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The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, often called UNL, but also known as Nebraska or NU, is referred to as the flagship institution of the University of Nebraska system. UNL was founded in 1869 as a land-grant university under the provisions of the Morrill Act. Its main campus is located in Lincolnmarker a few blocks north of the Nebraska State Capitolmarker. Nebraska is an international leader in scholarly research, having been a member of the Association of American Universities since 1909. It is listed as a Carnegie Research I/ Carnegie Research-Extensive institution.

Nebraska was the first institution in the American West to grant a Ph.D. degree and was the first to establish an undergraduate psychology lab. The discipline of ecology was born at the university. Its scholarly press, the University of Nebraska Press, is the second-largest state university press in the United States, and one of the largest university presses in the world. Its campus art gallery, the Sheldon Museum of Art, has the world's foremost collection of 20th century North American art.


The University of Nebraska was created by an act of the Nebraska State Legislature in 1869, two years after Nebraskamarker reached statehood. The school was given a mission to "afford to the inhabitants of the state the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the various branches of literature, science, and the arts." The school received an initial land grant of about 130,000 acres and the campus construction began with the building of University Hall in its first year. By 1873, the University of Nebraska had offered its first two degrees to its first graduating class. The school remained small and suffered from a lack of funds until about 20 years after its founding, when its high school programs were taken over by a new state education system. From 1890 to 1895 enrollment rose from 384 to about 1,500. A law school and a graduate school were also created at this time period, and in 1896 it became the first school west of the Mississippi River to issue a doctorate. By 1897 the school was 15th in the nation in total enrollment.

Through the turn of the century, the school struggled to find an identity as both a pragmatic, frontier establishment and an academic, intellectual institution. It also developed a competitive spirit in the form of a debate team, a football team (first called the Cornhuskers in 1901), and the arrival of fraternities and sororities. In 1913-14, a fierce debate ensued over whether to keep the University in downtown Lincoln or to move it out of town. The issue was not resolved until a statewide referendum sided with the downtown plan. After purchasing property downtown, the school experienced a building boom, both on the new property and on the farming campus. The school would not experience another boom until the late 1940s, when the sudden arrival of thousands of soldiers returning from the war for an education forced the school to seek further expansion.


Admissions and demographics

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln admitted about 67% of all applicants in 2008, and 68% of those admitted went on to enroll at the school. In 2007, the U.S. News and World Report rated it as a "more selective" university. On a 25th percentile/75th percentile measurement, students scored 500/650 on the SAT critical reading section and 530/670 on the math section. ACT composite scores were 22/28. Eighty-five percent of undergraduates are white, with a little over 53% being male, and 47% being female. About 18% of undergraduate students are from outside the state of Nebraska (excluding internationals). The ratio of students to faculty in 2008 was 20 to 1. The school is in the first tier and ranked 89th in the U.S. News and World Report's national rankings.

Colleges and departments

The university offers more than 140 undergraduate majors and 275 programs of study through 9 colleges:

UNL also offers programs at its campus from other University of Nebraska institutions, including the University of Nebraska at Omahamarker College of Public Affairs and Community Service, the University of Nebraska Medical Centermarker colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, and the Peter Kiewit Institute managed in partnership with the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Focus areas

The University's English Department has one of the world's top programs in the digital humanities, with renowned digital archiving projects such as the Walt Whitman Archive and the Willa Cather Archive. Projects are also underway for the production of a free online Native American Omaha-Ponca language dictionary. In the area of creative writing, the department has as a member of its faculty former United States Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser. The school's University of Nebraska Press is the second-largest public university press in the United States, and is among the largest publishers of scholarly titles in the world.


Hamilton Hall
In 1869, the original University of Nebraska campus was laid out on four city blocks and comprised one building called University Hall. Currently, the university has two campuses, totaling : City Campus, which is just north of downtown Lincoln, and south of the Nebraska State Fairmarker grounds and East Campus which is approximately two miles east-northeast of City Campus.


Nebraska Union is the student union located on the southern part of City Campus. Many services are offered to the students including dining, computer labs, and other recreational activities, while the lower level of the union houses the University Bookstore. The Nebraska Union also provides space for student organizations as well as holding offices for the Daily Nebraskan and the student government. The Rotunda Gallery showcases various student artwork. In spring 2006, the student body voted to finance an expansion to the Nebraska Union including adding new space for the university Culture Center (formerly in a different building).

Nebraska East Union is located on East Campus and offers similar student services as the Nebraska Union. The Loft Gallery provides space for community and student artwork.

University libraries

The University Libraries are the only set of comprehensive research libraries in Nebraska. Three and half million volumes reside in UNL's two main libraries. The Don L. Love Memorial Library is the main library on campus and houses collections on social sciences and humanities. Other academic disciplines are housed in six branch locations on campus:
  • Architecture Library
  • C.Y. Thompson Library
  • Engineering Library
  • Geology Library
  • Mathematics Library
  • Music Library
The Marvin and Virginia Schmid Law Library serves the UNL College of Law.


The University of Nebraska State Museum is located on campus in Morrill Hall. The museum holds several collections and exhibits particularly featuring natural history and famously houses mastadon bone fossils. Because of these fossils, and a large bronze mastadon statue located in front of the building, it is popularly known as "Elephant Hall."

The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden is home to more than 12,000 works of art in all media and is a comprehensive collection of American art with prominent holdings in 19th century landscape and still life, American Impressionism, early Modernism, geometric abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, pop, minimalism, and contemporary art. The museum has the largest collection of 20th Century North American art in the world; it includes works by such well known artists as Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Mary Cassatt, Wayne Thiebaud and Georgia O'Keeffe.

The Great Plains Art Museum is home to the Christlieb Collection, and features American western art and Americana.

