswell Observatory, built in 1883, was named for Charles Boswell of Connecticut, whose stepson taught at Doane. He was also a close friend of Doane’s first president, David Brainerd Perry. Boswell donated $5,000 for the building and astronomy equipment, which included an eight-inch telescope and surveying equipment used by university founder and civil railroad engineer Thomas Doane. The observatory is believed to be the first weather service headquarters in Nebraska and is one of three Doane buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It has been altered several times, once following a fire in 1930. The observatory remains available for sky viewing with the restored original telescope. It also houses the Doane Family Association archives.
Brandt Memorial Bridge, erected in 1930, spans Miller Pond. University treasurer A.T. Cassel designed the bridge, and it was named for Herman F. Brandt, who joined the Doane faculty in 1927 and donated funds for its construction.
The Bridge to Distinction spans the ravine on the north side of the campus. It was constructed in 2004 and dedicated to Dr. Fred Brown, the university’s 10th president.
Butler Gymnasium was built in 1936 and named in honor of U.S. Senator Hugh Butler, a longtime member and chairman of the Board of Trustees (1917-54). An addition was built onto the gymnasium in 1944 to house a former swimming pool, and in 1955, classrooms were added to the west side of the building. The gymnasium is now the home of Doane Men’s and Women’s Wrestling.
Cassel Open Air Theatre was created in 1936 by Doane alumnus and treasurer A.T. Cassel. The outdoor amphitheater is the site of commencement each year as well as numerous student events throughout the year. Cassel, who graduated in 1894, was responsible for campus landscaping for many years. Doane renovated the open-air theatre in 2011, expanding the space, replacing retaining walls, and updating landscaping and other features.
The Chab Weyers Education and Hixson Lied Art Building opened in 2007, providing new offices and classrooms for the Education and Art departments. It also houses the university’s Farley Korff Welcome Center, Admission Office, and Information Technology Services. The main entrance to the building features the reclaimed signature portico of the former Whitin Building. The building was funded in part by a $2 million gift from the Lied Foundation Trust and a donation by Lois (Chab) and Larry Weyers, 1967 graduates of Doane.
College Heights Country Club is on land owned by Doane University and leased to the country club. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to enjoy this outstanding nine-hole course.
The Communications Building was completed in 1970. This building houses faculty offices, classrooms, computer labs, the library, art gallery, and the Learning Commons. Perkins Library, located on the lower level at the southern end of the building, was made possible through gifts from the Kitty Perkins Charitable Trust and the estate of Lincoln attorney T.F.A. Williams. The Perkins family was originally from Hastings, and several members have attended Doane. Rall Art Gallery was originally created in 1986 as part of the library, named after Reinhold ‘33 and Lillian Rall and Leonard ‘35 and Dorothy Rall ‘38, donors for the project. The gallery is now adjoined to the Learning Commons, which sits in the upper level of the library. The commons area houses the 24/7 Lab, Writing Center, Technology Services, Research Services, an information sciences classroom, a recording studio, an assistive learning lab, print services, and new student collaboration spaces. The building is also home to Heckman Auditorium, named for Doane’s ninth president, Dr. Phil Heckman. The auditorium, in the northern end of the building, is the site of numerous musical performances, lectures by visiting speakers, and other events each year.
Dean Memorial Pergola was built in 1930 with funds from 1880 alumna Carrie Dean in honor of her parents. The pergola is of Greek design and situated above a natural spring. Numerous Dean family members attended the university, and Carrie’s brother, Edwin, served as Doane’s president for more than a decade (1925-36). In 2006, a renovation project restored the pergola and added the Pappy ‘70 and Debra Solomon ‘71 Khouri Garden and Outdoor Classroom. The project was completed as a gift from Delta Kappa Pi fraternity and alumni in honor of Khouri, the former university treasurer, and his wife.
Doane Lake was created in 1931. The spillway and water level were raised in 1944, allowing the lake to spread out. The dam was again raised in 1970 after completion of nearby Sheldon Hall. The lake has been home to pairs of swans for many years and was last renovated in 2000.
Fairchild Apartment Building, completed in 1956, was named for Arthur B. Fairchild, longtime treasurer (1886-1919), and acting president of the university in 1912-14.
Frees Hall was completed in 1931 as a women’s residence hall and was designed by Dean and Dean, Architects. The building matches Smith Hall in design and was built to accommodate 185 students. A 450-seat dining hall was included in the basement, where students ate their meals until the campus center was built. The hall is named for Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Frees for their “generous interest in Christian education in Nebraska.” Frees is now a coed residence. A 2009 renovation project restored and improved the campus landmark, adding amenities such as air conditioning, remodeled bedrooms and living spaces, a game lounge and theater area, and outdoor gathering spaces.
