Lincoln native Olivia Pound was perhaps the most influential educator to come out of the University of Nebraska.
She was the youngest of the three remarkable Pound siblings. The eldest, Roscoe, was dean of the Nebraska School of Law and later held the same post at Harvard Law School. The middle child, Louise, for whom Pound Hall is named, taught in the English department for 48 years and is considered by some to be the finest all-around athlete in the history of the state.
In this family of notables, Olivia held her own. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the university in 1895 and a master’s degree in 1897, the same year the university began issuing teaching certificates. In 1900, she joined the Lincoln High School faculty, eventually guiding the school’s teachers as assistant principal for more than 25 years.
But her impact was felt far beyond the halls of Lincoln High. She wrote 20 textbooks and scores of journal articles. Such was her decades-long passion for effective teaching, the Lincoln School District named a new school after her in 1963. Pound Middle School thrives to this day.
Olivia Pound’s zeal for teacher education lives on in the College of Education and Human Sciences, where the curriculum not only prepares graduates for classroom instruction and leadership, but also equips them to conduct valuable research.
This year, the college welcomed its inaugural class in the Teacher Scholars Academy. Funded by a donation from the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation, the academy was created to grow the teacher workforce in Nebraska and address a possible teacher shortage.
The Teacher Scholars Academy at Nebraska will expose future teachers to Nebraska’s schools, communities and changing demographics through experiential learning opportunities. Scholars will become innovative practitioners, ready to empower communities.
The new academy is just one example of the college’s commitment to preparing effective teachers. Its focus on early childhood education has positioned UNL as an international leader in this critical field of study.
Another recognized area of strength is in preparing graduate students in education. U.S. News & World Report ranked the college’s online graduate education programs as the ninth best in the nation based on accreditation, admissions selectivity and career support.