The Lester F. Larsen Tractor Museum is located on the university's East Campus. It houses 40 historical tractors, an antique auto and various types of farm tools. In addition it documents Nebraska's tractor testing law examinations that to this day requires testing of all tractors to be sold in Nebraska, ensuring performance is as advertised.

Performing arts venues

Other points of interest

  • Architecture Hall, formerly the universities' library and now home of the universities' outstanding architecture program, is a proud landmark standing on the west edge of campus. It is also the oldest building on campus. This historic structure is linked to the old law building via a huge glass connecting space, known, understandably, as "The Link."

  • The University of Nebraska Press is the second-largest public university press in the United States, and is among the largest publishers of scholarly titles in the world. It has a program for publishing original works and reprints of significant works about the West. The "Bison Books" imprint is a series of high quality trade paperback editions of significant titles.

  • UNL is home of the Pershing Rifles National Headquarters. This is in recognition of General John J. Pershing (an 1893 NU law school graduate and former professor of Military Science and Tactics) who created "Company A," a competitive drill team, for the University of Nebraska's Cadet Corps in 1891. The drill team won the National Competitive Drills in 1892, changed its name to the "Varsity Rifles" when it became a recognized fraternal organization in 1893, and finally changed its name again to the "Pershing Rifles" in 1894. UNL rededicated the Military and Naval Science Building as the John J. Pershing Military and Naval Science Building on April 20, 2006.

  • There are several research centers on Physics like the Brace Laboratory, Center of Materials and Nanaoscience, High equipped laboratories are provided in Hamilton Hall which is the department as well and Chemistry institute. Othmer Hall houses the College of Engineering Dean's Office, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the Biological Process Development Facility (BPDF). Research in Othmer Hall's Mesoscale Engineering Laboratory has received attention in Science. Some highly equipped laboratories like the Genetic research and Biotechnology laboratory are there in East Campus.

  • University is renowned also in Robotics. It has a high equipped robotics laboratory.

  • East Campus also has a wireless telecommunication system on remote sensing of Satellites.


The University of Nebraska has adopted LEED certification for all new construction projects. UNL's Sustainable Food Project, started in 2005, is designed to serve meals on campus that feature local and sustainably produced foods. The university's motor pool includes vehicles fueled by soy biodiesel as well as gasohol (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline blend). The University of Nebraska received a grade of B on the College Sustainability Report Card 2009.


The school's sports teams are named the Nebraska Cornhuskers (or simply the Huskers). They compete in NCAA Division I (I-A for football) as members of the northern division of the Big 12 Conference. The Huskers have 21 varsity teams that compete in 14 different sports and claim all or part of 23 National Championships across 5 sports, most notably Volleyball, Football, and Gymnastics. In football, the Huskers have had 3 Heisman Trophy winners: Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier, and Eric Crouch. In 2007, Sarah Pavan received the Honda Award as the nation's top female student-athlete.


Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement and convocation, and athletic games are Dear Old Nebraska U. and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln fight song, Hail Varsity. In Nebraska, the lyrics and music to Dear Old Nebraska U. are attributed to Harry Pecha, a 1924 Nebraska graduate. However, other schools and locales across the United States - including the University of Chicagomarker, the University of Floridamarker, and the Toledo, Ohiomarker public school system - sing similar tunes, often with similar lyrics.

Student life

About 78 percent of UNL students are from Nebraska, while the rest are from all forty-nine other states and 114 foreign countries. On-campus students are also members of the UNL Residence Hall Association, which serves as the governing body for the residence halls. Select senior honoraries include the Nebraska-only Society of Innocents and the Black Masque chapter of Mortar Board.

Residence Halls

Approximately 40% of the student body lives on-campus in 14 traditional residence halls, and two on-campus apartment-style halls.

There are 11 traditional residence halls on the City Campus:

Three traditional residence halls are on the East Campus:
  • Burr
  • Fedde
  • Love Memorial Co-op

And two on-campus apartment-style halls are located on the City Campus:
  • Husker Courtyards
  • Husker Village

Student government

The governing body for UNL students is the of Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN). Every year students vote for a president, two vice presidents, and a senate that is composed of representatives from each college. The president also acts as the student regent to the NU Board of Regents.

Student organizations

UNL has 400 student organizations on campus that represent a variety of interests. Organizations are supported by Student Involvement.

Greek houses

UNL has a significant Greek population, with about 5,200 students being members of 29 fraternities (27 chapters and two colonies) and 14 sororities. There are numerous events on campus throughout the year such as decorating "Greek Row" for the homecoming parade and various philanthropy events.

Sororities Fraternities


The Daily Nebraskan, known to students as the "DN", is UNL's student newspaper. It was established in 1901 and is published every weekday during the fall and spring semesters and weekly during the summer.

UNL operates a Class A FM radio station, KRNUmarker, which broadcasts on 90.3 FM and has a range of approximately . The station plays mostly alternative and modern rock as well as running sportscasts of Nebraska's home events, news, live public affairs broadcasts of campus speakers and forums.

In February 2008, The Publications Board recognized the Dailyer Nebraskan as an affiliated publication. The board also approved the printing costs of the first three issues of the satirical paper.

Notable alumni


  1. Pound, Louise. Semi-centennial Anniversary Book. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 1919. pp. 11-19.
  3. Luebke, Frederick. Nebraska: an Illustrated History. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005. pp.172-3 ISBN 0803280424
  4. Knoll, Robert. Prairie University. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995. pp. 38-39. ISBN 0803227175
  5. Knoll, Robert. Prairie University. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995. pp. 43-44 ISBN 0803227175
  17. F-L-O-R-I-D-A, or is it T-O-L-E-D-O? - The Gainesville Sun
  18. Dailyer Nebraskan receives approval - News

External links

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