Three-story brick building that originally housed the College of Commerce, Finance and Journalism.

The original College of Commerce, Finance and Journalism building stood into the 1950’s.

A century ago, Creighton students were doing the same things students do today; they studied, shopped, spent time with friends, went to classes and explored the Omaha com- munity. But things looked vastly different than they do today.

In 1922, Creighton’s Blue and White football team were still playing, facing off against schools such as Nebraska Wesleyan, South Dakota State and Marquette. Winning all but two games, they played a successful season that year.

Students on Creighton’s campus wouldn’t have seen Billy the Bluejay cheering them on 1922. He was adopted as the mascot in 1923 after a contest in the Omaha Bee newspaper.

During the graduation ceremony that took place in the Spring of 1922, a uniformed military band, thought to be ROTC, played instruments while leading the outdoor commencement procession of graduates; quite different than the graduation ceremony Creighton has today.

The city skyline, both on and off campus has changed vastly since 1922.

From 1922-1929 the Administration Building was the residence of St. John’s Church priests. Starting at the entrance toward the west end, their quarters extended to the first downspout.

The original Creighton Gymnasium was built in 1915 on the southwest corner of North 24th and Burt Streets and was in use for several decades. It still stands on campus today as the Vinardi Center, better known as the Old Gym and houses multiple programs.

The second gymnasium was built in 1925 and sat 15,000 spectators. Also, in use for decades, it served the ROTC, track and field and held graduation ceremonies. It was demolished in 1963 so the space could be used for the Criss I building.

The College of Commerce, Finance and Journalism was originally housed in a three-story brick building at 417 North 25th Street starting in 1923. Originally called the College of Commerce, Accounts and Fi- nance, the modern day Heider College of Business, opened in 1920.

Creighton Law students did not originally study on campus. The school was located in the Edward Creighton Institue downtown until 1921 when the Creighton Law School opened on campus in the Hitchcock Communication Arts and Dowling Humanities buildings, built in 1920.

The Dowling Humanities building also housed the dentistry school and fine arts school. Today, Hitchcock houses Communication Studies, Journalism, Mass Communications and Modern Languages. Dowling is home to the departments of Philosophy, Theology, Classics and History.

In 1922, Creighton students would see California Street where students can find the Skinner Mall today. Before 1953, the Omaha and Council Bluffs Street Railway Company had streetcars that would run up California Street and turn into 25th Street. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that the street was officially closed off to cars and construction began on the Mall that Creighton students use today.

In 1999, Father Richard McGloin, S.J. recalled his time using the streetcars to get to and from campus.

“It was a very busy street,” McGloin said.

A century ago, Creighton’s students shared their campus with many of the St. John’s parishioners. On the opposite side of the church from the Administration Building was an auditorium and houses.

Across the street, where Kiewit and Becker Hall’s stand today, were more houses. St. John’s grade school and St. John’s high school for girls stood where students today would find the Kiewit Fitness Center.

Something students wouldn’t commonly see in a college newspaper today; on Oct. 4, 1922, James H. Handley, a Creighton Law student from the class of 1910, ran a political ad for his congressional campaign in the first edition of the Creightonian.

Over the past century, Creighton’s campus, its students and the Omaha community have seen many changes. One can only wonder what changes are to come in the next 100 years.

Information for this story sourced from previous Creightonian articles, the Creighton University website and archives and St. John’s website.

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