Hixson-Lied Advisory Board

Hixson-Lied Advisory Board

The Hixson-Lied Advisory Board was created to review and react to requests for expenditures of income from the Hixson-Lied endowment to benefit the college and its affiliated organizations. The board encourages requests for funding that will truly advance excellence in the college and enhance its national reputation. Additionally, the board is involved in overseeing the investment of the endowed funds in cooperation with the University of Nebraska Foundation's Finance Committee.

The Advisory Board is comprised of the trustee of the Lied Foundation Trust, the chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the president of the University of Nebraska Foundation, the dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, and six additional members appointed to a three-year term who may serve two consecutive terms.

Hixson-Lied Advisory Board Reports

Deon Bahr

Portrait photo of Deon Bahr

Deon Bahr of Lincoln, Neb., is the Founding Principal of Bahr Vermeer & Haecker Architects, Ltd. He received his Bachelor of Science in architecture from UNL in 1961. He has served as the president of the National Society of Architects and served as a critic/juror for the College of Architecture from 1983-2000.

Bahr has also served on the Nebraska Art Association Board of Directors from 1983-1991, serving has chair of the Bird House Competition in 1988, chair of Acquisitions and Collection in 1988-89 and chair of the Sculpture Garden Committee in 1983-84. He has also served on the boards for KUCV (Nebraska Public Radio Network) and Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.

He served on the Mayors Blue Ribbon Committee on the Arts in 1987 and was a member of the Mayors Public Art Action Committee in 1991. He has served the Lincoln Arts Council on the Public Art Committee for the Lied Center for Performing Arts, chairman of the Public Art Consultant Selection Committee and member of the 12th St Public Art Selection Committee.

His own artwork has been exhibited at the MEDICI exhibitions in 2002, 2004 and 2005; Hayden Art Gallery, Sheldon Museum of Art, Modern Arts Midwest and The Sawmill Gallery.

Terry L. Fairfield

Terry L. Fairfield

Terry L. Fairfield is currently Vice Chairman of the University of Nebraska Foundation. He previously served as CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation from 1987-2008. He is a graduate of Kearney High School and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he has completed post-graduate work at UNL and The George Washington University.

Fairfield recently led the Foundation's largest and most successful fund-raising campaign ever. Campaign Nebraska raised more than $727 million dollars to benefit the four campuses of the University of Nebraska. During the campaign 95 endowed faculty positions and nearly 1,000 new scholarships were established.

Under his leadership, Foundation assets have grown from approximately $166 million to more than $1 billion, and benefits transferred annually to the university have increased from over $17 million in 1987 to more than $69 million in 2001.

Fairfield has additional fund-raising and alumni programming experience from his previous positions at Northwestern University and the Council of Advancement and Support of Education.

Marg Helgenberger

portrait of Marg Helgenberger

Marg Helgenberger is a film and television actress known for her roles as Catherine Willows in the CBS drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and as K.C. Koloski in the ABC drama "China Beach," which earned her the 1990 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She earned two Emmy Award and two Golden Globe nominations for her work on CSI. In 2005, she won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Female Television Star and CSI received the Screen Actors Guild’s Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Marg was born in Fremont, Neb., and raised in North Bend, Neb. She attended Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska-Kearney) and then Northwestern University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in speech and drama.

Her other television credits include “Spenser for Hire,” “Matlock” and “thirtysomething.” She made her feature film debut in “After Midnight” in 1989. Her other film credits include Steven Spielberg’s “Always,” “A Guy Named Joe,” “In Good Company,” and “Mr. Brooks.” She also appeared for four years as Siobhan Ryan Novak in the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope.”

As a result of her mother’s 27-year battle against breast cancer, Helgenberger has hosted an annual benefit annually in Omaha since 1999.

In 2012, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mike Hill

Candid photo of Mike Hill

Mike Hill is a film editor who won an Academy Award for the film “Apollo 13.” Hill and his editing partner Dan Hanley have had a longstanding, notable collaboration with Director Ron Howard, having edited all of Howard’s films since “Night Shift” in 1982.

Hill was raised in Omaha, Neb., and received a criminal justice degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1972.

His first job was as a guard at a Chino prison in California. He then entered the film editing profession and worked on several television programs and two feature films before starting his association with Hanley and Howard on “Night Shift.”

He moved back to Nebraska in the late 1980s, but continues his work on major studio films with Howard. He also edits independent films produced in Nebraska, such as “Full Ride” in 2001.

In addition to “Apollo 13,” Hill and Hanley have been nominated for Academy Awards for Howard’s “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “Cinderella Man” (2005) and “Frost/Nixon” (2008). His other editing credits include “Backdraft,” “Cocoon” and “The Da Vinci Code.”

Hill has been elected as a member of the American Cinema Editors (A.C.E.).

