University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Motto Omnia Pro Patria (Latin)
Motto in English All for our Country
Established 1957
Type Public
Endowment $114 million[1]
President Neal J. Smatresk[2]
Provost Michael Bowers
Academic staff 1,000
Admin. staff 3,282
Students 28,203 (Fall 2010)[3]
Undergraduates 22,708 (Fall 2010)[3]
Postgraduates 6,378 (Fall 2010)[3]
Location Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
Coordinates: 36°06′28″N 115°08′38″W / 36.10779°N 115.14376°W / 36.10779; -115.14376
Campus Urban
Main Campus: 337 acres (1.36 km2)
North Campus: 640 acres (2.6 km2)
Shadow Lane Campus: 18.2 acres (7.4 ha)
Former names Nevada Southern University (1965-69), University of Nevada, Southern Division
Colors Scarlet and gray          
Athletics NCAA Division I - FBS
Mountain West Conference
Sports 17 Varsity teams
Nickname Rebels
Mascot Hey Reb
UNLV Logo.svg

University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) is a public, coeducational university located in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada, USA. The 337-acre (1.36 km2) campus is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of the Las Vegas Strip. Groundbreaking on the original 60-acre (24 ha) site was in April 1956, and the university purchased a 640-acre (2.6 km2) site in North Las Vegas for future expansion. The institution includes a Shadow Lane Campus, located just east of the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. The university has been deemed a "research-intensive university" by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.



The first college classes which would eventually become the classes of UNLV were offered as the southern regional extension division of the University of Nevada in 1951 in a classroom at Las Vegas High School. UNLV was officially founded by the Nevada Board of Regents as the Southern Division of the University of Nevada in 1957. The first classes were held on the current campus in the post and beam Mid Century Modern Maude Frazier Hall designed by the award winning local architectural firm, Zick and Sharp. Twenty-nine students graduated in the first commencement ceremonies in 1964.[4] [5]

In 1965, the Nevada Legislature named the school Nevada Southern University, and the Board of Regents hired the campus's first president, Donald C. Moyer.[6]

In 1968, Nevada Southern was given equal status with its parent institution in Reno, and the present name was approved by the Regents in January 1969, during a winter session and without input by representatives from the University of Nevada. During this time Nevada Southern University also adopted the southern "Rebel" athletics moniker and a mascot dressed in a southern Confederate uniform named Beauregard. The popular reasoning behind such a controversial moniker and mascot is that they did it to oppose the northern Union traditions and symbols of their northern rival, the University of Nevada. It was not long, however, before protests from NSU/UNLV students forced a slight change to their Confederate mascot, but the "Rebels" moniker remains to this day. Since its founding, the university has grown rapidly, expanding both its academic programs and campus facilities.

In 1969, the Board of Regents approved the new name of University of Nevada at Las Vegas and the abbreviation UNLV.[5]

In 1973 Jerry Tarkanian was hired as the men's basketball coach by UNLV's second president, Roman Zorn.[7]

In 1981 Claes Oldenburg's Flashlight sculpture was installed on the plaza between Artemus Ham Hall and Judy Bayley Theatre.[8]

In 2004, UNLV opened its first regional campus on Shadow Lane, near the University Medical Center. The School of Dental Medicine is located on the Shadow Lane Campus.[5]

New initiatives

In 2005, the university received over $95 million in extramural research funding, about a 30 percent increase over the previous year. Its fund raising campaign, "Invent the Future", reached its $500 million goal in 2009.[9]

In 2009, a $59.7 million Advanced Clinical and Research Training Center was constructed under architect Carpenter Sellers. This LEED equivalent building is expected to be completed by summer 2010. It will serve to consolidate the University of Nevada Health Sciences System programs through the shared use of classrooms, teaching labs, and simulated patient lab space.[10]


The University of Nevada, Las Vegas has created an Urban Sustainability Initiative that strives to implement sustainable practices both on campus and in the larger Las Vegas community.[11] In addition to having two campus buildings in the process of LEED Silver Certification and one building in the process of LEED Gold Certification, UNLV has reduced its use of electricity and natural gas by 38 percent per square foot since 2001 by retrofitting older campus buildings.[12] In the 2009 edition of the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card, University of Nevada-Las Vegas received a grade of "C".[13]

In an effort to stop or at least reduce the budget cuts to UNLV and the rest of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), rallies were held early 2009 to protest the situation.[14] Tuition will be raised by 10% for fall 2009 as a partial measure to alleviate Nevada's financial hardship.[15] Resources and amenities aiding students in their research and learning may be cut.[14] Faculty and staff are also affected by Nevada's budget shortfalls. They remain worried about pay cuts, lost benefits, and job security.[16]


University rankings (overall)
Forbes[17] 393
U.S. News & World Report[18] Tier 2
Washington Monthly[19] 166

UNLV offers over 200 programs of study in varying fields leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees, which are taught by approximately 850 faculty members. Notable departments include the School of Architecture, School of Dental Medicine, College of Education, Graduate College, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, William S. Boyd School of Law, and Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering

