The Strength Training and Conditioning Room of the Campus Recreation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 in Lincoln, Neb. Photo by Lydia Asplin
The Strength Training and Conditioning Room of the Campus Recreation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 in Lincoln, Neb. Photo by Lydia Asplin

A good day in Amy Lanham’s book is seeing students, faculty and staff outside of class at the Campus Recreation center.

“For me, when I talk about Campus Recreation, it’s a get to, not a have to,” current senior associate director Lanham said. “There are so many things as a college student that you have to do, and what I like is that people decide in their time management that this place means enough to them to figure out how to come over and use our services.”

“Most likely, getting to come here is the best part of people’s days, and any day that we can make that a success for the student, is a good day in my book.”

Because of dedicated staff like Lanham — whose called Campus Rec home for more than two decades — 2020 marks the 100-year anniversary since the first University of Nebraska-Lincoln Campus Recreation center opened its doors on East Campus, three years before Memorial Stadium was constructed, making the East Campus Rec Center the oldest athletic building on campus. 

With over 210,000 square feet of indoor space, and 34 acres of outdoor space, the Campus Rec provides 80 percent of the UNL student body an opportunity to create lifelong healthy habits and employs over 600 staff every year. 

With weight rooms, a golf simulator, swimming pools, football and soccer fields, athletic training rooms, locker rooms, an Outdoor Adventures Center and even massage therapy, the Rec Center is more than just a place to get a lift in. 

“What I think The Rec does really well is connects students to other students, whether that is through sport clubs, intramural sports, or through student employment,” Lanham said.“They build new connections that they have for life.”

The Campus Rec community, according to Mark Joekel, associate director for development and external relations and sponsorships, offers something unique to everyone.

“Whether it’s joining a team in intramurals, or just coming in between classes to run on the treadmill, there is a place for everyone over here. We can provide the support they need, and I like to think that we are part of their routine for day-to-day life.”

UNL senior Kendrick Umphreys said he plans his day around working out at Campus Rec. 

“Without The Rec, I probably wouldn’t plan times to lift,” he added. 

Amid the ongoing pandemic, Campus Rec leaders revised the Centennial Celebration schedule by canceling gatherings to keep the students and staff safe.But the pandemic will not stop Campus Rec from celebrate its milestone, Joeckel said. 

Even with all of the changes to The Rec due to the pandemic, Joeckel said they still plan to reward academic scholarships to UNL students, like they would in a normal year, and will continue to raise money for the betterment of the center.

It’s awesome to see how many people come through the program and get to have those real world experiences, Lanham said. 

“And it’s awesome to see how their story evolves from joining the Campus Rec up to commencement and past then when they stay in touch with us and let us know how influential this Rec was for them.”

Umphreys said it’s important to workout throughout the week because it takes his mind off of my college studies and improves his overall wellness.

“I think it’s big for my mental health along with my physical health,” he added.

20201025 Campus Rec 2906 1024x683 - Campus Recreation's centennial celebration
20201025 Campus Rec 2902 1024x683 - Campus Recreation's centennial celebration
20201025 Campus Rec 2933 1024x683 - Campus Recreation's centennial celebration
20201025 Campus Rec 3066 1024x683 - Campus Recreation's centennial celebration
20201025 Campus Rec 3309 1024x683 - Campus Recreation's centennial celebration