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University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Motto Omnia Pro Patria (Latin)
Motto in English All for our Country
Established 1957
Type Public
Endowment $114 million [6]
President Neal J. Smatresk[1]
Provost Neal J. Smatresk
Faculty 1,000
Staff 3,282
Students 29,069 (Fall 2009)[2]
Undergraduates 22,708 (Fall 2009)[3]
Postgraduates 6,378 (Fall 2009)[4]
Location Paradise, Nevada, United StatesUnited StatesNevada
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 (136 ha)
North Campus: 640 acres (260 ha)
Shadow Lane Campus: 18.2 acres (7.4 ha)
Former names Nevada Southern University
Sports 17 Varsity Teams
Colors Scarlet & Grey         
Nickname Rebels
Mascot Hey Reb
Athletics NCAA Division I
Mountain West Conference
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 (136 ha) campus is located approximately 1.5 mi (2.4 km) east of the Las Vegas Strip. Ground breaking on the original 60 acres (24 ha) site was in April 1956, and the university purchased a 640 acres (260 ha) 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.


History and status

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 on the now historic 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.[5] In 1965, the Nevada Legislature named the school Nevada Southern University, and the Board of Regents hired the campus's first president, William Carlson.[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.


New initiatives

In 2005, the university received over $95 million in extramural research funding, about a 30 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, a fund raising campaign, "Invent the Future," passed $300 million in money collected in 2005, with the ultimate goal of raising $500 million. 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.

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. And those students with an 4.0 grade point average will receive a full tuition reimbursement upon graduation and upon securing employment with a Fortune 500 company.


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.[7] 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.[8] In the 2009 edition of the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card, University of Nevada-Las Vegas received a grade of “C.”[9]

The Nevada Policy Research Institute criticized UNLV for spending $90 million on a new campus building called Greenspun Hall stating, "Why construct buildings at $780 a square foot if you can't afford to keep teachers in the classroom? Couldn't that money have been put to better use?"[10]

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.[11] Tuition will be raised by 10% for fall 2009 as a partial measure to alleviate Nevada's financial hardship.[12] Resources and amenities aiding students in their research and learning may be cut.[11] Faculty and staff are also affected by Nevada's budget shortfalls. They remain worried about pay cuts, lost benefits, and job security.[13]


University rankings (overall)

Forbes[14] 393
USNWR National University[15] NR
WM National University[16] 183

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.[17]

The Nevada Policy Research Institute has criticized the UNLV for low graduation rates claiming "A mere 41 percent of students attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate within six years.[18] UNLV spent $16,537 per pupil in the 2006 academic year.[19]


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[20] 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.[21]

The university has several facilities for the performing arts. The Judy Bayley Theatre, opened in 1972, seats 550 people and features a raked auditorium, a fully-rigged, proscenium stage, and a thrust-apron that can be used as an orchestra pit. The Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, opened in 1976, seats 1,832 patrons and includes a beautifully decorated lobby complete with a gallery wall of fine art. The Black Box Theatre can accommodate 120–175 non-fixed seats in arrangements for small recitals, lectures, dance, and other social events. Other facilities include the Alta Ham Fine Arts Complex, opened in 1982, and the Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center, opened in 2001.[22][23]

Athletic facilities include Sam Boyd Stadium, Thomas & Mack Center, and Cox Pavilion.


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

UNLV boasts varsity teams in 17 different sports. Commonly referred to as the Rebels, or Lady Rebels (Men's basketball is referred to as the Runnin' Rebels and Men's Baseball 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 School's official colors are Scarlet and Gray.[24] UNLV's southern Confederate 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.[25] The only exception is the UNLV Men's Soccer team, which competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

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.[26]

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) [27] 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 an Championship game. In that same game, UNLV became the first team to ever break 100 points in a Championship game.[28][29]

In recent years, UNLV has returned to the National Basketball Spotlight under new head coach Mr. Lon Kruger. In five seasons with the Runnin' Rebels, the Rebs have won two Mountain West Conference Tournament Titles.[30] In 2007, the Runnin' Rebels made the Sweet 16, and in 2008 the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, losing to the eventual National Champion, the University of Kansas.[31]

UNLV is also well-known for its excellent golf programs. Led by coach Dwaine Knight, the UNLV Golf program has turned out PGA Tour pro's such as Adam Scott, Chris Riley, Chad Campbell,and Ryan Moore, and Skip Kendall. At times they have been ranked #1 by one of the three college polls. They won the NCAA National golf team championship in 1998.

