University Timeline


A chronology of significant historical events and milestones in the development of the University of Nevada, Reno.

1864–1899 | 1900–1929 | 1930–1959 | 1960–1989 | 1990–1999 | 2000–2009 | 2010–



  • Nevada entered statehood with a Constitution providing for a state university.


  • Governor L.R. Bradley signed legislative bill locating University in Elko.


  • University Preparatory School opened in Elko with seven students.


  • Governor Jewett Adams signed legislative bill moving University to Reno. An earlier proposal moving it to Carson City lost by a single vote.


  • The University was formally reopened as a preparatory school in new Morrill Hall on the Reno campus. Classes began with 75 students enrolled.


  • The administration of President LeRoy D. Brown began. College level instruction was offered for first time and the student enrollment in 1887-1888 was 50. The faculty consisted of two members, President Brown and Professor Hannah K. Clapp. During the first year two additional faculty were added, and by the end of the second year the faculty numbered seven. During the first year five departments were recognized, although not fully organized. They were the Liberal Arts, Mining, Normal, Agricultural, and Business Schools.


  • The School of Mines was organized with Robert D. Jackson, Ph.B., as Director. The Normal School was organized, with Miss Kate N. T. Tupper as the head. The Military Department was organized, with Lieutenant Arthur C. Ducat, Jr. as commandant.
  • Agricultural Experiment Station created


  • The State Normal School graduated its first class.


  • The administration of President Stephen A. Jones began on January 6.


  • First college degrees were conferred on a graduating class of three men in the School of Liberal Arts in graduation exercises held at the McKissick Opera House in Reno.


  • The School of Mines and Agriculture graduated their first classes.
  • Electric lights installed on campus



  • The administration of President Joseph Edward Stubbs began on July 1.
  • The first University student association, the Independent Association of the University of Nevada, is formed.
  • The Alumni Association of the University of Nevada is organized.


  • The Mining Analytical Laboratory was established to provide an assay service for citizens of the state.
  • The Preparatory Department/University High School established


  • Men's dormitory, Lincoln Hall, completed.
  • Women's dormitory, Manzanita Hall, completed.
  • Dedication of the University's first athletic facility, the Gymnasium.


  • The School of Civil Engineering graduated its first class.
  • First intercollegiate men's football team fielded.


  • Washoe County presented to the University a sixty-acre farm valued at $12,000 to be used in connection with the Agricultural Experiment station.
  • First volume of the university's yearbook, The Artemisia is produced.
  • Women's basketball team scores first intercollegiate victory, 3-2 over Stanford.
  • Silver and blue were adopted as the school colors



  • First sorority on campus formed, Delta Rho.
  • The University opens a four-year School of Commerce. Only three other universities in the nation offered a four-year business degree at that time.
  • The President's House is completed at a cost of over $8,000.


  • First advanced degree awarded.


  • The University celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its establishment. A memorial volume edited by Professor of Classics James E. Church was produced for the event.


  • Professor James E. Church begins systematic meteorological tests and snow surveys on the slopes of Mt. Rose.


  • The name of the University is officially changed from Nevada State University to the University of Nevada.
  • The Artemisia is destroyed at the publishers during the San Francisco earthquake.


  • The family of Comstock pioneer John W. Mackay began a donation to the University which founded the Mackay School of Mines, the Mackay Athletic Field, and the Mackay Training Quarters, and contributed $25,000 toward the beautifying the campus. They also presented a statue in bronze by Gutzon Borglum of John W. Mackay.
  • Department of Physics established.


  • Work begins on development of the Quad - "First shovelful of earth is moved, meaning much to our campus."
  • The Mackay School of Mines Building is dedicated
  • The Mackay Mineral Museum is founded, to house minerals, rocks, and fossils from Nevada and around the world.


  • The student newspaper, The Student Record, changes its name to The U. of N. Sagebrush.
  • The first R. Herz Gold Medal, given to the graduating senior(s) achieving the highest undergraduate grade-point average, is awarded to Audrey W. Ohmert and Dorothy F. Riechers.


  • Twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the University in Reno celebrated by the Silver Jubilee and the homecoming of former students and graduates.
  • Orr irrigation ditch dam completed and Manzanita Lake filled among much fanfare.


  • Mrs. John W. Mackay and Mr. Clarence H. Mackay presented to the University Board of Regents $150,000 as an endowment for the Mackay School of Mines.
  • Students enroll in the first Summer Session of the University.


  • The first Mackay Day is celebrated on campus.
  • Students place and whitewash thousands of rocks to form a 140 by 150 foot "N" overlooking the campus on Peavine Peak.