Fuhrer Field House, built in 1969, was described at the time as one of the premier facilities of its kind in the Midwest. The building grew to enclose 55,000 square feet of space for men’s and women’s athletics. In 2014, a 20,694 square-foot expansion was completed with numerous improvements to restore Fuhrer as a superior facility and a comprehensive recreation and athletic space for students and community. Arena seating can now accommodate 1,130 spectators. A 200-meter regulation length track, classroom space, and Fred Beile Arena (the indoor track competition space named after Doane’s legendary track and field coach) were all added during the renovation.
Gaylord Hall was built in 1884 as Ladies Hall. The building was renamed in 1890 for the Rev. Reuben Gaylord, a pioneer home missionary and Christian educator. One wing of the building was renovated into apartments in 1931. The building today houses classrooms and faculty offices. Production studios for film, radio, and the student newspaper are located in the lower level. Gaylord is one of three Doane buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The George and Sally Haddix Recreation and Athletic Center opened in 2010 with a performance gymnasium and fitness facility and is located east of the Lied Science and Mathematics Building. It spans two levels and 63,535 square feet, housing Bob Erickson Court for volleyball and basketball (with seating for 1,100), a fitness center for both Doane and area communities, several classrooms, and office space for the athletic department. The center is funded in part by George and the late Sally Haddix, two longtime members of the university’s Board of Trustees, and their families. They contributed a total of $7 million to the project. The Gibson Hall of Fame Room, on the upper level of the building and looking out into the performance gym, is named after Richard and Wanda Gibson of Council Bluffs, Iowa, who donated $2.5 million toward the building.
Gregory Grove is a landscape feature located south of Frees Hall. In 1932, George Gregory, an 1882 graduate and a member of the Board of Trustees from 1912-33, planted 100 pin oak trees. The grove is now part of Osterhout Arboretum, the campus-wide tree nursery and sanctuary.
Hansen Leadership Hall is the university’s newest residence hall and was completed in 2000. The building is named for the late Zenon C.R. Hansen, former CEO of Mack Trucks, and was funded in part by The Zenon Hansen Foundation.
Lauritsen Track is named for the late Walter Lauritsen ‘30, an outstanding alumnus, former multi-sport athlete, and chairman of the Board of Trustees who did much to further the academic and financial advancement of the university. The outdoor track is located in Memorial Stadium and was recently renovated in 2018.
The Jose M. and Elizabeth Ledon Softball and Baseball Complex opened in 2007. Named for the parents of a former softball student-athlete, the complex is located on the eastern edge of campus. It includes a baseball field and softball field, bleachers, batting cages, an indoor hitting facility, and a shared two-story press box and concession stand. The complex also includes new track and field throwing competition areas.
The Lied Science and Mathematics Building was completed in 1999 and was funded in part by a $3 million gift from the Lied Foundation Trust. The $10.2 million, 60,000 square-foot building houses the science, mathematics, and information science departments. The building is connected to campus by the Bridge of Distinction.
Martin Maintenance Building was built in 1991 and houses the Facilities Operations department and storage areas. Alfred Martin, a former member of the Board of Trustees, and the Martin Foundation provided funding.
Memorial Stadium was officially dedicated on Nov. 11, 1948 as the Doane-Crete Memorial Stadium, honoring veterans of both World War I and World War II. Al Papik Field (formerly Simon Field) and Lauritsen Track are housed within the stadium. Historic Fiske Lodge, built in 1910, was moved to the stadium in 2008 and serves as the ticket booth, concession stand, and merchandising area at the south end of the stadium.
Miller Pond was named in memory of Florence Hazen Miller of Crete, who designed the Nebraska flag. In 1962, she provided funds for the renovation of this biology “bug” pond, a natural campus feature. A 1989 project dredged the pond and added a retaining wall and a fountain was installed in the center in 1990. The pond and the surrounding area were renovated again in 2014.
Osterhout Lane was finished in 2002 and connects the eastern part of campus to Iris Avenue. The lane is named for the late David Osterhout, a 1937 Doane graduate and longtime university administrator, and his family. It features the Navy Memorial Plaza, dedicated to the Navy V-5 and V-12 program trainees, more than 700 men who received officer training at Doane during World War II.
Padour Walker Administration Building was dedicated in 1972 as a replacement for Merrill Hall, which was destroyed by fire in 1969. Edson O. Walker provided funding for the building in honor of his wife, Ida Padour ‘15. Built just west of Merrill’s original site, it houses administrative offices, a conference room, and Noyce Chapel. The chapel, located in the lower level, was dedicated in 1975 in memory of Ralph B. Noyce ‘15. An interior renovation in 1999 was funded by former trustee Alfred Martin and the Martin Foundation.
