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Creighton University Dedicates Heaney Pedestrian Bridge

Creighton University dedicated its highway-spanning pedestrian bridge Tuesday, Oct. 1, in the name of two brothers who helped transform the University and the city of Omaha.

The 560-foot-long bridge, completed in 2018, rises 50 feet over the North Freeway, connecting Creighton to The Atlas apartments. The bridge is dedicated to brothers Robert P. "Bob" Heaney, BS'47, MD'51, who passed away in 2016; and his brother C.E. "Carr" Heaney, Jr., BS'50, JD'57.

"Our family is very honored, of course," Carr said. "This would have meant a lot to my brother."

Sue Morris, Carr Heaney and Fr. HendricksonFor 30 years, Carr has provided legal counsel for Heritage Services. To honor his legacy, the Heritage Services' board of directors, along with the Sunderland Foundation and friends, made a significant gift to ensure the Heaney name will remain connected to Creighton University.

Carr's legal career spans more than six decades. He wrote the articles of incorporation for Heritage Services and defined legal parameters for the development of projects that changed the face of the city — including the Durham and Joslyn Art museums, the Orpheum Theater, Holland Performing Arts Center, TD Ameritrade Park and many more.

"Carr has been with us for all of it, offering his guidance and expertise so we could do what it takes to put together these significant projects,” said Heritage Services President Sue Morris.

Another link between the bridge and the Heaney family: In 1974, Carr obtained the air rights for a pedestrian bridge over the North Freeway. More than 40 years later, his idea finally came to fruition.

“Carr has such an affection for Creighton,” Morris said. “As did his brother. We thought the bridge dedication would be a wonderful way to honor that affection and the many ways they connected the University to the city."

Carr’s brother, Dr. Robert Heaney, joined the Creighton faculty in 1957 and chaired the Department of Medicine through the '60s, later serving as Creighton's first vice president for health sciences as well as the first vice president for research. He worked at Creighton for nearly 60 years, leaving a body of work in osteoporosis and vitamin D research that brought international recognition to the University.

"Dr. Heaney was a beloved figure on campus and a role model for the entire academic community," said the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, president of Creighton. "The Creighton family continues to mourn his passing and celebrate his life." Many members of the Heaney family will attend the dedication ceremony, including Muirne Heaney, JD'83, Bob's daughter.

“My uncle and father’s careers epitomize Jesuit values,” Muirne said. “They have lived their lives in service for others.”

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