UNLV History

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School Spirit

UNLV has established many traditions in its short history. Whether kicking off the school year with Premier UNLV, celebrating diverse cultures on campus, or rooting on athletics teams, Rebels always display their school pride. Here are a few of UNLV’s time-honored traditions.


Premier UNLV

This annual kickoff to the new academic year has grown into a cherished tradition for students and alumni. Premier UNLV includes a welcome cookout, T-shirts, and performances by the UNLV marching band, dance team, cheerleaders, and special guests. The event ends when students and alumni gather on the North Field to form the letters U-N-L-V with flashlights for an aerial photograph. Fireworks choreographed to the UNLV Fight Song add to the festive atmosphere.



Rebels return to the UNLV campus each fall for homecoming - to rekindle old friendships and make new memories. During homecoming week, campus is abuzz with student activities, concerts, lectures, and the annual alumni dinner. The celebration culminates with a pre-game tailgate, the parade that winds its way around Sam Boyd Stadium, and the big gridiron matchup.



UnityFest is a two-week celebration of unity through diversity. Each spring, the events give students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to explore the wide variety of cultures that make our campus community unique.


Fremont Cannon

The Fremont Cannon is a traveling trophy that resides each year with the winner of the football game between UNLV and UNR. It is a replica of the cannon used by explorer John C. Fremont as he headed west in 1843. UNLV first won rights to the cannon in 1970. Learn more fun facts about UNLV »


School Colors

UNLV's school colors of scarlet and gray can be traced to the late 1950s when UNLV adopted as mascot a wolf wearing a Confederate uniform. Though the mascot has evolved into a modern-day mountain man, the university continues to proudly display its scarlet and gray.



The nickname "Rebels" was given to UNLV athletic teams because the school, emerging from the shadow of the University of Nevada, Reno, in effect "rebelled" against its bigger and older brother to the north.

The name "Runnin' Rebels" (always spelled without a 'g') was coined in 1974 but refers only to the UNLV men's basketball team.



Catch up with the Rebels at the official athletics site.


Hey Reb!

Today, Hey Reb! - UNLV's mascot - delights throngs of Rebels fans, but the modern mountain man evolved from the university's first official Rebel mascot, Beauregard.

History of Hey Reb!

Dressed in a gray military field jacket and Confederate cap, Beauregard is a fanged, winking, black and white cartoon wolf. He was created because the newer university in Southern Nevada wanted to take a jab at the Wolf Pack mascot of UNR. The image lasted until the early 1970s when a group of black athletes voiced its displeasure with having a mascot with a connection to the Confederacy.

After a Student Senate vote, a Colonial-like Rebel soldier was selected. The symbol continued to be refined, and the current long-mustached Rebel known as Hey Reb! took hold in the early 1980s.

Though UNLV retired Beauregard long ago, he can still be seen on campus - painted mid-court on the hardwood basketball floor of the old university gymnasium, now the Marjorie Barrick Museum.


Photo Gallery

View a gallery of the main campus, arts and culture, athletics, and campus life at UNLV.


Campus Video

Take a look at some of UNLV's videos.


Fight Song

Get in the spirit and listen to Win With the Rebels.

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