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The University of Wyoming is a land-grant university located in Laramiemarker, Wyomingmarker, situated on Wyoming's high Laramie Plains, at an elevation of 7,200 feet (2194 m), between the Laramiemarker and Snowy Rangemarker mountains. It is known as UW (often pronounced "U-Dub") to people close to the university. The university was founded in September 1886, and opened in September 1887. The university also offers outreach education in counties throughout Wyoming.

The University of Wyoming consists of seven colleges: agriculture, arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, health sciences, and Lawmarker. The university maintains a low student-faculty ratio - one of the lowest such ratios among four-year schools in the west. UW also offers a variety of cultural and social activities. The university offers 86 bachelor's, 66 master's, and 26 doctoral degrees. Professional pharmacy, juris doctor (law) and education degrees are also available.

The university is a hub of cultural events in Laramie. It offers a variety of performing arts events, ranging from rock concerts in the Arena Auditorium to classical concerts and performances by the University's theater and dance department at the Fine Arts Center. Wyoming also boasts a competitive athletic program, one which annually challenges for conference and national championships. Wyoming offers many extracurricular activities, including over 150 recognized student organizations that include a wide range of social, professional and academic groups. The newly renovated Wyoming Union is the hub of the campus, with the campus bookstore and numerous student facilities. The University is also home to the American Heritage Centermarker. The Center contains numerous special collections, manuscripts and artifacts covering a broad range of disciplines. The collections relate to the American experience, not just that of Wyoming or its residents.


Old Main

Old Main pictured in 1908

On September 27, 1886 the cornerstone of Old Main was laid marking the beginning of the University of Wyoming. The stone is inscribed Domi Habuit Unde Disceret, which is often translated, "He need not go away from home for instruction." The following year, the first class of 42 men and women began their college education. For the next decade the building housed classrooms, a library and administration offices.

The style of Old Main set a precedence for all future University buildings. The primary stone used is rough-cut sandstone quarried from east of Laramie. The trim stone is Potsdam Sandstone quarried from the Rawlins area. This stone is smooth in texture providing contrast to the local sandstone. Being the first University building in the Wyoming Territory, Old Main needed to be a monumental structure, so it was designed to be a symmetrical building with a central spire. The spire served as both a focal point for the structure and a signal of importance to anyone passing by the school. Rather than designing a building similar to university structures of the East, it was designed in the context of Wyoming. The rough-textured body of the building represented the developing frontier, while the minimal usage of classical decoration symbolized the emerging sophistication of the Wyoming population.

The central spire was removed in 1916 due to structural concerns and the auditorium was reduced in size during a 1936 renovation. In 1949, the building was thoroughly remodeled and the auditorium was completely removed. It also became officially known as Old Main and the name was carved above the east entrance. Currently, Old Main houses University administration including the President's Office and the board room where the Trustees often meet.

Prexy's Pasture

Prexy's Pasture is a large grassy area located within a ring of classroom and administrative buildings and serves as the center mall of the campus. The name is attributed to an obscure rule that the university president, or "prexy", is given exclusive use of the area for livestock grazing. During the administration of Arthur G. Crane the name, "Prexy's Pasture", was formally declared. Prexy's, as it is often called today, is also known for the unique pattern formed by concrete pathways that students and faculty use to cross the pasture.

When the University of Wyoming first opened its doors in 1887, Prexy's Pasture was nothing more than an actual pasture covered in native grasses. Over time, as the needs of the university has changed, the area has been altered and redesigned. In February of 1965, the Board of Trustees decided to construct the new science center on the west side of Prexy's Pasture. The board president, Harold F. Newton, who was concerned about the location, leaked the decision to the local press. The uproar that followed not only caused to board to decide on a new location for the science center, but also resulted in a new state statute making it necessary for any new structure built on the pasture to receive legislative approval.

Today, Prexy's Pasture is primarily used by students traveling to and from classes. A statue known as "University of Wyoming Family," by UW Professor Robert Russin was installed at the center of the pasture in 1983.

Wyoming Union

The west entrance of Wyoming Union
In September of 1937, with the approval of the Wyoming State Legislature, President Arthur G. Crane obtained a Public Works Administration loan for $149,250 to be used for construction of a student union. On March 3, 1938, ground was broken and construction began on what would become the Wyoming Union. Many students were involved in the construction and twenty-five students were trained to be stone-cutters.