As of March 2008, the Rebel Men's Swimming and Diving Team has won four straight Mountain West Conference titles.[30] Three Rebel swimmers competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics; Joe Bartoch and Richard Hortness represented Canada and Jonas Anderson represented Sweden.


Notable faculty include Dave Hickey, MacArthur Foundation fellow; Lawrence L. Larmore, theoretical computer scientist; Willard Hughes Rollings, historian; Murray Rothbard, Libertarian writer for the Las Vegas Review Journal; Tom Shires, pioneer of the use of saline in shock; Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate; Dina Titus, Nevada U.S. Congresswoman;[32] Michael Tylo, soap opera actor;[33] Douglas A. Unger, writer and author; Clarence Gilyard, actor on Walker, Texas Ranger, and Michel Hugo, notable and prolific cinematographer.


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: Greg Anthony,[34] Stacey Augmon,[35] Chad Campbell,[36] Randall Cunningham,[37] Cecil Fielder,[38] Larry Johnson,[39] Ryan Ludwick,[40] Shawn Marion,[41] Keenan McCardell,[42] Adam Scott,[43] Reggie Theus,[44] and Matt Williams.[45]

Former Rebels in the entertainment world include Chris Cox (DJ),[citation needed] Guy Fieri,[46] Jimmy Kimmel,[citation needed] Suge Knight,[47] Kenny Mayne,[48] Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo,[49][50] Ronnie Vannucci,[51] Eric Whitacre,[52] and Anthony E. Zuiker.[53]

UNLV has also produced numerous politicians, including U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley,[54] U.S. Senator John Ensign,[55] and Clark County District Attorney David Roger.[56] Other notable alumni include Christian philosopher Francis J. Beckwith,[57] President of Maloof Hotels and owner of the Sacramento Kings George J. Maloof, Jr.,[58] Flo Rida,[citation needed] and Leon Lett.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Office of the President - About Neil Smatresk, "[1]," (accessed Nov 5, 2009)
  2. ^
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  5. ^ "History of UNLV," (accessed April 26, 2006)
  6. ^ Harter, Carol C, "State of the University 2005," (accessed April 26, 2006)
  7. ^ "Urban Sustainability Initiative". University of Nevada - Las Vegas. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  8. ^ "Urban Sustainability Initiative Campus Efforts". University of Nevada - Las Vegas. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  9. ^ "College Sustainability Report Card 2008". Sustainable Endowments Institute. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  10. ^ "Higher Priced Education" Nevada Policy Research Institute
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  14. ^ "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  15. ^ "National Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2009. U.S. News & World Report. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  16. ^ "The Washington Monthly National University Rankings" (PDF). The Washington Monthly. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  17. ^ Las Vegas Sun, "[2]," (accessed August 2, 2007)
  18. ^ "A majority don't graduate UNLV or UNR within 6 years" Nevada Policy Research Institute [3]
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  34. ^ "Greg Anthony Bio". National Basketball Association. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  35. ^ "Stacey Augmon Bio". National Basketball Association. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  36. ^ "Chad Campbell's Official Profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  37. ^ "Randall Cunningham Profile". Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  38. ^ "Cecil Fielder Statistics". Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  39. ^ "ESPN:1991 UNLV Runnin' Rebels". ESPN SportsNation. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  40. ^ "Player File - Ryan Ludwick". St. Louis Cardinals. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  41. ^ "Shawn Marion Bio". National Basketball Association. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  42. ^ "Keenan McCardell Bio". National Football League. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  43. ^ "Adam Scott's Official Profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  44. ^ "Reggie Theus". National Basketball Association. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  45. ^ "Matt Williams Statistics". Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  46. ^ "Guy R. Fieri Bio" (PDF). Guy Fieri. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  47. ^ "Suge Knight". Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  48. ^ "Kenny Mayne". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  49. ^ Russell, Gregg. "Tabitha and Napoleon: Hip to Hip Hop." Studio Beat Fall 2006: 22-25.
  50. ^ "Hollywood's Hot Dancing Duo, Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo. Dance Teacher Magazine. By Jen Jones". Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  51. ^ "Ronnie Vannucci". Zildjian. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  52. ^ "The "Clarino" Interview". Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  53. ^ "Q&A:Anthony E. Zuiker". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  54. ^ "Biography". Representative Shelley Berkley. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  55. ^ "About Senator Ensign". John Ensign. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  56. ^ "David Roger Bio". Access Clark County. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  57. ^ "Biographical Sketch". Francis J. Beckwith. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  58. ^ "Mr. George Maloof Jr. Profile". Retrieved 2008-07-09. 

External links

Coordinates: 36°06′28″N 115°08′38″W / 36.10779°N 115.14376°W / 36.10779; -115.14376


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