By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Feb 18, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb 18, 2014
Omaha, NE - The Big East, Doug McDermott, and a professor of the year award: Creighton University is just getting started.
"This is an opportunity that we have to continue to build the momentum," said Anna Scherr Nubel, who works for Creighton Alumni Relations. "This is a once in a lifetime."
The university is enjoying what some call the perfect storm.
"I've been here for 13 years and just to have this excitement this year, I've never seen anything like it," said Nubel.
Nubel said moving to the Big East Conference has given the university a huge opportunity.
"As we travel to that area of the country, New York City, Providence, Rhode Island, we're seeing numbers that we have never seen before as far as people attending and engaging with Creighton University in events," said Nubel.
Athletic director Bruce Rasmussen also talked about the opportunities that come with the conference change.
"The move to the Big East, with the population base out there, really gives us an opportunity to have a national brand as an institution," said Rasmussen.
So far, there has been 50% increase in undergraduate applications this year.
Alumni and their checkbooks are also coming out.
"I think by being more engaged in Creighton, we will see that giving will go up," said Nubel. "That's typical of what would happen."
The entire university is reaping the benefits of the spotlight.
"Nobody makes more of a commitment to give back to the community than Doug McDermott," said Rasmussen. "Obviously, he's in high demand, and Doug doesn't say no a lot. He's out in the community a lot."
Even though Creighton loses Doug after this year, the university is confident the momentum will keep going.
"We have an opportunity as a faith-based private institution to be aligned with schools that have similar missions, similar academic standards, similar commitments to students and communities," said Rasmussen.
Officials said they have events scheduled both in town and on the road for the Big East Tournament and the NCAA tournament.
Their goal is to keep alumni and Omaha engaged in this very exciting year.