1878: On Sept. 2, classes commenced at Creighton College.

1879: On Aug. 14, The Creighton University officially incorporated.

1886: The Mass of the Holy Ghost (now the Mass of the Holy Spirit) became an annual tradition still celebrated today. 

1888: St. John’s Collegiate Chapel (shown in photo circa 1899) was dedicated.

1897: St. John’s Parish was created, which meant that the church could conduct baptisms, weddings and funerals.



1904: The law school was established.

1905: The dental school opened with 113 students. 

1905: The pharmacy school – now the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, was founded – (shown in photo is a female pharmacy student, circa 1920).

1906: The first dorm rooms – in St. John’s Hall, later renamed Wareham Hall – opened for occupancy.

1920: The Heider College of Business began as the College of Commerce, Accounts and Finance, with nearly 80 students. 

1924: The Omaha Bee newspaper ran a contest to choose Creighton’s mascot. The winner: a blue jay.

1926: The Graduate School was formally established as a separate division of Creighton University.


1942: Creighton’s football team played their final game – a 33-19 loss to Tulsa.

1947: Markoe-DePorres Club meets for the first time on Creighton’s campus. Named after St. Martin De Porres, the patron saint of social justice, the objective of the club is the realization of racial justice in Omaha. 

1947: For the third time in the United States and the first time west of the Missouri River, cameras in the surgical pavilion of St. Joseph’s Hospital telecast an operation (shown in photo).  

1959: Christopher Kenny, PhD, professor of chemistry, is awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope John XXIII, now St. John XXIII, for his work in service to the Catholic Church. 

1959: Hui O Hawaii Club hosts a campus celebration to recognize Hawaii’s statehood, which eventually became Creighton’s popular annual luau. 

1961: The United States’ first and largest Trans Telephone EKG Service debuts at Creighton

1968: The University reincorporated and removed “The” from its name


1972: First Creighton students travel to the Dominican Republic to serve in a new joint venture between the University and the Centro de Educación para la Salud Integral Board, the genesis of our relationship with the Institute for Latin American Concern.

1975: Creighton’s College of Nursing, established in 1971, launches the second accelerated nursing program in the United States (shown in photo are nursing students circa the 1970’s).

1975: First courses offered in the Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality, with an emphasis on Ignatian Spiritual Direction. This is the longest continual Master of Arts in Spirituality program open to laity and clergy in a Catholic university in the United States.

1976: The Institute for Latin American Concern program is established at Creighton. The next year, students travel to the Dominican Republic for eight weeks in the summer to assist rural communities with health care and living conditions.

1981: The Rev. Leland Lubbers, SJ, establishes a foreign language cable television station at Creighton for the promotion of language acquisition, cultural understanding and friendship, paving the way for the birth of SCOLA.

1983: Robert Fitzgibbons Jr., MD, professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Surgery, pioneers minimally invasive surgical procedures.

1983: The College of Professional Studies, designed to serve nontraditional college students, is established.

1984: The term “Lynch syndrome” is coined, recognizing the contributions of pioneering Creighton cancer researcher Henry Lynch, MD, in identifying a strain of hereditary cancer.

1987: Barbara Braden, PhD, of the College of Nursing, published an article describing the Braden Scale for predicting pressure sore risk, which transformed the field. 


1990: HollyAnn Harris, PhD, associate professor of chemistry, is named the inaugural Clare Boothe Luce Faculty Chair for Women in Science. Six faculty members have since held the chair. 

1992: First Outpatient Cardiac Center and Outpatient Cardiac Catheterization lab in the Midwest is established at Creighton.

1992: The College of Business Administration initiates the Portfolio Practicum Program. Under the direction of faculty and oversight of the University’s Investment Committee, undergraduate finance students manage investments. 

1993: Creighton launches the first Doctor of Physical Therapy program in the nation.

1996: Greg Zacharias, PhD, professor of English, founds the Center for Henry James Studies at Creighton, now one of the most comprehensive, collaborative research centers on the life, work and times of the acclaimed American novelist. 

1998: Creighton begins offering daily reflections to share with faculty and staff. Within weeks, readers from around the world begin following the online reflections. Today, the Online Ministries website receives millions of hits each year, from across the globe. 

1999: Creighton launches the first Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in the United States.

2001: Creighton launches the first online Doctor of Pharmacy program in the United States. 

2003: Creighton launches a Master of Arts in Ministry in cooperation with the Omaha Archdiocese. The program transitioned to an online program, making Creighton one of the first Jesuit universities to teach ministry in an online format. 

