The Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission is accepting nominations through December of 2011. Established by the Unicameral in 1961, the Nebraska Hall of Fame’s purpose is to bring to public attention and to recognize officially those people who, in their lives, have achieved prominence and who were outstanding Nebraskans. “Nebraskans” are defined as those who were born in Nebraska, who gained prominence while living in the state or those who lived in Nebraska and whose residence here was an important influence on their lives and which contributed to their greatness.
Besides meeting this definition, a person must have been deceased for a minimum of thirty-five (35) years nn order to be eligible for election to the Hall of Fame.
Inductions to the Nebraska Hall of Fame are limited to one person every five (5) years.
Exemplary contributions in public affairs, the arts, the sciences or the professions are given highest consideration. Efforts in entertainment, athletics or fields of endeavor where interest, publicity and general recognition may for a time be intense, but where the contribution to society is secondary will be a lower priority.
Activities that have added to the welfare of society and to the reputation of Nebraska shall be weighed more heavily than activities primarily benefiting the individual him/herself.
There’s plenty of time built into the process. Nominations will be accepted through December 30, 2011. The Commission will review nominations and may select finalists that will then be considered at public hearings held in each congressional district, in 2012-2013. After the hearings, the Commission may select one finalist for induction in 2014.
Michael J. Smith, Director/CEO of the Nebraska State Historical Society, serves as secretary of the Commission. A nomination form and other information about the Hall of Fame can be found at www.nebraskahistory.org (search for “Hall of Fame”). To request a hard copy nomination form, contact the Nebraska State Historical Society at P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln, NE 68501, or email .
Some of the 24 individuals previously inducted, whose busts are on display on the rotunda level of the State Capitol, include Ponca Chief Standing Bear, writers Mari Sandoz and Willa Cather, Nebraska’s Poet Laureate John Neihardt, U.S. Senator George W. Norris, and Charles E. Bessey.