  • The administration of President Stubbs closed with his death on May 27. Robert Lewers served as acting president until Archer W. Hendrick assumed the presidency on September 14.
  • Agricultural Extension Division created.


  • The first graduates in Electrical Engineering.


  • The Coffin and Keys Society, an organization of prominent university men, is organized.


  • The University Farm of 213 acres was purchased.
  • The administration of Archer B. Hendrick ended on September 1, and Robert Lewers again served as acting president.


  • Walter Ernest Clark was inaugurated as president on September 1.
  • First African-American student, Arthur M. James, registers at the University.


  • The School of Education was organized.
  • A Federal radio station was established on the University campus.
  • The University of Nevada was placed on the approved list of the Association of American Universities.
  • First Homecoming activities.
  • First athletic team from the mainland to play in Hawaii.
  • President Clark initiates the "Book of the Oath", to be signed by each successive class as a pledge to service and high ideals.


  • University enrollment surpassed 500 for the first time
  • An Engineering Experiment Station was established.
  • Football's James "Rabbit" Bradshaw becomes Nevada's first All-American.


  • The "Wolf Pack" is chosen as Nevada's mascot.
  • First Native American student.


  • The University celebrated its semicentennial in May with a homecoming of former students and graduates.
  • Samuel B. Doten's History of the University of Nevada was published.
  • The Robert Lardin Fulton Lecture Foundation was established


  • William A. Clark, Jr. began the construction of a library building in memory of his wife, Alice McManus Clark, a native of Virginia City.


  • The Memorial Library, completely furnished, was presented to the University by William A. Clark, Jr., October 21. The building, including the gift furnishings, cost approximately $250,000.


  • Construction began on Mackay Science Hall. The $415,000 building, a gift of Clarence H. Mackay, housed the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics.
  • First team to fly to a collegiate football game (University of Southern California)
  • The Nevada Bureau of Mines established as part of the Mackay School of Mines.



  • The Mackay Science Hall was dedicated and presented to the University by Clarence H. Mackay, October 24.


  • University enrollment topped 1000 for the first time.
  • Clarence H. Mackay purchased from the Evans Estate between twenty-six and twenty-seven acres of land adjoining the campus on the north, increasing the campus acreage by nearly fifty percent.


  • The University was approved in all departments by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools.
  • Max C. Fleischmann began a giving program which was the largest in University history.
  • The administration of President Clark ended on September 30. Dr. Leon W. Hartman became acting president.


  • The administration of President Leon W. Hartman began September 23, with a formal inauguration December 15.
  • The first Winter Carnival is held on campus


  • Construction of a new Gymnasium was authorized by the State Legislature at a cost not to exceed $300,000, to be paid for by a State bond issue.
  • The fiftieth anniversary of the graduation of the University's first four-year class was celebrated at commencement.


  • The new Engineering Building was completed. Construction was authorized by the State Legislature in 1939 at a cost not to exceed $175,000, to be paid by a State bond issue.
  • A special Summer Session of ten weeks, in addition to the regular six-week session, was undertaken as a major item in the University's war effort.


  • Army and Army Air Force training contingents arrived at the University
  • The administration of President Hartman closed with his death on August 27. University comptroller Charles Henry Gorman was named Acting President.


  • The administration of President John O. Moseley began on July 1, with a formal inauguration on October 12.
  • Max C. Fleischmann gave the University his 258 acre farm, formerly the Ladino Dairy. The property contains buildings, farm equipment and machinery, and a herd of dairy cattle and other livestock.


  • University cancels football game at Mississippi State when State athletic director requests that Nevada leave African-American players behind.


  • The Twentieth Century Fox film "Apartment for Peggy" is filmed on campus, one of several movies shot on campus during the 1940s.


  • Gilbert E. Parker became Acting President on July 1.


  • Malcolm A. Love was named President of the University.


  • The first regular university classes were offered in Las Vegas.


  • Minard W. Stout was named President of the University.
  • First African-American graduate, Stella Mason Parson.


  • Nevada Southern branch of University established in Las Vegas with 269 students.


  • The College of Business Administration is established. Robert Weems is named dean and serves until 1977.


  • First Las Vegas campus building opened.
  • The Orvis School of Nursing is established.


  • William R. Wood was Acting President from January - June.
  • Charles J. Armstrong became President of the University on July 1.
  • Jot Travis Student Union completed.


  • Desert Research Institute established as part of University.



  • The University declared host university to the Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, California.


