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Construction Management alumnus Eller gains inaugural CM alumni award

Giving a talk about “Opportunities and Challenges in the Construction Industry,” Timothy R. Eller returned to the UNL Construction Management program where he earned his degree more than 35 years ago. Eller spoke to more than 100 CM attendees at ceremonies in UNL’s new Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center on April 21, and had plenty of perspective to share, from ascending to lead one of America’s largest homebuilding companies.

His career experience and expertise earned him UNL Construction Management’s inaugural “Outstanding Alumni Award.”

Eller joined Centex Homes in 1973 as an assistant project superintendent. He advanced through the corporation to be named president and chief executive officer of Centex in 1991. In 2002, he was appointed president and chief operating officer of Centex Corporation and assumed the additional roles of chairman and chief executive officer in 2004.

At the time, Centex Corporation was a diversified holding company with operations in home building, general contracting, mortgage finance, title & property insurance, and related services. Eller refocused the company to its core home building operations, and was responsible for initiating the Centex merger with Pulte Homes, creating the nation’s largest builder.

Currently principal of Cordalla Capital, LLC, Eller directs investments in real estate and related businesses. He is also vice chairman of the board of directors of Pulte Group, Inc. He is a past-chairman of the Policy Advisory Board for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and continues to serve on that board. He also served as Chairman of the High Production Home Builders Council of the National Association of Home Builders from 1998 to 2009, a council comprising CEOs of the largest home builders in the nation. Eller is a life trustee of the National Housing Endowment and also serves on the board of trustees of the Southwestern Medical Foundation. He has previously served on the Fannie Mae National Advisory Board, the board of trustees of the Nature Conservancy of Texas, and the Executive Committee of the Dallas Opera.

Eller grew up in Omaha and currently lives in Dallas. He and his wife, Kathryn, also from Omaha and a UNL graduate, have three grown children and two grandchildren.

The Construction Management program is part of the Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction in the UNL College of Engineering, with locations in Lincoln and Omaha. The CM program started in the 1960s and graduated its first class in 1968 with five graduates. The 2009 class had 74 graduates, the highest number yet. To date, CM has graduated a total of 1,745 alumni. The significant contributions of UNL Construction Management alumni—to the profession, as well as to society and the national economy—inspired the development of Outstanding CM Alumni Award.