University of Nevada, Reno

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University of Nevada
University of Nevada (at) Reno seal.png
Motto Omnia Pro Patria (Latin)
Motto in English
All For Our Country
Established 1874
Type Flagship
Endowment $295 million (2014)[1]
President Marc Johnson
Provost Kevin Carman
Academic staff
Students 20,898[2]
Undergraduates 17,295
Postgraduates 2,851
Location Reno, Nevada, U.S.
39°32′45″N 119°49′00″W / 39.54583°N 119.81667°W / 39.54583; -119.81667Coordinates: 39°32′45″N 119°49′00″W / 39.54583°N 119.81667°W / 39.54583; -119.81667
Campus Urban
290 acres (1,200,000 m2)
Colors Blue & Silver[3]
Athletics NCAA Division IMountain West
Nickname Wolf Pack
Mascots Alphie, Wolfie Jr. and Luna
Affiliations Nevada System of Higher Education
University of Nevada, Reno logo.png

The University of Nevada, Reno (usually referred to as the University of Nevada or Nevada, and often abbreviated as UNR) is a teaching and research university established in 1874 and located in Reno, Nevada, United States It is the sole land grant institution for the state of Nevada.

The campus is home to the large-scale structures laboratory in the College of Engineering, which has put Nevada researchers at the forefront nationally in a wide range of civil engineering, earthquake and large-scale structures testing and modeling. The Nevada Terawatt Facility, located on a satellite campus of the university, includes a terawatt-level Z-pinch machine and terawatt-class high-intensity laser system – one of the most powerful such lasers on any college campus in the country. It is home to the University of Nevada School of Medicine, with campuses in both of Nevada's major urban centers, Las Vegas and Reno, and a health network that extends to much of rural Nevada. The faculty are considered worldwide and national leaders in diverse areas such as environmental literature, journalism, Basque studies, and social sciences such as psychology. It is also home to the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism, which has produced six Pulitzer Prize winners.[4] The school includes 16 clinical departments and five nationally recognized basic science departments.[5]


Manzanita Lake in the southwestern part of the campus.

The Nevada State Constitution established the State University of Nevada in Elko, Nevada in 1874. In 1881 it became Nevada State University. In 1885, the Nevada State University moved from Elko to Reno.[6] In 1906 it was renamed the University of Nevada.

The University of Nevada remained the only four-year academic institution in the state of Nevada until 1965, when the Nevada Southern campus (now the University of Nevada, Las Vegas) separated into its own university.

The national economic crisis affected the University of Nevada Reno, which resulted in the vertical cutting of several programs rather than blanket across the board cuts; however, the Fall 2011 semester saw the largest incoming class in the history of the University.

Precise name[edit]

There is some debate over whether the university should be called UNR or Nevada.[7] However, some claim that since it was the first university in the state, its historic name should be its official designation. Like Nevada, many other multi-campus public university systems such as the University of Michigan use this method. Similar to this the University of California's flagship campus of UC Berkeley is referred to as "California" or "Cal", but only for sporting purposes. Several of the university's institutions retain the institution's traditional name, "University of Nevada," including the alumni association, the student government, and the athletics department (which refers to the university's teams simply as "Nevada," a practice held since the late 19th century). When the University plays in sports against in-state rival, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the school's name is decided by the home team. When the game is held in Reno, it reads UNLV vs Nevada, however, if held in Las Vegas it reads, UNLV vs UNR. At the 2012 rivalry game at UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, the score board read Rebels vs. Pack, completely avoiding the UNLV vs. Nevada (or UNR) debate.


The fountain located in the University of Nevada Honor Court

Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs are offered through:




View of the Campus in front of UNR Knowledge Center

Nevada sponsors a center dedicated to Basque studies (Including Basque language) due to the large Basque population in northern Nevada.

In addition, the university maintains and sponsors many centers, institutes & facilities.


UNR Matthewson-IGT Knowledge Center

The university and surrounding community is served by several campus libraries. The libraries are:

  • Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (main library). Opened on August 11, 2008 it was a $75.3 million project which began in September 2005. It replaced the Getchell library.
    • Basque Library (housed in separate section of the Knowledge Center)
    • Special Collections and University Archives (3rd floor of the Matthewson IGT-Knowledge Center)
  • DeLaMare Library (engineering, physical sciences, computer science, mining, and geology)
    • Mary B. Ansari Map Library (housed in basement of DeLaMare)
  • Savitt Medical Library
  • Nell J. Redfield Learning and Resource Center (education library and resources)

Rankings and reputation[edit]

University rankings
Forbes[8] 437
U.S. News & World Report[9] 187
Washington Monthly[10] 184

In 2015, the university was ranked tied for 187th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report,[11] and 437th by Forbes magazine out of the 650 best private and public colleges and universities in the U.S.[12]

Within the College of Business at the University of Nevada, the part-time MBA program was ranked 24th in the United States in 2014 by Bloomberg Businessweek.[13]


An older picture showing part of the campus in the foreground

The campus is located just north of downtown Reno overlooking Truckee Meadows and the downtown casinos.