Christina Hixson

Portrait photo of Christina M. Hixson

Christina M. Hixson graduated from Clarinda High School in Iowa in 1944. She borrowed $600 from an Uncle and moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to attend business school. After seven months, she went to work for Mr. Lied's car dealership as a switchboard operator and took dictation since his secretary could not. After the war, Miss Hixson became his secretary and also took on the accounting duties. Miss Hixson joined Mr. Lied in Las Vegas in 1960 and became his assistant. She attended all business meetings with him as he relied on her instinctive judgment of people to guide him in his transactions.

After his death in 1980, Miss Hixson became the sole trustee of the Lied Foundation Trust. As such, she has turned the Lied Foundation Trust into one of the largest Foundations in the state of Nevada. Miss Hixson has tried to keep in mind the types of grants Mr. Lied would want her to make. She has made contributions to projects in California, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah and Washington. Miss Hixson has a special fondness for young people who, like her, come from a challenging family background and are willing to work hard. Therefore, she has set up a scholarship fund at Iowa State University for students academically capable of college work but with no hope of attending without a financial boost. As Trustee of Lied Foundation Trust, she has demonstrated a keen insight in selecting for funding those projects that could only become a reality with a pace-setting gift that would, in turn, elevate the sights of other donors.

Heather Jones

Heather Jones received her Bachelors' degree at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha in early childhood and elementary education. She is currently attending the University of Nevada Las Vegas to receive a Master's of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy.

William Nunez

Portrait photo of William Nunez

William J. Nunez has been the director of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning since September 2003. His office provides data and analysis to support academic management, evaluation and planning, and is also responsible for the campus physical master plan, campus space planning, and operation of examination services, providing testing and scoring services. He joined the Office of the Chancellor as Associate to the Chancellor and Chief of Staff in April, 2010.

Nunez came to UNL from the University of Louisville, where he was assistant director of planning, institutional research and institutional effectiveness in the office of planning and budget. He is an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Sciences and has also taught at Louisville, Indiana University-Southeast, and for Jefferson County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education in Louisville. Nunez holds bachelors and master's degrees in business and master's and doctoral degrees in education.

Charles O'Connor

Portrait photo of Charles O'Connor

Charles O’Connor is the Hixson-Lied Endowed Dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He returns to Lincoln after nine years, having started in 1993 as a faculty member in the Department of Theatre Arts, now the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.

From 2008-2012, Chuck was the Dean of College of Visual and Performing Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. There, he was instrumental in securing an endowment from Sweetwater Sound, Inc. in support of a new music technology program. As the Chair and Executive Director of the Department of Theatre and the Nevada Conservatory Theatre from 2003-2008, Chuck raised substantial money and doubled the audience size of the theatre.

At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the 1990s, he envisioned and formed a film and new media program implementing the early use of digital technology and interactive media. He served as the faculty liaison in the planning and design of the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center and the renovated Temple Building, which houses the film and new media program.

Frank Tirro

Portrait photo of Frank Tirro

Frank Tirro (B.M.E. 1960) is professor of music and former dean of the Yale University School of Music. A specialist in both the history of jazz and music of the Renaissance, he is the author of Jazz: A HistoryLiving With JazzRenaissance Musical Sources . . . In Bologna, and co-author of The Humanities: Cultural Roots And Continuities, and editor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Before coming to Yale, Tirro served as Chairman of the Department of Music at Duke University. In addition to many scholarly articles and reviews, he also wrote, for young students, the entry on "Jazz" for The World Book Encyclopedia and many of the individual biographical entries for jazz musicians. He has served as an associate editor for the new American National Biography, sponsored jointly by Oxford University Press and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Tirro received his B.M.E. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, his master's degree from Northwestern University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He was a Fellow of Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy, and he has also served as Director of the Southeastern Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. He lectures on jazz and Renaissance subjects, and his professional responsibilities have taken him across the United States, to Europe, China, and South America.

Susan Varner Wilkins

Photo of Susan Varner Wilkins

Susan Varner Wilkins is a registered nurse. She has previously worked as a hospice nurse with Hospice Care of Nebraska and as a registered nurse at the Lincoln Community Blood Bank.

Wilkins has served on the Lied Center for Performing Arts Advisory Board since 2000 and is currently chair of the programming committee. She served on the Friends of Lied Board of Directors from 1991-1997.

She is a member of the Lincoln Community Foundation Board of Directors and is co-founder and treasurer of the Barth Syndrome Foundation. She serves as a Stephen Minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Wilkins is also a Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital Angel Dog Volunteer (pet-assisted therapy).

Wilkins was co-founder and president of the Lincoln Candlelighters and a member of Junior League of Lincoln and the Folsom Children's Zoo Board of Directors.