The Atlantic Monthly recognized UNLV's English Department as having one of the nation's most innovative Master of Fine Arts programs and one of the top five doctoral programs in creative writing.[20]

Down Beat Magazine, the internationally recognized industry standard trade publication for jazz music, recognized the work of the 2010 UNLV Jazz Ensemble as "Outstanding Large Jazz Ensemble Performance" among graduate college-level jazz bands in their annual Student Music Award issue of that year.[21]

In 2006, UNLV opened its first international campus in Singapore. The UNLV Singapore campus is housed on the 10th and 11th floors of the National Library of Singapore, a prestigious building comparable to the United States Library of Congress. The campus offers bachelor’s degree programs in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Management. UNLV Singapore is offering the college's upper division courses, which include Hotel Administration, Hospitality Marketing, Food & Beverage Management and Hotel Law. Students may also earn an executive master's degree in hospitality.[22]

An elementary school, Paradise Professional Development School, is located on campus and operated as a partnership between UNLV and the Clark County School District.[23]


The Las Vegas Strip can be seen in the distance from various points on the UNLV campus

The main campus of UNLV is located on a 332 acre land grant[24] in centrally located Paradise, Nevada.

Midtown UNLV is an ongoing private-public development along Maryland Parkway, a border street to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Development began in 2002 and the purpose is to expand the university to meet the demands of a major university in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The project is designed to improve the "front door" of the University by improving amenities for students and businesses along Maryland Parkway. The goals are to reduce vacant spaces, lower business turnover rates, as well as create new space for the University to expand. Additionally, the project aims to create new housing developments close to campus. Major funding is through state funding sources along with private donations.[25]


Performing arts facilities include the Judy Bayley Theatre (1972), the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall (1976), the Black Box Theatre, the Alta Ham Fine Arts Complex (1982), and the Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center (2001).[26]

Athletic facilities include Sam Boyd Stadium, Thomas & Mack Center(1983)[27] , Cox Pavilion, and Earl Wilson Stadium.

In 1997 the Paul B. Sogg Architecture Building opened.

In 2001, The 301,000-square-foot (28,000 m2), $58 million Lied Library, named for real estate entrepreneur Ernst W. Lied, opened.[5]

A new 135,000 sq ft (12,500 m2) student union and a new 188,000 sq ft (17,500 m2) recreation center were both completed in 2007.[28][29]


The Thomas & Mack Center and adjoining Cox Pavilion house many of the university's athletic teams.

UNLV supports varsity teams in 17 different sports. The men's basketball team is referred to as the Runnin' Rebels and the men's baseball team is referred to as the Hustlin' Rebels. The Rebels are a founding member of the Mountain West Conference, in the NCAA's Division I. The only exception is the UNLV men's soccer team, which competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

The school's official colors of scarlet and gray can be traced to the late-1950s when UNLV adopted as mascot a wolf wearing a Confederate uniform. Scarlet and Gray were traditional colors of the Confederacy with its gray uniforms and red-based flag. UNLV's mascot is Hey Reb, the toned down version of the original mascot named Beauregard, which was a wolf character dressed in Confederate hat and uniform. UNLV's Hey Reb mascot made his debut in 1983. He received his first makeover in 1997 and second in 2009. Named one of 12 All-American Mascots, he competed for the title of 2004 Capital One Mascot of the Year and made a strong showing by coming in second in online voting. No stranger to national television, Hey Reb has also appeared in two memorable ESPN SportsCenter commercials.

UNLV has many traditions in its athletic programs. Each year the men's football team plays the Nevada Wolf Pack in a football game called the Battle for Nevada. The trophy for that game is the Fremont Cannon. Built by the Kennecott Copper Corp., Nevada Mines Division, the cannon is valued at more than $10,000 and is considered one of the best, and loudest, symbols of rivalry in college football.[30]

UNLV is most known for its men's basketball program. Made famous by Coach Jerry Tarkanian in the 1970s–1990s, the Runnin' Rebels are the third most winning team in Division I basketball history by percentage, only behind Kentucky and North Carolina.(.713, 1037-418 through 2008)[31] UNLV is well known for their 1990 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship by defeating Duke University 103-73, which was and still is the largest margin of victory in a championship game. In that same game, UNLV became the first team to ever break 100 points in a championship game.[32][33]

UNLV is also well known for its golf program. Led by coach Dwaine Knight, the UNLV Golf program has turned out PGA Tour pros such as Adam Scott, Chris Riley, Chad Campbell, Ryan Moore, Skip Kendall, Charlie Hoffman, Bill Lunde, and Andres Gonzales.[34] They won the NCAA National golf team championship in 1998. In February 2011, the Rebel men's swimming and diving team won their seventh straight Mountain West Conference titles.[35] Three Rebel swimmers competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics; Joe Bartoch and Richard Hortness represented Canada and Jonas Anderson represented Sweden.[36]


Notable faculty include:


UNLV has seen many of its former students go on to local and national prominence. This includes many athletes that have excelled at the collegiate and professional levels, including:

Former Rebels in the entertainment world include:

UNLV has also produced numerous politicians, including:

Other notable alumni include:



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