We encourage all researchers to review online information about finding material in and using material from Archives & Special Collections in advance of your visit to Criss Library. Archives & Special Collections includes the Afghanistan Collection, the U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives, University Archives, and Special Collections and Rare Books.
Research appointments are not required, but are encouraged for those visiting Archives & Special Collections in Criss Library. An appointment can ensure your research visit is as productive as possible. Contact us in advance of your visit to make an appointment.
On October 8, 2008, at the kick-off of UNO's centennial celebration, Chancellor John Christensen announced that U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel would donate his U.S. Senate papers and artifacts to his alma mater. The materials from the office in Washington, D.C. and his state offices were delivered to the library in December 2008 and the work of archival processing began.
The U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives includes his legislative papers, campaign records, and other materials in UNO Criss Library's Archives & Special Collections. The collection is currently closed while it is being arranged and described.
Chuck Hagel was born on October 4, 1946 in North Platte Nebraska. The oldest of four brothers, he graduated from St. Bonaventure High School in Columbus, Nebraska. He joined the United States Army and volunteered to go to Vietnam, serving from 1967-1968 in the 9th Infantry Division. Rising to the rank of Sergeant, as an infantry squad leader Chuck and his brother Tom were in the same infantry squad and saved each other's lives on separate occasions. He earned numerous military honors and decorations including two Purple Hearts.
Hagel graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 1971. He worked for Nebraska Congressman John Y. McCollister in Washington DC and then Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. In 1981, President Reagan nominated Hagel to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration where he pushed for increased benefits for Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange.
Hagel co-founded Vanguard Celluar Systems and went on to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Service Organization, Chief Operating Officer of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7 Summit), Deputy Commissioner General of the United States for the 1982 World's Fair, President of the Private Sector Council, and President of McCarthy & Company (an Omaha based investment bank).
Elected to the United States Senate in 1996, Hagel represented Nebraska until 2009. As a Senator, he was a senior member of the Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. Hagel chaired the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export, & Trade Promotion subcommittee; and the Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs International Trade & Finance and Securities & Investment subcommittees.
Following his retirement from the Senate, Hagel served as a Co-Chairman of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board and as a member of the Secretary of Defense Policy Board and the Department of Energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. He was Chairman of the Atlantic Council and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of National Governance at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel to suceed Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense on January 7, 2013. He was sworn in on February 27, 2013 as the 24th Secretary of Defense.