Origin and Purpose
|Alberta Dredla '26||Bernice Dredla '35|
The then Vice President for Academic Affairs, Maureen Franklin, announced the initiation of a research speaker series in celebration of 2006 inauguration of Doane University's eleventh president, Jonathan M. Brand. The series honors the intellectual community of the college by funding scholarly presentations. Faculty members are asked to invite speakers who will enhance teaching though presentation of original research in all academic disciplines and by modeling professional academic discourse for students.
Initially, the Academic Affairs Office funded the series, while diverse members of the college community established a fund within the Doane University General Fund with the goal of creating a permanent endowment. A committee with divisional representation and communication liaisons to the Public Events and Undergraduate Research Committees have been established for the series.
In 2008, contributions from the estates of Alberta M. Dredla (1905-2003) and Bernice C. Dredla Sanderson (1909-2000) made the establishment of a permanent endowment a reality. The Dredla sisters, natives of Crete and graduates of Doane College in 1926 and 1935, respectively, were long-time supporters of education. Alberta Dredla majored in English and history and taught high school English and home economics, while Bernice Dredla Sanderson majored in English and taught high school English and the second and third grades. Both Women taught in numerous schools in Nebraska during the 1920s and 1930s. The Dredla women established long and vital teaching careers, contributing to and taking on numerous leadership roles in various communities of educators, including teachers' associations, an educational women's council, retired educators, and Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honor society of women educators. Although the sisters moved with their parents to the Los Angeles area of California in 1939, they maintained strong ties to Doane University. Both women received the Doane University Builder Award, Alberta in 1988 and Bernice in 1991. In 1984, the sisters established a Doane Scholarship fund. In 2007, the Dredla sisters' estates financed the office wing of the education department in the Chab-Weyers Education Building.
The Dredla Research Speakers Series has been established permanently because of the Dredla sisters' generosity and dedication to Doane University. The commitment to intellectual life demonstrated by the Dredla sisters matches the founding goals of the research series to gather student, faculty, and the larger Doane University community into challenging consideration of research in the liberal arts and sciences. In addition to student achievement in specific courses and majors, the Dredla women understood well the importance of creating intellectual community among faculty and students, and among faculty within their disciplines across the nation.