Alpha Omega Hall of Fame
The Alpha Omega Hall of Fame was created in 2022 with the purpose to honor and recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions of members who have made a significant impact on the fraternity and the community at large. The Hall of Fame serves as a way to preserve the history and tradition of the fraternity, while also inspiring current and future members to strive for excellence and make a positive impact. By highlighting the accomplishments of our alumni, the Alpha Omega Hall of Fame also serves as a reminder of the values and ideals that the fraternity stands for, and encourages current members to uphold and continue to promote these principles. Overall, the AO Hall of Fame is a symbol of the fraternity's legacy and a celebration of the achievements of its most outstanding members.
Al Papik | Legend Award | 2022
Al Papik is an iconic figure in the world of college athletics, particularly in the context of Doane College during the late 1960s. As the revered head football and track coach and athletic director, Al played a pivotal role in not only shaping young athletes but also leading the charge for racial integration in small college football. His impact extended beyond the field as he assumed the role of director of admissions at UNL, later retiring as the senior associate athletic director. Al's influence also transcended Nebraska, as he was instrumental in the formation of the NCAA compliance program. His outstanding contributions have rightfully earned him a place in numerous Hall of Fames, including the Crete High School Hall of Fame, Doane College Athletic Hall of Fame, Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, and the NAIA Football Hall of Fame, to name just a few, cementing his legacy as a true legend in the world of sports and education.
Paul Schelstraete | Service to the University | 2022
Paul Schelstraete's distinguished career in service to Doane University is nothing short of remarkable. As the Chairman of the Doane University Board of Trustees, his unwavering commitment to the institution has been the bedrock of its success. A devoted supporter of Doane athletics and a recipient of the Honor D award, Paul's passion for the university's growth and prosperity knows no bounds. Beyond his role in academia, he also serves as the President of City Bank in Crete, demonstrating his leadership acumen. Paul Schelstraete's enduring contributions to Doane University have elevated it to a level of excellence that is truly second to none, leaving an indelible mark on both the institution and its community.
Gary Horky | Service to the Fraternity | 2022
Gary Horky is a revered pillar of the AO alumni community, whose unwavering dedication and support for both active members and fellow alumni have left an indelible mark for decades. With a heart as generous as his spirit is carefree, Gary sets an inspiring example for all of us on how to live life to the fullest. His boundless enthusiasm and fearless attitude have not only earned him respect but also made him one tough son of a gun. Gary Horky's enduring legacy within the fraternity is a testament to the power of friendship, loyalty, and living life with an open heart.
Hugh Butler | Legend Award | 2023
Hugh Butler, a distinguished statesman, and influential figure in Nebraska's history, served as a three-term United States Senator from 1940 to 1954, representing the State of Nebraska. His impactful tenure in the Senate saw him play pivotal roles in crucial events such as the declaration of war on Nazi Germany, the implementation of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, and the groundwork for Alaska and Hawaii's eventual statehood in 1959. Beyond his political career, Butler demonstrated remarkable leadership as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Doane for an impressive 25-year period, skillfully guiding the college through the challenging times of the Great Depression and the enrollment constraints of World War II. Hugh Butler's journey began in 1896 when he arrived at Doane from Cambridge, Nebraska. During his time at the institution, he not only contributed to the basketball team but also engaged in spirited debates with his peers on the pressing issues of the era. In 1897, his visionary spirit led to the founding of the Alpha Omega Fraternity alongside six fellow students, instilling values of hard work, persistence, teamwork, and an unwavering commitment to success that continue to define the Alpha Omega experience to this very day.
Don Nyrop | Legend Award | 2023
Don Nyrop's remarkable journey began at Doane College in 1930, setting the stage for an illustrious career marked by exceptional leadership. After earning his degree from Doane, he pursued his legal education at George Washington University, graduating in 1937. In 1938, he embarked on a pioneering path by joining the newly established Civil Aeronautics Authority, where he played a vital role in organizing and managing the burgeoning private airline industry. His dedication and expertise saw him serve as a Lieutenant Colonel during World War II before returning to the Civil Aeronautics Board, where he was appointed Chairman by President Harry Truman. At a mere 38 years old, Don Nyrop oversaw a workforce of 12,000 employees, making significant strides in enhancing the organization and safety of private air travel.
In 1954, he took on the challenge of revitalizing Northwest Airlines, which was struggling at the time. Under his visionary leadership, the struggling mail carrier was transformed into a thriving commercial passenger airline with an outstanding safety record. Throughout his tenure as CEO, the airline consistently turned a profit, and upon his retirement in 1978, Northwest Airlines stood as a debt-free entity—an achievement that remains unparalleled in today's corporate landscape. Beyond his corporate endeavors, Don Nyrop's commitment to service extended to various corporate boards and the Doane College Board of Trustees, leaving an enduring legacy of leadership and excellence.
Chuck Sukovaty | Service to the Fraternity | 2023
Recognized for his exceptional Service to the Fraternity, Chuck Sukovaty has consistently demonstrated unwavering dedication to the Alpha Omega brotherhood. A formal bio will be updated soon.
Kenneth Fridrich | Service to the University | 2023
Kenneth Fridrich is acknowledged for his long-standing dedication and outstanding service to Doane University, contributing significantly to the institution's growth and success. Ken graduated from Doane in 1959. He was President of the AOs and President of his senior class. Shortly after graduation, he became active in the college Alumni Association. In 1969 Phil Heckman asked him to be a member of the Board of Trustees, for which he has served for 54 years.
Marge [and Ken] founded and funded the Willie Maas Scholarship Fund following his death in 1965 and have funded the Cmdr E. J. Fridrich Scholarship Fund.
Thomas Mangelsen | Lifetime Achievement | 2023
Tom is a world-renowned wildlife photographer with an impressive portfolio that includes PBS Nature, BBC Natural World, and National Geographic. Mr. Mangelsen's work as the cinematographer for the television documentary "Flight of the Whooping Crane" earned him an Emmy nomination. He is most famous for his photography of wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In 2015, he and nature author Todd Wilkinson created a book, The Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek, featuring a grizzly bear known as Grizzly 399.
Mangelsen is also known for trekking to all seven continents to photograph a diverse assortment of nature and wildlife. A photograph he took in 1988 titled, "Catch of the Day" has been labeled "the most famous wildlife photograph in the world". In May 2018, he was profiled on CBS 60 Minutes. In 1994 and 2000 Mangelsen won the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award, in 2005 he was honored as one of the 100 Most Important People in Photography by American Photo Magazine, and Selected as one of the 40 Most Influential Nature Photographers by Outdoor Photography.