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U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives: Home

The U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives include his legislative papers, artifacts, campaign records, and other materials.

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Archives & Special Collections at UNO Criss Library is open to the public Monday-Friday 8am-5pm and by appointment.

Archives & Special Collections is closed whenever Criss Library is closed

Archives & Special Collections will be closed on Monday, September 7, 2015. 

Prepare for Your Visit

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 ArchivesUniversity 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. 

Have a question about Archives & Special Collections not answered on our pages for visitors? Contact us

Find Us

Archives & Special Collections is located on the lower level (first floor) of Criss Library. Directions to the library and information about campus parking is also available. A number of hotels are located near campus and in the greater Omaha area.

History of the Collection

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 Biography

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.


Past Exhibits:

  • Chuck T. Hagel: The 1996 Campaign, January 16, 2015-March 20, 2015: Nebraskans elected Chuck Hagel to represent them in the United States Senate in 1996. His opponent in that race was sitting Governor Ben Nelson. Sworn into office in 1997, Hagel served 2 terms before stepping down in 2008. The display includes campaign signs and other memorabilia. 
  • Campaign 1996: Hagel for Senate (2012) In 1996, Chuck Hagel ran a successful campaign the resulted in victories over then Attorney General Don Stenberg and Governor Ben Nelson. Hagel was the first Republican to win a Nebraska Senate seat in twenty-four years. The exhibit featured photographs and artifacts from this historic 1996 campaign and election.
  • A Senator’s Walls: A Selection of Photographs and Artifacts from the Offices of Senator Chuck Hagel (2010) featured more than 300 items from Hagel’s offices in Washington DC, Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, and Scottsbluff. The items on display included photographs, awards, gifts, cartoons, newspapers and magazines, presenting a visual history of the activities of Senator Hagel during his two terms in the United States Senate.

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