From the beginning, the Wyoming Union housed an assortment of student needs and activities. The formal and informal social needs were met by including a ballroom, banquet room, lounges, and game rooms. Offices for student government, committees, organizations, and publications were included to help meet the political and organizational needs of the student population. Lastly, a student store, post office, and bookstore completed the design. One year after construction began, the Wyoming Union opened with its first banquet and ball.

The original design has been modified several times to accommodate changing needs and a growing student population. The first addition was completed in January of 1960. This section, added to the northeast of the original structure, expanded the ballroom, created a lounge area and senate chambers adjacent to the ballroom, created the main lobby and breezeway, and provided a larger food area called The Gardens. In 1973, an addition to the north was completed to create a food court, more space for the bookstore, and additional offices. Also, parts of the original building were remodeled to create the Campus Activities Center, an art gallery, and a ticket outlet. In 2000, the Wyoming Union underwent extensive renovation. The $12 million project moved the food court to the main level, expanded the bookstore to the lower level, and revitalized the look and feel of the interior.

Coe Library

The original library at the University of Wyoming consisted of three hundred books and was located in Old Main. In 1923, the library was moved to the new Aven Nelson Memorial Building. With the 1950s came a larger student population and a greater push for America to excel academically. These factors contributed to the decision by the board of trustees that it was necessary to construct a new library. However, the 1951 state legislature rejected the funding request.

William Robertson Coe, a financier and philanthropist, came to the aid of president Humphrey in 1954 by contributing $750,000 in securities to the university. The trustees called the grant, "one of the most outstanding contributions that has ever been made to the perpetuation of the American heritage" and ensured Coe that the building would be "appropriately named." The state legislature, in 1955, matched the Coe grant for an overall amount of $1.5 million.

Laramie architects Eliot and Clinton Hitchcock, whose father had designed Aven Nelson, teamed up with the Porter and Porter firm in Cheyenne to design the new library. Their modular design was popular at the time and intended to make the space very functional. The layout provided room for over five hundred thousand books and seating for at least nine hundred students. In May of 1956, one year after the death of Coe, ground was broken and construction began on the building. The William Robertson Coe library was finished in time for the Fall 1958 semester.


The University has five types of housing available for students.

The four main residence halls (Orr, White, Downey, and McIntyre) are connected together via Washakie Center (named for Chief Washakie), which contains the main dining hall and other student services. The Crane and Hill residence halls house upperclassmen exclusively. Married students are provided the opportunity to live in town homes east of War Memorial Stadium and the university has off-campus apartments (Spanish Walk) available to upperclassmen. All incoming freshmen are expected to live in one of the main residence halls, but dispensation can be made for those with off-campus housing.


School of Energy Resources

Due to the ongoing energy boom in Wyoming, several programs at UW have been created or reborn. In January 2007, EnCana Oil and Gas donated US $5 million to the University of Wyoming to create the School of Energy Resources. This donation was matched by the Wyomingmarker State Government, making the donation worth $10 million. The school was created to assist industry to develop Wyoming's vast energy resources.

Haub School and Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources

Another school closely related to the energy boom, is the School of Environment and Natural Resources, or ENR. Unlike the School of Energy Resources, ENR helps to protect Wyoming's beauty and resources from over-development and to understand the impacts of energy development. ENR has also recently created the Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) which was created after an ENR student had worked in the Montana Conservation Corps and wanted a similar program in Wyoming. The WCC's goal is to clean up Wyoming's public lands that have been misused over the years, and to allow students first hand experience in the problems and issues facing Wyoming's public lands.

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Engineering Hall, 1940
There are several fields of study offered by the College of Engineering:

Architectural engineering

The Architectural Engineering program is one of only fourteen ABET accredited programs in the US.

Civil engineering

The Civil Engineering program is highly respected throughout the west, and graduates are in high demand in the Front Range region.

Petroleum engineering

The Petroleum Engineering field was reborn in 2005 after a generous gift from EnCana. Another US $2 million on top of the donation for the School of Energy resources, was given. The program was absent from UW for eight years.

College of Business

There are several fields of study offered by the College of Business:

Economics and Finance

With the disciplines of economics and finance together in one department, the University of Wyoming professors work together in research and teaching to develop a strong educational environment. Many of our professors who are internationally known bring a plethora of views and ideas to the classroom. Degrees offered in the Department of Economics and Finance include a bachelor of science, master of science, and Ph.D.


