University of Nevada Reno

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The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR or Nevada) is a university that is located in Reno, Nevada and is known for its programs in agricultural research, animal biotechnology, and mining-related natural sciences. Additionally, Nevada is fast becoming known for its journalism program, which has produced several Pulitzer Prize winners and for its program in seismology, which is one of the most technologically advanced in North America.

The university is also home to the University of Nevada School of Medicine, which was founded in 1969. The medical school specializes in family medicine.


The University of Nevada was originally founded in Elko, Nevada in 1874 as a small, makeshift prep school that really could not be considered a true university. In 1885, the state legislature voted to close the Elko institution and the fledgling institution was moved from Elko to its current home in Reno, where classes began two years later.

After several decades of struggling to implement requirements of federal Morrill land-grant legislation, the university made large strides toward becoming the modern institution it is today with the opening of the Desert Research Institute in 1960 and a medical school in 1967. The University of Nevada, Reno remained the only four-year academic institution in the state of Nevada until 1965, when the current-day University of Nevada, Las Vegas attained university status as Nevada Southern University.


The campus is located on top of a large hill north of downtown Reno overlooking Truckee Meadows and the downtown casinos. Modeled in the style of Thomas Jefferson's "academic village" (most notable for its use at the University of Virginia), the campus is considered one of the prettiest in the western United States.

The university's first building, Morrill Hall (completed in 1887), still stands on the historic "quad" at the campus' southern end. Lincoln Hall (all-male dormitory) and Manzanita Hall (all-female dormitory) were both completed in 1896, making them the oldest residence halls west of the Mississippi River.

Across the campus of the universitiy 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.

The campus 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.


Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs are offered through the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources; the College of Business Administration; the College of Education; the College of Engineering; the College of Human and Community Sciences; the College of Liberal Arts; the College of Science; the Cooperative Extension Service; the Graduate School; the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering; the Reynolds School of Journalism; and the School of Medicine.

Nevada is the only university in the western hemisphere with a department of Basque studies, due to the large Basque population in northern Nevada.

The university and surrounding community is served by several campus libraries. Between them, over a million books and bound periodicals are in circulation in addition to government documents, audio-visual matierials, and various databases. The libraries are: Noble H. Getchell (main library), DeLaMare (engineering, computer science, mining, and geology), Life and Health Sciences, Physical Sciences, W. M. Keck Earth Sciences and Mining Reasearch Information Center, Savitt Medical, and the Mary B. Ansari Map Library.

Student Government

The Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) represents the undergraduate population at the university. ASUN has three branches: executive, legislative and judicial.

The president of ASUN, executive vice president, and vice presidents for clubs and organizations and programming constitute the executive. The Executive Council consists of the aforementioned executive officers and the speaker of the student senate.

The Senate is the legislative branch ASUN. Consisting of 22 senators elected from each of the university's colleges and schools, the Senate takes action on matters on behalf of the student body. The Senate's membership is apportioned by population in each college. The College of Liberal Arts (the largest), for instance, has seven seats in the Senate while the Reynolds School of Journalism has only one. The speaker of the Senate, also a senator, chairs all Senate meetings.

The Judicial Council, comprised of seven justices and two alternates, hears matters related to the ASUN Constitution and other matters that require peer review, such as alleged violation of university policies. Justices serve a two-year term.

Elections are held on an annual basis for executive and legislative officers. GPA and completed credit requirements determine who is eligible for office. Credit requirements are graduated; the more senior the office in ASUN, the more credits must be completed in order to be eligible for office.

ASUN is duly constituted under the laws of the state of Nevada, the university's Board of Regents policies and is bound by its own Constitution.


The university prefers to be called simply Nevada for athletics purposes; its sports teams are nicknamed the Wolf Pack (always two words). They participate in the NCAA's Division I (I-A for football) and in the Western Athletic Conference.

Recent successes

In recent years, several Nevada athletics programs have been on the rise. In March 2004, the Wolf Pack men's basketball team made it into the NCAA's March Madness tournament and went all the way to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in the school's history. The team earned a repeat trip in 2005, beating Texas in the first round before falling to eventual national champion runner-up Illinois. The Nevada rifle team placed second in the 2004 NCAA Rifle team championship, losing to national champion Alaska Fairbanks.


Annually, Nevada's football team plays its primary rival, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for the Fremont Cannon in the Battle for Nevada.


The Wolf Pack's mascot is an anthropomorphized wolf named Alphie, who took over the duties of cheering from his uncle, Wolfie, in 1999.


Nevada's student newspaper, the Sagebrush, has been in continuous publication since 1893, making it one of the oldest newspapers still in publication in the state of Nevada. Starting in 2004, the newspaper called itself the Nevada Sagebrush in an effort to make a statement against the university administration's contention that only the university's official name shall be published. This controversy stems from the sentiment of the Board of Regents that UNR is not the sole University of Nevada in the state, and hence should always be identified by its full name, the University of Nevada, Reno. However, some claim that since it was the first university in the state its historical name should be its official designation, as it is in many other multi-campus public university systems such as the University of Michigan.

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

  • Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (1944)
  • Apartment for Peggy (1948)
  • Mother Is a Freshman (1949)
  • Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949)

Notable alumni

Pulitzer Prize


Other notables

  • Richard Bryan, 1959 - former governor of Nevada and US Senator
  • William Zamboni, ? - Pioneer in plastic surgery and limb reattachments.
  • Brian Sandoval, 1986 - Nevada Attorney General; nominated by President George W. Bush to district court (pending confirmation).

External links

Template:Western Athletic Conference