Class of 1971
Inducted in 2024
Dan was inducted into the SHSAA Hall of Fame in 2024.
Dan graduated from South in 1971. He lived outside of the SHS attendance district but opted to attend South because of the intensive drafting program that was offered. Through his years at South, he was able to hone his skills and increased his interest in drafting. South teachers who impacted his high school years included Mr. Meisinger, who taught him Trigonometry and ultimately, critical thinking paths to problem solving; Mr. Smith with his quiet, humorous demeanor, and who opened Dan's eyes to the beauty of literature and English; Dr. Kuncl, who showed him the wonder of overcoming a major disability to excel in all aspects of life with dignity and the respect of peers and students; and finally, Ms. Sally Fellows, who simply expected the very best effort every day. He had his first exposure to public speaking during her Far East History class.
With Dan’s interest and his skills in drafting, he received his associate degree in Drafting and Design in 1973 from UNO. In 1981 he decided to self-teach the few courses he was lacking, subsequently testing and passing his Civil Engineering licensure.
Today, he is a 25-year licensed Civil Engineer. He is an active partner in Erhart Griffin & Associates (EGA) which is a land surveying and civil engineering firm located in Omaha. As the fourth firm member hired in 1989, he helped play a pivotal role in shaping and molding the company into the 20-employee workforce it is today. A sampling of Dan’s relevant work include: Over $300 million in campus improvement projects at Creighton University; Managed a $10 million sewer separation project in Omaha, notable because Dan introduced and designed the first micro-tunneling project (a trenchless operation) in Omaha, which drastically reduced the construction impacts to the residents and businesses; Dan was the design engineer for the demolition of the former UPRR yards in preparation for the CHI Convention/Arena; Project Engineer for the design and construction of the UPRR headquarters at 14th and Douglas; Project Engineer for the design/construction of the Keystone Trail. Since 1993, Dan has master planned over 125 miles of pedestrian trails; Design Engineer for the demolition and redevelopment of the South Omaha Stockyards into a business park; Design Engineer for the design of the South 24th Streetscape from L to Q Streets in 2007; Civil Engineer on the planning team for the Collin Stadium master plan, leading to the reconstruction of the “hole” into its current status as one of the finest facilities at OPS. Currently, Dan is the project manager for the design underway for the major renovation and building addition for the non-profit Simple Foundation at 30th and Q Streets.
Dan’s community contributions include a long-time volunteer for the Great Plains Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. He celebrated his 50th birthday by starting a yearly golf benefit to raise funds to develop a sports and fitness program. The year 2023 marked the 21st year of the benefit, which has raised, to date, nearly one million dollars and has created a full fitness center complete with a personal trainer, and a host of program opportunities for the disabled community. Dan also sits on the Board of Directors for Victory Riding Academy, which offers therapeutic horseback riding to members of the community suffering physical and mental impairments. He has been a 7-year mentor for the Senior Design class for senior engineering students at UNO, and he is also a longtime youth basketball coach for several organizations. Dan’s belief is that “we are only as strong as the community around us.”
Dan has five daughters, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Dan says that South High was truly a unique experience in many ways. He believes that every story starts with a firm foundation from which to build. His foundation, outside of his family, started at South High School.