  • The University of Nevada Press begins operation with Robert Laxalt as editor.


  • Getchell Library, named after Nevada mining tycoon Noble H. Getchell, is completed.


  • The Fleischmann Planetarium is completed.
  • The University's FM radio station, KUNR, began broadcasting October 7.


  • University Archives is established.
  • The Oral History Program is established.
  • First Ph.D. awarded (Geology)


  • University enrollment exceeds 5,000
  • Las Vegas branch officially named Nevada Southern University.
  • Black Rock Press founded by Kenneth J. Carpenter.
  • Chapter of the Student non-violent Coordinating Committee was organized on campus.


  • N. Edd Miller named President of the University.
  • Center for Basque Studies established.
  • Chapter of the NAACP organized on campus.


  • Administrative reorganization into the University of Nevada System (UNS).
  • Human Relations Action Council formed, a group of faculty and students calling for "immediate and drastic action" on the part of the University with regard to "the social problems created by racism and apathy."
  • Black Students' Union organized.
  • American Indian Organization organized.


  • Reno campus officially named University of Nevada, Reno; southern campus re-named University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
  • Desert Research Institute and Community College Division became, like the two campuses, separate units of the University of Nevada System.
  • Reno campus enrollment passes 7,000 and Las Vegas passes 5,000.
  • First African-American faculty member, Ben Hazard, Art Department.



  • Initial payment made on a $4 million 20-year gift by Howard Hughes in support of the new two-year School of Medical Sciences in Reno.


  • Commission on the Status of Women established.
  • Faculty Women's Caucus formed.


  • James Hulse's The University of Nevada: A Centennial History was published
  • Higher education's 100th birthday marked in Reno with a Centennial Convocation combined with the inauguration of Max C. Milam as President of the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • The University becomes the first university to sponsor an annual worldwide symposium on gambling.


  • Joseph N. Crowley named President of the University, beginning the longest UNR presidential tenure.



  • Laxalt Mineral Engineering Center completed.
  • Ansari Business Building completed.
  • Intensive English Language Center established.


  • Lawlor Events Center completed.


  • Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism established.
  • Campus Escort Service initiated.


  • The campus grounds named a state arboretum by the Nevada Legislature.


  • The University celebrates 100 years in Reno.


  • Laxalt Mineral Research Center completed.
  • The College of Human and Community Sciences is formed.
  • The University implements the Core Curriculum.



  • A major University fund raising campaign, the Century Campaign, begins. Concluding in 1995, over $124 million was raised, most of it earmarked for new buildings and major renovations, student scholarships, equipment, and other enhancements to the campus and academic programs.


  • The ElderCollege is established for continuing education for retirees.


  • The University of Nevada System (UNS) is re-named the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN).


  • Legacy Hall opened, housing the athletic department under one roof and capping $20 million in athletic facility improvements during the decade.
  • Wolf Pack Radio, a student operated AM radio station, begins broadcasting.



  • The Millennium Scholarship is implemented.
  • The Fitzgerald Student Services Building is completed.


  • John Lilley named President of the University.


  • Reorganization creates the College of Liberal Arts and College of Science from the College of Arts and Science.
  • The Mackay School of Mines is incorporated into the College of Science as the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering.
  • The Latino Research Center is established.


  • The University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN) is re-named the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).
  • The University rated as best in the nation overall for providing opportunities for women in sports by the Kennedy Index.
  • Joseph N. Crowley named Interim President of the University.


  • Milton D. Glick named President of the University.



  • One of the most technologically advanced libraries in the country, the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center completed.
  • Marguerite Wattis Petersen Foundation Athletics Academic Center opens.
  • The Jot Travis Building is renovated to house The Davidson Academy, a free public school for profoundly gifted young people, and the Black Rock Press.
  • Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station Greenhouse Complex opens on Valley Road.


  • Donald W. Reynolds Foundation awards almost $8 million to the Reynolds School of Journalism to rewire and retrofit the school's building.



  • Davidson Mathematics and Science Center opens.
  • The Center for Molecular Medicine, housing the Whittemore Peterson Institute, opens.
  • Construction on the William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building, slated to open in 2011, begins.
  • The National Geothermal Institute is established at the Redfield Campus.


  • The administration of Milton D. Glick closed with his death on April 16.
  • Marc Johnson named Interim President of the University.


  • Marc A. Johnson inaugurated as the sixteenth President of the University on September 28, 2012.
  • Renovation of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies completed
  • Wolfie Jr. wins the 10th Annual Capital One Mascot Challenge.


  • Getchell Library building demolished to make way for the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center.