April 2, 2004


More than 150 Union College students, faculty, alumni and community guests celebrated the service to campus and community made possible by the Ortner Center, a new dining and conference facility. As a part of Union’s Homecoming Weekend celebration, the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony highlighted the people who made the project a reality.

Started in June 2002, the Ortner Center construction project included a new 13,137-square foot entrance and terrace area, 21,363-square-foot food service area and 8,160-square-foot conference center for a total of 42,660 square feet. Features of the Ortner Center available to the campus and community include Union Market Dining Services, Lang Conference and Guest Center, a 24-hour campus Welcome Center, and the McClelland Art Gallery.

During the outdoor program Friday on the Ortner Center’s Tribute Terrace, Lincoln Mayor Coleen Seng commended Union College for inviting the community to make use of the new facility. “On this beautiful day, I wish all citizens of Lincoln were here to enjoy this beautiful place,” Seng said. “The Ortner Center will benefit the campus and community for years and years.”

Other special guests included Lincoln Chamber of Commerce representatives and Pat and Ralph Watts, daughter and son-in-law of the building’s namesake, Alvin Ortner. Union Davis Design and Brester Construction were also recognized for their involvement with the Ortner Center project.

Representing the student body, Marsha Steiner, junior international studies major, added her appreciation for those who helped turn the old cafeteria into Union Market, a part of the contemporary Ortner Center. “Every time I walk into the Ortner Center, I feel like I’m in a special place,” she said. “Thank you for making this building a reality.”

A $1.3 million gift from the Alvin Ortner Trust helped create the vision for the project. Other leadership donors include: Union Bank, Lincoln, Neb.; Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Overland Park, Kan.; Adventist Health Rocky Mountain Region, Colo.; Mid-America Seventh-day Adventist Headquarters, Lincoln, Neb.; Jerome and Ramona Lang, Lincoln, Neb.; and Jessica Saxton and Saxton Inc., St. Joseph, Mo.

Open House Events

All are invited to come-and-go Ortner Center Open House events, Wed., April 7, and Thurs., April 8. Open house guests will discover Union Market, a casual dining option in southeast Lincoln featuring vegetarian cuisine and fresh-baked treats from Wheatberries, Union's full-service bakery. Attendees will explore the Lang Conference and Guest Center, a convenient location for meeting and special events, and the McClelland Art Gallery.  In addition to facility details and information about other Union College programs and services available to the community, Ortner Center Open House tours will include bakery coupons, prize drawings, music and complimentary refreshments.

The Ortner Center is located at the center of the Union College campus at 3800 South 48th Street in Lincoln. Parking is available on 48th Street, Prescott Avenue and in the lots of the College View church.

To learn more about reserving meeting space, guest rooms or on-site catering call 402.486.2545 or visit www.ucollege.edu/ortner.