Early construction[edit]

The university's first building, Morrill Hall, was completed in 1887 and still stands on the historic quad at the campus' southern end. The hall is named after U.S. Senator Justin Morrill, author of the 1862 Land-Grant College Act.[14]

Lincoln Hall (all-male residence) and Manzanita Hall (all-female residence) were both opened in 1896.

The Quad[edit]

The Quad is located in the southern part of the campus, surrounded by Morrill Hall and the Mackay School of Mines. This quadrangle is modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s at the University of Virginia. The northern end of the Quad contains a statue of John William Mackay (namesake of Nevada's Mackay School of Mines, later renamed the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering), created by Mount Rushmore designer Gutzon Borglum. The Quad and the original campus buildings surrounding it have a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

View of the Quad, looking north


Across the campus of the university exists the University of Nevada, Reno Arboretum, which was established in 1985, contains a collection of trees, shrubs, flowers, ornamentals and native flora, including over 60 genera and about 200 species of trees, many with several cultivars present. Thirty-six mature elm trees line the Quad.

Mackay Stadium[edit]

Main article: Mackay Stadium

The football team plays at Mackay Stadium, The modern Mackay Stadium was completed in 1965 with a seating capacity of 7,500. The facility has been expanded several times in the last 15 years and now seats 29,993.

Residential life[edit]

The University Of Nevada, Reno offers a variety of options to students who choose to stay on campus. There are nine different residence halls which comprise living learning communities and substance free halls. The living learning communities house students of similar academic interests.


Since its creation in the Fall of 2008, the University of Nevada, Reno's Sustainability Committee has been gathering information on various aspects of campus sustainability and beginning the development of a plan for creating a more sustainable campus.[15] Significant efforts are made towards recycling and keeping the campus green. Many University buses run on bio-diesel fuels. The bicycle program has seen a significant increase in the number of bicycle users. The University's Food Services has made a commitment of 1% of the meal plan revenue to go towards funding sustainable initiatives on campus.[16] In order to reduce energy use, UNR has installed solar panels on the Joe Crowley Student Union and built its first LEED accredited building.[17] The University of Nevada, Reno has been ranked among the nation's most sustainable colleges,[18] receiving an overall grade of "B+" on the Sustainable Endowment Institute's College Sustainability Report Card 2010.[19]


Main article: Nevada Wolf Pack

Though often referred to as UNR within the state, the university is simply called Nevada for athletics purposes. Its sports teams are nicknamed the Wolf Pack (always two words). They participate in the NCAA's Division I (FBS for football) and in the Mountain West Conference.

Men's basketball[edit]

In March 2004, the Wolf Pack Men's basketball team qualified for the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history. The team earned a repeat trip in 2005 and beat Texas in the first round before falling to eventual national runner-up Illinois. The team returned for 2006 as a No. 5 seed but was upset in the first round by former Big Sky Conference rival Montana. They began the 2006–07 season ranked #24. The Pack's major star during this recent period of success was Nick Fazekas. In 2007, Nevada was ranked No. 9 in men's basketball, which is the highest ranking that Nevada has ever held. Coach Mark Fox took over after Trent Johnson left in 2004 to coach at Stanford University. On April 3, 2009 it was announced that David Carter would replace Fox who decided to leave Nevada for the same position at the University of Georgia. On March 1, 2012, the Wolf Pack basketball team won against New Mexico State University for the WAC title.


The football team, currently coached by Brian Polian, plays at Mackay Stadium. The modern Mackay Stadium replaced its predecessor and was completed in 1966 with a seating capacity of 7,500. The facility has been expanded several times in its history and now seats 30,000. In 2005, Nevada won a share of the WAC Title. The 2010 season saw Nevada at its best finishing the season ranked No. 11 in the AP and No. 13 in the BCS, stunning Boise State 34-31 and costing the Broncos a possible shot at the BCS title, to win another share of the WAC Title.


Annually, Nevada's football team plays its primary rival, UNLV, for the Fremont Cannon in the Battle for Nevada. Nevada currently leads the all-time series 24-17, after a 23-17 upset loss at home during the 2015 season. Nevada also plays UNLV twice a year in basketball, with Nevada losing the last 2 games and trailing the all-time series 59-22 overall. Nevada's two out-of-state rivals, particularly in football, are Boise State and Fresno State. In 2012, Nevada joined its rivals Boise State, Fresno State, and UNLV in the Mountain West Conference.


