Diocesan News

Speaker at Aquinas gives tribute to Unicameral’s founder

DAVID CITY (SNR) – John Sullivan of Lincoln spoke to the senior government classes of Aquinas High School in David City May 9.

Sullivan said the celebration of Nebraska’s sesquicentennial is a good time to recognize the state’s unique legislative system, and George Norris, the man who made it happen.

“This was a good reminder for our students of how unusual our unicameral is and a refresher on the man who created it,” said Aquinas teacher John Svec. “If you were to ask 100 Nebraskans who George Norris was, most wouldn’t be able to tell you.”

Sullivan, a native of St. Mary Parish in O’Neill, served in the Navy, graduated from Wayne State College and was a high school history teacher. He served as an assistant to Governor J.James Exon, and was later the state motor vehicle-highway safety director. 

Sullivan met with Msgr. John Perkinton, diocesan superintendent of schools, who recommended the presentation to the diocese’s schools as a worthwhile statehood project. Sullivan has spoken to many service clubs and schools.

Gerald Meyer, Director-Historian of the National Guard Nebraska Museum said Sullivan’s presentation in Seward “was outstanding.”

“It needs to be heard,” he said.

During the presentation, Sullivan laid out Norris’ 30  years in Congress. He said the enactment of Nebraska’s nonpartisan unicameral was his best achievement. 

“Nebraska has the best, most accountable and open legislature in the country,” he told the Aquinas students, “and it was because of the man from McCook, George Norris.”

Aquinas Middle and High School in David City opened in 1961. It currently serves 285 students in grades 6-12. The school motto is “Mercy in Motion.”

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