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The Back Story

Why is the Flashlight upside down? Who are the pioneers on the Pioneer Wall? Find out more about the people and landmarks that make our campus unique.

UNLV History  |  Jun 11, 2014  |  UNLV News Center
Rendering of the performing arts center
Mar 7, 2017
UNLV History

From one unified design, the realities of time and budget forced the Judy Bayley Theater and Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall into separate buildings.

sample license plate
Mar 17, 2016
UNLV History

The Alumni Association is driving spirit and fundraising through UNLV license plates. Here's how the association led the way with the state's first specialty license plate.

The Cube
Jan 30, 2016
UNLV History

Professor Moses Karakouzian wanted to create a structure that captured the essence of the College of Engineering departments. Here’s how his Cube came to be.

premier u.n.l.v.
Jan 20, 2016
UNLV History

A look back on the events this patch of grass has hosted over the years.

Pioneer Wall
Sep 27, 2013
UNLV History

After UNLV's first building had long outlived its usefulness, it was torn down. But its historical significance was preserved as a memorial to the university's most influential supporters.

Aug 26, 2013
UNLV History

Fall events gathered UNLV's first students for fun on the shores of Lake Mead and formal dances in the old gymnasium.

Houssels House, named for casino executive J. Kell Houssels, was originally built in downtown Las Vegas.The Houssels family donated the home, along with $20,000 to cover the expenses of moving the home to the UNLV campus.
Nov 3, 2010
UNLV History

The 1930s Houssels House is UNLV's oldest building, but it wasn't placed on campus until 1983. See photos of the historic home's move from downtown to campus.

Feb 12, 2013
UNLV History

Nestled in the center of campus is a peaceful retreat for visitors. The garden's plants are a showcase for the beauty that thrives in arid climates.

Dec 10, 2012
UNLV History

Cheerleader's courageous battle with cancer inspired the entire campus.

Jan 17, 2013
UNLV History

Our beloved mascot is memorialized in bronze, bringing luck to all those who rub his epic mustache.

Solar panels installed on the UNLV Campus
Jan 7, 2013
UNLV History

Those solar panels along Flamingo Boulevard actually produce energy for UNLV while helping companies improve their technologies.

Jan 13, 2011
UNLV History

The replica plane is a sign of the lasting legacy Howard Hughes had on UNLV's College of Engineering.

Jan 29, 2013
UNLV History

Why is our famous sculpture pointed down? Hint: It's not because of air traffic.

UNLV professor emeritus Wesley E. Niles
Nov 19, 2012
UNLV History

Carefully preserved in UNLV's Wes Niles Herbarium is the history of Southern Nevada through its plants.

The sculpture "Fallen Soldier" at the Veterans Memorial on the UNLV campus
Feb 19, 2013
UNLV History

Students and community came together to bring Las Vegas its first veterans memorial.

Low angle view of the watch tower sculpture on the UNLV campus.
Dec 3, 2012
UNLV History

Do you hear what we hear? UNLV's clock tower chimes with holiday spirit.

Jan 23, 2013
UNLV History
When UNLV celebrates its 100th anniversary, students will crack into the time capsule outside the Student Union.

Oct 9, 2013
UNLV History

Read about the history of this unique part of campus culture.

Mar 6, 2013
UNLV History
Ham Concert Hall boosted the city's cultural offerings and paved the way for arts groups to thrive.

Jun 11, 2014
UNLV History

The Lee Pascal Rose Garden is ready to bloom. Here's how this beautiful campus spot came to be.

May 13, 2014
UNLV History

The processional marshal at commencement will be wielding the mace — a 12-pound symbolic weapon for defending the university and its people. Read more about the history of the mace's unique design.

Oct 22, 2013
UNLV History

The winner of the annual rivalry game between Nevada's two universities gets one of college football's most memorable trophies.

Sep 19, 2013
UNLV History

Not all library visitors have been two-legged humans. In the "Tumbleweed Tech" days, patrons sometimes slithered their way in or slurped from the fountain.

Dec 23, 2013
UNLV History

Our students once looked forward to this annual formal dance that featured a queen and her court.

Generic holiday graphic card containing Hey Reb's mustache.
Nov 12, 2014
UNLV History

Annual campus tradition has raised funds for scholarship while spreading holiday cheer. Here's how it got started and how you can participate this year.

Frank Sinatra
May 6, 2016
UNLV History

From Bob Hope to Jimmy Kimmel, top entertainers have long been honored at UNLV commencement with honorary degrees.

Jerry Vallen and Larry Ruvo
Mar 23, 2017
UNLV History

Annual fundraising event has grown from warehouse gamble into a full-blown food festival. Former dean shares the story of how it started.

Apr 9, 2012
UNLV History

Why the Bigelow Physics Building has a swooping roofline and an apple tree.