Nebraska Wesleyan University

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Nebraska Wesleyan
Old Main
Type Private
Established 1887
Religious affiliation
Endowment $35.7 million[2]
Location Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Colors Black & Gold
Athletics NCAAIIAC
Mascot Prairie Wolves

Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) is a private, coeducational university located in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. It was founded in 1887 by Nebraska Methodists. As of 2007, it has 1,600 full-time students and 300 faculty and staff. The school teaches in the tradition of a liberal arts college education. The University has 119 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. It also offers graduate programs: a Master of Science in Nursing, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Education.


Early history[edit]

Chartered on January 20, 1887, Nebraska Wesleyan University had an initial enrollment of 96. The initial teaching and administrative staff at this time totaled eight, including the chancellor.

In September 1887, the cornerstone was laid for Old Main, the defining building of the campus. Still with no stairways, windows, or flooring on some floors, classes began in September 1888. The first graduating class was four women in 1890. The second graduating class, in 1891, was made up of four men. Nebraska Wesleyan received accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1914.

The school is located in the former town of University Place, Nebraska. Today, it is part of Lincoln, Nebraska; the surrounding neighborhood is a historic residential and shopping area of Lincoln.

Early on, Nebraska Wesleyan was a college of liberal arts; schools of art, business and education; a music conservatory; an academy (high school) also comprising an elementary school and kindergarten. The high school was discontinued in 1931, and the primary schools in 1941 (grade school) and 1942 (kindergarten).

Nebraska Wesleyan has been associated with four mascots in its history, featuring the Sunflower (1894-1907), the Coyote (1907-1933), the Plainsman (1933-2000), and the Prairie Wolf (2000-present). The school colors are black and gold.

David H. Mickey, class of 1939, wrote Of Sunflowers, Coyotes and Plainsmen: A History of Nebraska Wesleyan University (1992).[3] Its three volumes cover inception to 1987. Volume One describes how the university began and tracks its progress to 1921. The second volume covers the years 1921-1946 and the third volume encompasses 1946-1987. This print set is available in Cochrane-Woods Library or from NWU Advancement on the Nebraska Wesleyan Campus.


Nebraska Wesleyan athletic teams are known the Prairie Wolves. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field and wrestling. Women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.

Formerly a duel member of both the NAIA and NCAA, Nebraska Wesleyan moved exclusively to the NCAA as part of its 2016 move to the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.[4]

The football team played Pepperdine Waves in the 1947 Will Rogers Bowl, the only postseason bowl appearance for either school.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NAICU – Member Directory Archived 2015-11-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ Mickey, David H. Of Sunflowers, Coyotes, and Plainsmen. Lincoln, Neb., Augstums Print, 1992.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Nebraska Wesleyan University All-Time Football Results" (PDF). Nebraska Wesleyan Prairie Wolves. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Shawn Bouwens". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Nebraska Governor Ralph Gilmour Brooks". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ "CURTIS, Carl Thomas, (1905 - 2000)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ "GRISWOLD, Dwight Palmer, (1893 - 1954)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  10. ^ Korbelik, Jeff (2011-02-08). "NWU graduate enjoying TV, stage and music success". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  11. ^ "John N. Norton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Klivans, Laura (December 15, 2014). "Six months in, new schools head Antwan Wilson pushing his 'roadmap' for a challenged district". Oakland North. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°50′21″N 96°39′03″W / 40.83925°N 96.65095°W / 40.83925; -96.65095