Al Papik Field in Memorial Stadium, was formerly known as Simon Field. It was built in 1929 from a generous gift from G. Eli Simon, a Nebraska attorney and father of a graduating senior. The university and the community share use of the field, which features new FieldTurf installed in 2011, for football and soccer games throughout the year. In 2013, the field was rededicated in honor of Al Papik, a 1950 graduate who had a celebrated career as a coach and administrator at Doane.
Perry Memorial Campus Center is named for Doane’s first president, Rev. David Brainerd Perry, who came to Nebraska as a missionary/circuit rider and stayed to establish a university on the treeless prairie. The building opened in January of 1963 and included recreation areas, a lounge, and a snack bar. In 1970, a two-story addition was built onto the southern façade of the building. The building was again enlarged in 1995 and further renovated in 2007-08. Lakeside Coffeehouse opened in 2006 and provides Starbucks beverages and pastries in a relaxing, social atmosphere. Perry also houses Doane’s student cafeteria serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. In 2011, one wing of the campus center was rededicated as Don Nyrop Great Hall to honor the late Don Nyrop, a Nebraska native who graduated from Doane in 1934 with a history degree. He went on to earn a law degree from George Washington University and then had a distinguished career in aviation, heading the Civil Aeronautics Administration and running Northwest Airlines. He was a 14-year member of Doane’s Board of Trustees and the recipient of numerous Doane awards for his long, generous support and leadership on behalf of the university.
Poets’ Grove is an area south of Whitcomb Lee Conservatory where students planted trees to honor notable poets. On Arbor Day 1884, Trustee Samuel Andrews tossed pebbles across the lawn, and students then planted trees at the landing site of each stone. More trees were added at a rededication ceremony on Earth Day 2014.
Porter Memorial Bridge was built in 1931 to span the small stream between Gaylord and Frees Halls. Constructed in the same design as Brandt Memorial Bridge, this bridge honors Kezzie Porter Brande, a 1905 graduate who, according to the dedication plaque, “Loved the Doane Campus.”
Sally Smith Fountain was constructed in memory of Sally J. Smith ‘82, who was killed in a 1981 traffic accident. The fountain is located just south of Cassel Open Air Theatre. The waterfall flows into nearby Doane Lake.
Sheldon Hall, located east of Frees Hall and west of Hansen Leadership Hall, opened in 1970 as a women’s dormitory but is now a co-ed residence hall. The three-story building remained nameless until 1978 when it was dedicated after Margaret Thompson Sheldon, an 1886 graduate and, later, Doane’s first dean of women and an English professor. She served the university for 21 years. A renovation project in 2010 enhanced the hall’s living spaces and added lounges, a meeting space, patio, and other amenities.
Smith Hall, formerly Men’s Hall, was renamed in 1977 to honor Charles C. Smith, an 1887 graduate, former trustee, and benefactor of the university. In 1929, Smith contributed a substantial, then-anonymous gift to assure construction of the hall. The renaming of the building provided public recognition of his earlier contribution. The building became a coed residence with the completion of a 2011 renovation project that added a fourth floor to the landmark building while making improvements on a lounge area, gaming room, kitchen, business center, and outdoor courtyard.
Teachers’ Grove is located on the site of the former Goodall Science Building. Dedicated in 2008, it is a place of respite in honor of those who open the doors of knowledge. The grove also honors those in the education field whose donations helped landscape the area.
Whitcomb Lee Conservatory was built in 1906-07 in the Prairie School architectural style. The building, which originally housed a chapel and the music department, was named for Mr. and Mrs. George F. Lee, of Nebraska’s Otoe County, and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Whitcomb of Massachusetts. Renovated in 2003-04, “The Con” now houses the theatre and speech departments with an auditorium used for theatre productions and other events. It is one of three Doane buildings in the National Register of Historic Places.
More Doane Locations
Doane University’s growth beyond Crete traces its origins to 1981, when classes were first held for adult, “nontraditional” learners seeking professional advancement at the offices of Select Research, Inc. in Lincoln. Doane’s Lincoln Campus has grown since then, now occupying a complex at 52nd and R streets. Apart from its undergraduate facilities, Doane Lincoln includes dedicated offices for its Graduate of Education and Master of Arts in Counseling programs, as well as an administrative building.
The Fred D. Brown Center is the flagship facility of Doane’s Lincoln Campus. The building was purchased in 2005 and named in honor of longtime Doane President Fred D. Brown, who was an original proponent of all of Doane’s nontraditional learning programs. The Fred Brown Center houses 22 undergraduate classrooms including computer labs and an art studio. IT services, Career Development, Academic Support Center, and faculty offices are also located in the Fred Brown Center.
Doane expanded to a physical location in Omaha in 2012. Doane’s Omaha Location serves graduate students in business and education in Nebraska’s largest city.
Finally, online learning at Doane continues to evolve, as we develop more and better ways to meet educational needs wherever they’re located. Our online learning offices are headquartered in Lincoln.