Then: In 1986, Hastings College purchased the large, white bungalow at 1820 N. Elm Ave. with an eye on the expansive, tree-filled backyard and adjoining 10-acre property. Thomas Reeves had taken the post as the college's 12th president in 1985 and was on the hunt for a home where he and his wife, Delores, could entertain students and friends of the college.
The home on Elm Avenue was a perfect fit.
Reeves transformed the white house into a venue for college get-togethers during his presidential tenure and paved a legacy of hospitality that would continue for several decades.
Following Reeves' retirement in 1995, presidents Richard Hoover and Phil Dudley also occupied the house. The residence became an arm of the college campus. Students and faculty shared the common, nostalgic memories of eating barbecue sandwiches and mingling with professors and alumni just steps from the president's front door.
Now: Several weeks ago, the college closed on the sale of the historic home and passed ownership to Jennifer and Herb Deets, a young couple who both grew up in the Kearney area.
The couple and their 1-year-old daughter, Elaina, are in the thick of unpacking and settling into the house. They moved in earlier this week.