2003: In collaboration with the Institute for Latin American Concern, Creighton starts the first medical and surgical preventive ophthalmology program in the Dominican Republic, specifically targeting the eradication of vitamin A deficiency in children and glaucoma in adults.

2004: Creighton dedicates Michael G. Morrison, SJ, Stadium, one of the premier soccer facilities in the United States.

2004: Jesuit Superior General the Very Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, delivers a speech on Creighton’s campus during a historic visit to Omaha.

2004: The student-founded, student-run Magis Clinic opens inside the Siena/Francis House in Omaha, providing care to the area’s homeless population.

2004: Faculty Mission and Identity Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education is established, a 10-session series for faculty each academic year on Catholic character and Ignatian formation.

2004: The Werner Institute for alternative dispute resolution in the School of Law is founded at Creighton. 

2006: Creighton is named No. 5 among top wired campuses by PC Magazine.

2006: College of Business launches Master of Security Analysis and Portfolio Management (now titled Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis) through a partnership with the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Institute. Our faculty includes the most CFA charter holders of any university in the world. 

2007: Creighton School of Law and the Department of Political Science collaborate to publish a groundbreaking study, establishing a property claims settlement system for a post-Castro Cuba. 

2007: Three Creighton faculty—Joan Lappe, PhD, Robert Recker, MD, and Robert Heaney, MD—publish findings from a landmark study linking vitamin D to a reduction in cancer risk. 

2007: Four Creighton students are named Goldwater Scholars, more than many Ivy League schools that year. Today, with 20 Goldwater Scholars in the last 13 years, Creighton is one of the premier producers of Goldwater Scholars in the United States.

2008: Creighton launches a hybrid learning collaboration for entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy students at the University of Alaska Anchorage. 

2009: Creighton School of Medicine and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center create an academic affiliation, establishing a Creighton medical school presence in Phoenix


2010: Coordinating with the Institute for Latin American Concern, Creighton sends the first international medical/surgical response team to the Dominican Republic to treat earthquake victims beginning five days after the Jan. 12, 2010, disaster devastated nearby Haiti.

2011: Creighton Graduate School launches EdD program in interdisciplinary leadership.

2011: Mary Helen Stefaniak, MFA, professor emerita in the Department of English, receives the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction for her novel The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia

2012: The St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic opens on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, with Creighton dental faculty and students providing much-needed care (shown are a dental faculty member and student with a patient in the Clinic)

2013: Creighton is approved to shelter a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest honor society, making it the 14th of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States with a chapter.

2013: Gintaras Duda, PhD, associate professor of physics, is named the CASE/Carnegie National Professor of the Year, and Matt Huss, PhD, professor and chair of psychology, is named Nebraska State Professor of the Year. 

2013: Creighton launches Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, providing a platform for the accomplishments and hard work of the University’s undergraduate student and faculty researchers.

2013: The Heider College of Business becomes the first named school or college at Creighton, celebrating the lives of Charles and Mary Heider.

2013: The iJay Store opens as the first and only student-run Apple Authorized Campus Store in the world. As part of the iJay practicum course, Creighton students make all of the store’s managerial and operational decisions.

2014: College of Nursing faculty develop the Creighton Competency Evaluation Instrument, used by the National League for Nursing in a landmark national study of simulation learning.

2015: Creighton’s first centralized, high-performance supercomputer is released for faculty and student research support. 

2015: Creighton launches a hybrid learning collaboration for entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy students at Regis University.

2015: Heider College of Business launches a unique Doctor of Business Administration program, seeking to create doctoral faculty candidates who are educated in Jesuit business pedagogy, in collaboration with other Jesuit colleges of business.

2015: Creighton’s Online Ministries website receives more than 40 million hits from 208 countries. 

2016Hustlen Hazel, a book by Jinmei Yuan, PhD, professor in the Department of Philosophy, receives a People’s Literature Award for the Best Novels for 2014 and 2015, which honors five top Chinese-language novels.

2017: Encuentro Dominicano celebrates its 25th anniversary. Since its inception in 1992, more than 450 undergraduate students have participated in the program. 

2017: Creighton establishes a Community Health and WellBeing Center in North Omaha in conjunction with the 75 North initiative at Highlander.

2018: Building on more than 40 years of the Creighton University College of Nursing’s well-respected 12-month accelerated BSN program, classes begin in Phoenix as an expansion of the program. 

2018: Institute for Latin American Concern celebrates its 45th anniversary. Since its inception, 4,381 Creighton students have traveled to the Dominican Republic in service to others.


Photos courtesy of Creighton University Archives and University Communications and Marketing

Information sourced from the “Milestones” section of the University strategic plan document and The History of Creighton University, 1878–2003, by Dennis Mihelich (2006).