Students in class smiling

The Durham School's motto is 3:2:1, three programs, two campuses, one school. We offer a comprehensive built environment education in architectural engineering, construction engineering, and construction management, both in Omaha and Lincoln, under one academic unit. Our programs inspire students to pursue engineering and management with a desire not just for technical competency, but also for a comprehensive education, an approach we term the engineer and constructor of the future. This professional focuses on innovation, possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, enjoys global and social awareness, and is a leader in the community.

Innovation and entrepreneurship requires a nurturing academic environment where students are exposed to knowledge from other domains, collect diverse experiences and perspectives, and develop an open mind. Global awareness requires experiential learning beyond the confines of the traditional classroom environment such as the participation in international conferences, international internships, and study-abroad programs. Social awareness requires an understanding of the grand challenges of society including the need for sustainable development. Leadership development becomes possible by providing students with opportunities for mentoring, outreach to high schools, organization of events and activities, and participation in regional, national, and international student competitions. The Durham School is committed to providing these types of student experiences, which are possible thanks to our close relationship with the design and construction industry and the financial support of our endowment.

We are excited about the future and invite you to join The Durham School in pursuing leadership through education in architectural engineering, construction engineering, or construction management. It is up to you now: do you want to become an engineer and constructor of the future?

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History of The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction

The Durham's

The namesake for The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, Charles W. Durham was an engineer, businessman, leader, and generous supporter within Omaha and beyond. The third-generation civil engineer grew up in Ames, Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University. He joined Omaha's Henningson Engineering and was active in its growth, becoming president in 1950 after working for the firm for just 10 years. The firm was subsequently renamed Henningson, Durham & Richardson, Inc.

Under Durham's leadership, the company later known as HDR Inc., grew to be an international firm with 1,700 employees with projects and offices around the world. The highly regarded architecture, engineering and consulting (A/E/C) firm has specialized in public works projects, including military facilities and hospitals.

After selling the company in 1983, Durham and his wife, Margre, focused on charitable giving that continues to benefit the region. They provided generous funding to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Durham Western Heritage Museum, and The Durham School.

Charles W. Durham died in 2008 in Omaha at age 90, but his legacy endures through his support of education.

In 2005, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and the University of Nebraska Foundation in collaboration with industry and philanthropic supporters provided a significant endowment for The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction. The school was also provided a Durham Board of Institutional Oversight as permanent stewards for the program and use of endowment funds. This board meets quarterly to discuss school news and establish strategic plans.

The Charles W. Durham School is one of a kind, it is unique and there is no other school like it. It does a substantially better job of giving young people a well-rounded education in all aspects of construction and design.
Walter Scott, Jr.
Former CEO of Kiewit Corporation and Chairman of Level 3 Communications