Stephanie Bolli graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1989 with a degree in home economics and a focus on dietetics and food science and technology. She now works for ConAgra Foods in Omaha.
Daily Nebraskan: What are some of your strongest memories from your time at UNL?
Stephanie Bolli: I loved being part of the student body, especially football games. I’d been to my first football game when I was in fourth grade, so I was a longtime fan. But it’s different being part of the student section. Just the energy of being on campus, I liked that a lot. I always enjoyed in spring semester if you walked north to the Coliseum by the Mueller Bell Tower, and the trees were in bloom. You knew you’d almost survived another spring semester. Some of the paths I used to walk, it brings back a lot of memories. In hindsight, I wish I’d had a pedometer and kept track of all the miles I walked while I was here.
DN: What are some of the main changes you’ve noticed at the university?
SB: There’ve been a lot of changes in buildings. The building I took physiology in isn’t even here anymore; it’s a green space. (Campus has) spread a lot farther east. Everything basically stopped at 17th Street. And the parking has changed - everything was surface lots when I was here. It was always a real challenge to find a parking spot. And I’m really surprised by the (Nebraska Union). It feels more like a loft now, really modern, furnished by Crate and Barrel is what it looks like to me. As of last year, it still pretty much looked like it did when I was here, in terms of furnishings.
DN: What are your thoughts regarding the 30,000 enrollment goal?
SB: It’s a good goal. It seems kind of big. I grew up in Burwell, and my high school class was 34. So coming to the university when I did, it was a big jump for me.
You wonder if there’s enough space for that many more students in terms of parking, housing, classrooms and everything. But I think it’s a good goal.
DN: How do you think campus would change with 30,000 students?
SB: Probably more vertical. At some point it’s gonna be land-locked and has to become vertical. But when it’s vertical, you lose some of the views and a lot of the landscaping. One of the things I like about Nebraska is wide open spaces and being able to see where you’re going. As it becomes vertical, that goes away a little bit.
DN: You have a background in food science – what are your thoughts on Innovation Campus?
SB: I’m really excited for the potential there. It’s a definite plus for Nebraska. We really need people to stay here. I left Nebraska after I graduated, mainly just because I needed a job, and I was really glad I got to come back. Having closer relationships with industry is a great way to give students a reason to stay here.
DN: Any other thoughts?
SB: I know the leaders will do everything they can. I just hope it doesn’t lose that, you know, it kind of felt like a community, even though it was a huge step up in size and experience for me coming from a small town. But it still felt like a community, and I hope they do everything they can to maintain that. Because that’s part of what makes Nebraska a special place.