BTNAA Gives Back...
Over the years the BTNAA has made contributions to Boys Town in the form of financial gifts and improvements to the campus. Some of these are:
The Father Flanagan Statue
The bronze life-sized Father Flanagan Statue commissioned in 2000 and sculpted by Nebraska sculptor, Fred Hoppe. Two statues were created; one was placed at the Father Flanagan Museum in Ballymoe, Ireland and one in front of the Flanagan House Museum on the Boys Town Campus. Within the pedestal at the statue at Father Flanagan's house is a time capsule with memories, photos and artifacts from the date of dedication. The BTNAA raised more than $50,000 through the sale of miniature Father Flanagan statues to pay for this project.
Alumni Veteran's Memorial
The Alumni Veterans Memorial, located in a place of honor at the head of Heroes Boulevard, stands as a reminder of the selfless sacrifice and sense of service to our nation of Boys Town Alumni over the history of our home. The first phase of the memorial, dedicated in 1991, is a massive bronze panel depicting the emblems of each of our armed services and the Merchant Marine and Coast Guard. The famous quote of President John Kennedy, "...ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." is emblazoned across the front of the memorial challenging all alumni to seek service to others.
An expansion was made to the memorial in 2011 with the addition of a granite wall (made from granite slabs that were once porch slabs around the campus) with bronze plaques affixed to them to recognize and honor Boys Town alumni who were killed in action or died while serving in uniform. In 2019 the Village of Boys Town was named a Purple Heart Community and added to the National Purple Heart Trail during a dedication ceremony at the 34th Biennial Alumni Family Reunion. In addition, the BTNAA raised funds to build a fitting stone monument sign to display the Purple Heart Community Bronze plaque to all who visit Boys Town. There are more than 160 names inscribed on bronze plates that honor our fallen alumni. To date, the Veterans Memorial projects represent over $72,000 in contributions by our alumni through individual gifts and support from veteran's organizations in Nebraska and throughout the country.
The Boys Town Alumni Association was a dream of Father Flanagan's that didn't come to fruition until three years after his death.
On June 4, 1951, 39 Boys Town Citizens together with 67 high school seniors who a week hence would be alumni, gathered in the Boys Town high school library at the invitation of Msgr. Nicholas H. Wegner, director of Boys Town, and formed the Boys Town Alumni Association. Father Flanagan's idea and desire of forming a Boys Town Alumni Association had become a happy realization.
To keep alive among the alumni, bonds of friendship formed at Boys Town; to assist brother alumni whenever possible; to maintain closer contacts with, manifest interest in, and foster genuine loyalty toward the home and school; to promote the general good and welfare of Father Flanagan's Boys' Home by good works, example and words.
BTNAA Awards Program
The BTNAA presents awards to recognize deserving alumni and those who help the Alumni Association at every Biennial Reunion. Click here to see the various awards and criteria for submission. We encourage you to nominate a deserving alumnus for an award.
Past Recipients of BTNAA Awards
Boys Town's Leaders...
Father Edward J. Flanagan
, 1917-1948, is the founder and visionary for what’s known today as Boys Town. He had a dream, that every child could be a productive citizen if given love, a home, an education and a trade. He accepted boys of every race, color and creed. Father Flanagan firmly believed, “There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.” (read more...
Msgr. Nicholas H. Wegner
, 1948-1973, worked quietly during his tenure to ensure that Father Flanagan's dream would extend well into the 21st Century. His pioneering efforts resulted in, among many things, the creation of the Boys Town National Research Hospital. Under Wegner's watchful care, Boys Town doubled in population, expanded educational, vocational, athletic, and arts opportunities for its residents, found a solid financial footing, and spread its ideas on youth care around the globe. (read more...
Monsignor Robert P. Hupp
, 1973-1985, made major changes during his term as Executive Director of Boys Town. During his administration, the Family Home Program replaced dormitories. It’s a system in place today, where children live in homes run by married couples known as Family-Teachers. The homes allow the kids to grow in family environments. The second change came in 1979, when Boys Town began admitting girls. The first girls to graduate from Boys Town did so in 1985. He began Boys Town’s expansion outside of Omaha by opening the first site in Tallahassee, Florida. (read more...
Father Valentine J. Peter
, 1985-2005, expanded Father Flanagan’s dream of changing the way America cares for her children and families. He led the growth of Boys Town from the Village of Boys Town, Nebraska, eventually to 19 sites in 14 states and Washington D.C. Under his direction, Boys Town grew to provide direct care, including hospital treatment, to more than 43,000 children each year. A million more were helped each year through outreach and training programs. (read more...
Father Steven E. Boes
, 2005-Present, is the fifth executive director of Boys Town, the original Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home. Under Father Boes’ leadership, Boys Town has more than doubled the number of children it serves. Although Boys Town is best known for and still does provide quality, family-style care for kids, it is now a strong advocate for and provider of programs that save children right in their own homes by working with their families in their own communities. (read more...