More than 30 Creighton anniversaries in 2022 — Part Two

Jan 03, 2022

Creighton's been credited with a lot of firsts.

Featured Testimonial About Creighton University

By Micah Mertes

Here, we continue our list of the many anniversaries Creighton will observe in 2022.

See the previous entries (anniversaries from 1892 to 1923) here.

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80 years

1942 — Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis come to Creighton

Just a month before Creighton played its last football game, two of the 20th century’s greatest athletes came to Creighton Stadium. This was the October home game against Fort Riley (34-7 Creighton). On Fort Riley’s segregated marching unit were world heavyweight champion boxer Joe Louis and future Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson.

Image of Creighton football being played.

1942 — The end of Creighton football

On Nov. 21, 1942, about 9,000 fans at Creighton Stadium watched as the Bluejays fell to their Missouri Valley Conference rival Tulsa, 33-19. Shortly after, the season was cut short, and Creighton suspended football and basketball competition for the duration of World War II.

At the time, there was no indication this would be Creighton football’s final season. Most students and alumni assumed the sport, like basketball, would return. But four years later, the program was nixed for good.

Read all about it here.

1942 — First female class president

Third-year law student Elaine Dodson became the first class president of the School of Law. You can read more about the history of Creighton’s coeducational firsts here.

75 years

1947 — TV comes to Creighton

Over Christmas break 1946-1947, Creighton became the first university in the country to have a television production studio.

It was part of a partnership with the radio station WOW. Its chief purpose was to offer training for new workers and Creighton students, but the studio also hosted a series of “TV experiments” for spectators.

Programs included magic shows, one-act plays and live surgeries. Creighton’s “station” was reportedly the first to present a live televised dental operation

Creighton's TV studio films a live surgery. Creighton's TV studio

1947 — Computers come to Creighton

In the winter of that year, Creighton installed an IBM system to tabulate grades, rapidly speeding up the time in which students got their report cards.

It was among the earliest instances of computer use at Creighton. Possibly the first.

60 years

1962 — Students vs. Machine

Fifteen years later, a different machine, the IBM 1620, played (and defeated) Creighton students in a few games of tic-tac-toe.

Were the losses an early, bleak harbinger of humanity’s fate? Time will tell.

A scene from Creighton's computer center.

1962 — The Computer Center

This was just a big year for computers at Creighton in general. During the academic year of ’62-’63, the Computer Center was established in the Eppley College of Business Administration, serving as a lab for scientific research and training in the growing field of business data processing. The original equipment was described as “some smaller computers and one large computer.”

A scene from Creighton's computer center.

1962 — First nuclear science courses

Thanks to a grant from the Atomic Energy Commission, Creighton became the first university in the Midwest to offer nuclear science classes at an undergraduate level. The grant allowed the purchase of Gieger detectors, gamma ray spectrometers and a lower-level lab built with special shielding to protect students from radiation.

1962 — Fallout shelters

Eppley building in 1962.
The Eppley Building in 1962.

To further illustrate the state of the world in the early ’60s ...

In 1962, Creighton built and stocked fallout shelters across campus with enough space and supplies for 5,354 people to go underground for two weeks.

The primary shelters were in the lower level of an earlier Student Center and the basements of the library, the Eppley Building and Gallagher Hall.

1962 — MBA

That fall semester, Creighton introduced its Master of Business Administration degree through the Graduate School and College of Business Administration.

Today, Creighton’s online MBA program is among the nation’s top-ranked, with Creighton MBA grads reporting a 20% higher salary than MBA grads from other universities.

1962 — Fr. Linn becomes President

Fr. Reinert and Fr. Linn shaking hands.
Fr. Reinert, left, and Fr. Linn.

That spring, University Relations President the Very Rev. Henry W. Linn, SJ, was installed as the 19th Creighton President, exchanging jobs with previous President the Rev. Carl M. Reinert, SJ.

At that year’s Student Day convocation, Fr. Linn said, “Creighton has always been a good school. Now we must strive to make it a great one.”

50 years

1972 — Black Realities

The year of the Creightonian’s 50th anniversary, Creighton’s Afro-American Students Association started a second campus paper, the monthly Black Realities.

The paper’s managing editor at the time, Ken Watts, said the purpose of the paper was to “bridge the gap between Black students on campus and the Black community (while) giving the most accurate account of life on campus for Black students.”

1972 — Omaha’s first bone transplant

That fall, a periodontist from the School of Dentistry and a surgeon from the School of Medicine performed a surgical procedure never before attempted in the city — a bone transplant.

The surgery consisted of transplanting bone marrow from the upper portion of the hip bone to the jaws of a patient with an otherwise untreatable periodontal disease.

Read about more anniversaries we'll observe in 2022!

Creighton’s 2022 anniversaries: Part 1 — 1892-1923

Part 3 — 1977-2012

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Forward Blue

You've read about Creighton's past and present. Now learn about its bold and exciting future!

Read about the Forward Blue fundraising campaign for Creighton and how you can ensure that one of the nation's best universities will continue to thrive through many more anniversaries to come.