CRETE, NE — A University in southeast Nebraska is marking a major milestone in its history. 

Monday, Doane University celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding with an alumni gathering at its Crete Campus and a virtual toast for those connected to the school around the world.

Opened as Doane College, the school was founded on July 11, 1872. Named for Thomas Doane, then the Chief Civil Engineer for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad, Doane University is a result of the General Association of Congregational Churches efforts to establish an institution in Nebraska. 

According to the school, after the group created an academy in Crete in 1871, Thomas Doane worked with a local Congregational pastor to advance the idea of the academy. That work resulted in the founding of Doane College one year later. 

Doane was instrumental in the college's formation, even convincing the Burlington Railroad to donate the 600 acres the university now sits on. 

Two week after its founding, David Brainerd Perry was named as the college's first President. The first year the college held classes, Perry was the only teacher. He served as President of the College until 1912.

In its history, Doane has had 13 presidents. Current President Dr. Roger Hughes is a Doane alum and took over the position earlier this year. 

Over the year, Doane has grown to now include campuses in Lincoln and Omaha. In 2016, the name was officially changed from Doane College to Doane University.