The University of Wyoming College of Business Accounting, focuses not only on the procedures and conventions followed in accounting, but more importantly, on developing the professional skills essential to future success.

Management and Marketing

The Department of Management and Marketing prepares future leaders to be effective in the breakneck environment of globalization, competition, and technology with its unexpected challenges and opportunities.

MBA Program

The University of Wyoming College of Business has been recognized as meeting the highest standards in business education, holding accreditation from AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, since 1954. The college has ranked consistently in the top 10 percent of business schools, based on student performance on the Major Field Achievement Test in Business offered by the Educational Testing Service.

Campus Organizations


TransPark provides parking and transportation on and around the campus. The transit service consists of different systems that operate independently. Students need only to present their ID card to board the shuttles. With the exception of first-time visitors, other users are required to purchase tickets or passes. As of the Fall semester of 2009, a single ride costs US $0.50.

The Union Express bus operates every five to seven minutes along Willett Dr. between the Union Express Lot and the east side of the Wyoming Union. Service is available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on university business days. After 6 p.m. the Classroom Express services this route.

The Campus Shuttle operates around the outside of the campus and provides service from the Classroom Building to the far east side of campus near the Spanish Walk Apartments. One bus drives to loop every 30 minutes from 6:56 a.m to 6:22 p.m. The Classroom Express also runs this route after the Campus Shuttle shuts down.

Classroom Express shuttles operate in a loop around the campus ferrying passengers from the Express Lot to the Classroom Building. The shuttle departs every 10 minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and every 20 minutes from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. After 6:10 p.m., the express also stops at the Wyoming Union.

TransPark also operates the Night Owl Express, which provides on-call service from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The service can be requested by pressing the black buttons at one of the shelters on campus.


Founded in the fall of 2000, the goal of SafeRide is to prevent drinking and driving by offering on call service Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Since then, the service has transported over 160,000 passengers.. Each SafeRide vehicle is clearly marked by an illuminated sign. The driver of the vehicle is accompanied by a SafeRide SideKick to assist with the responsibilities of transporting the passengers and communicating with the dispatcher. On January 23, 2009 the 150,000th rider was presented with a US $1000 scholarship.

Friday Night Fever

Climber at Nearby Vedauwoo
The goal of Friday Night Fever (FNF) is to offer free and unique entertainment for University of Wyoming students. The events vary by the week and are diverse to include all students. Past events sponsored by FNF include comedians, magicians, hypnotists, the UW Idol Competition, Salsa Dancing, Casino Night, and inflatable games. The organization also regularly shows second-run movies in the Wyoming Union every Friday night at 6:30, 9:00, and 11:30 p.m.

Campus Sustainability Committee

The university has established a Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC) to address and advise on environmental efforts on campus. The CSC runs various campus projects and offers student internships. All new campus buildings are required to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). UW President Tom Buchanan signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. For their advances on university sustainability, UW scored a "C" on the College Sustainability Report Card of the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

Intramural Sports

UW also has an extensive intramural athletic program that brings students and student groups together on the athletic fields. In addition, with the abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities at students' doorsteps, such as skiing and hiking in the nearby mountains and its location to many national parks and forests, Laramie was recently voted one of America's top 40 college towns by Outside Magazine. Vedauwoomarker is located east of the campus, and is known to be a mecca of climbing, but is also used extensively by anglers, hikers, mountain bikers, and cross country skiers. Groups have also been known to have outdoor concerts and battle of the band competitions in the area. The Snowy Rangemarker is approximately to the west and provides numerous recreational activities. The University of Wyoming's Outdoor Adventure Program(OAP) allows students of all skill levels to get involved in outdoor activities. The program also has an extensive collection of outdoor gear that is available to rent by students and locals alike.

Greek letter organizations

Nearly all fraternities and sororities are located on campus in university owned houses. Houses are located on Fraternity and Sorority Row. Fraternities line the northern (Fraternity) road and Sororities line the southern (Sorority) road. The two roads are separated by a large park and the playing field for UW's club rugby union team. This area is considered one the last remaining true Fraternity rows.


The sports teams are named the Cowboys and Cowgirls. Wyoming competes in NCAA Division I (I-A for football) as a member of the Mountain West Conference. They have 15 varsity teams that compete in 10 different sports.

Notable alumni

See also



External links

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