Peru State history book win Nebraska 2018 Book Award

Peru State history book win Nebraska 2018 Book Award

Lincoln – The Nebraska Center for the Book announced 17 Nebraska Book Award winners for 2018. The award for Cover/Design/Illustration was presented to Peru State College’s sesquicentennial book, Nebraska’s First College: Shaping the Future Since 1867.

Nebraska’s First College was created in collaboration with the Omaha World-Herald and Dan Sullivan.  Sullivan was the author of the book and Christine Zueck-Watkins served as the designer. The Nebraska Book Award follows a 2018 Circle of Excellence gold award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

The book blurb reads, “Peru State College celebrates its 150th year in 2017. The Nebraska school’s history is a rich tapestry of innovation, endurance, community service and pursuit of educational excellence. Celebrate the sesquicentennial with a look back through the remarkable story that began with a vision on a hilltop in Peru.”

Due to the inclement weather both Sullivan and Zueck-Watkins were unable to attend the award ceremony. Peru State’s Director of Marketing and Communication, Jason Hogue, was able to attend the ceremony.

Hogue is holding an award and a framed certificate.

Jason Hogue accepts the award on behalf of the College, Sullivan and Zueck-Watkins from Twyla Hansen, Nebraska’s State Poet.

Zueck-Watkins sent in written remarks, including, “Dan and I made numerous trips to Peru State College during the two plus years we worked on the book. Dan conducted many interviews and did all of the research and writing. I scanned and retouched hundreds of old photos from the school archives and designed this 320-page book.”

“The result is a volume that tells the fascinating history of the 150-year old school and captures the essence of ‘The Campus of 1000 Oaks.’ It was an honor to help tell this story.”

Sullivan had previously written, “The award is a tribute to the rich history of Peru State College. It was an easy story to tell: From the vision and determination of the school’s founders in 1867, all the way to Peru State College today, as it shapes the leaders of tomorrow.”

Other contributors to the book included editors Jeff Alessandrelli, Wendi Buggi, Ted Harshbarger, Jason Hogue, Nicole Hilder, Rebecca Johnson, Amy Mincer, Rich Mills, Kathy Sullivan, Faith Thomas and Pam Thomas.  Jason Hogue and Michelle Kaiser were credited for additional research.

Illustrations of past and current campus buildings were done by Brandi Hull.  Photography credits included Angela Allgood, Wendi Buggi, Bill Clemente, Promise DeBilzan, Arlene Fell, Paul Fell, Ted Harshbarger, Jason Hogue, Brandi Hull, Rebecca Johnson, Malone and Co., the Peru State College Foundation, Becki Propst, Kent Propst, the Omaha World-Herald, Kellen Sailors, Dan Sullivan and Christine Zueck-Watkins.

A copy of the award-winning book can be purchased by visiting  Book purchases support the Peru State College Foundation’s mission to assist and support Peru State College’s programs and services including scholarships for hundreds of students.

The complete list of Nebraska Book award winners can be found at

About Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, with support from History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for One Book One Nebraska. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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