The Wolf Pack's mascot is an anthropomorphized wolf named Alphie, who took over the duties of cheering from his uncle, Wolfie, in 1999. In 2007, Alphie was joined by his younger brother, Wolfie Jr. In 2012, Wolfie was named Mascot of the Year. Rounding off the wolf pack family, Luna was introduced in 2013 as the sister to Wolfie Jr. and Alphie

Conference affiliations[edit]

Nevada joined the Mountain West Conference in 2012.[20]

Previous conference memberships include:

Student media[edit]

Nevada's editorially independent, weekly student newspaper is called The Nevada Sagebrush. It comes out every Tuesday afternoon, and employs more than 40 people, 25 full-time. Prior to 2004, the newspaper called itself simply the Sagebrush.

The newspaper won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008 and 2009.[21] It was also a finalist for a Pacemaker at the 2006 and 2007 ACP student journalism awards. It has won the best of show award at the fall 2005, 2006 and 2007 ACP national conferences in its category (weekly broadsheet at a four-year university). It was also nominated for an online ACP Pacemaker in 2008. Its new web site,, which launched in the fall of 2007, has also been recognized by the Center for Innovation in College Media for it breaking news packages, podcasts, videos and general innovation and Web presence. Many of The Nevada Sagebrush's former editors go on to work and take internships at newspapers and news organizations such as The Washington Post, The Oregonian, USA Today, The Miami Herald, The Arizona Republic and the Associated Press as well as dozens of local newspapers around the country.

Insight Magazine is the only student-run magazine at the University of Nevada, Reno. Formerly Nevada's yearbook for nearly 100 years, Insight Magazine, has evolved into the second major publication circulating at the university. The first edition of Insight Magazine was published in September 2008. It presents itself as a theme-based monthly magazine, providing photography, stories and graphics, in contrast to the weekly, newspaper-style of The Sagebrush. It is put out both in print and online. The online version,, provides both support for the published stories and independent content.

In its sophomore year, Insight Magazine has received national attention from major college media organizations, such as the Associated College Press and the College Media Advisers. Insight placed fifth for headline presentation in Best of Collegiate Design 2009 by the "College Media Advisers". At the 2009 ACP Conference in Austin, Texas, Insight placed fifth in Best of Show for an audio podcast.

Nevada's literary arts journal Brushfire was created by a group of students in 1950. It is released once a semester and publishes original poetry, literature, and art by students and some faculty and community members.

The university is also home to a student-run radio station, Wolf Pack Radio. The station broadcasts primarily through its website, although it comes through at 1700 AM. Starting in the Fall 2010 semester, Nevada broadcast journalism students started "Wolf Pack Week," a 30-minute television newscast that is shown around campus. Future episodes will air on PBS in Reno and Las Vegas.

There are other independent student publications on campus (although they have stopped publishing regularly since 2006), including The Nevada Blue and the Pack Patriot.

Greek life[edit]

Interfraternity Council

Panhellenic Council

Multicultural Greek Council

Professional Fraternities

Notable alumni & faculty[edit]

Film history[edit]

The University of Nevada's classically-styled campus has served as the setting for many movies, including:[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Fonts and Colors". University of Nevada, Reno. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ University of Nevada, Reno. "About Us | The Reynolds School". Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  5. ^ "University of Nevada School of Medicine". Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Training Session for Inkblot Employees" (PDF). pp. 18 (on page 15). Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Demeritt, Clint (September 25, 2007). "The coming of the comma". The Nevada Sagebrush. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  10. ^ "2015 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  11. ^ "University of Nevada-Reno". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  12. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 29, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Part-Time MBA Programs". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  14. ^ Straka, Thomas (November 2009). "Ten things you didn't know about: Land-grant universities" (PDF). Nevada Silver & Blue. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Sustainability Committee Information". University of Nevada-Reno. Retrieved June 5, 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Campus Sustainability: Food". University of Nevada- Reno. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Campus Sustainability: Energy". University of Nevada- Reno. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Nevada News | University of Nevada, Reno". October 7, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2010. [dead link]
  19. ^ "College Sustainability Report Card 2010". Sustainable Endowments Institute. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Fresno State, Nevada to remain in WAC until 2012 - ESPN". 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  21. ^ "Nevada Sagebrush nominated for Pacemaker award". Reynolds School of Journalism. University of Nevada, Reno. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Psi Phi chapter installs at University of Nevada – Reno – Alpha Kappa Psi". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Campus on the Hill: A walking tour of the University of Nevada". Archived from the original on August 30, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 

External links[edit]