University of Northern Colorado

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Coordinates: 40°24′17″N 104°41′48″W / 40.404853°N 104.696741°W / 40.404853; -104.696741

University of Northern Colorado
University of Northern Colorado seal.svg
MottoSapientia in aeternum est
Motto in English
Wisdom is eternal
TypePublic university
EstablishedApril 1, 1889; 133 years ago (1889-04-01)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$89.8 million (2019)[1]
PresidentAndy Feinstein
ProvostMark Anderson[2]
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
260 acres (1.1 km2)[3]
ColorsNavy Blue and Gold[4]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FCSBig Sky
MascotKlawz the Bear
University of Northern Colorado logo.svg
Normal School, Greeley, Colorado (1902)

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is a public university in Greeley, Colorado.[5] The university was founded in 1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado and has a long history in teacher education.[6] The institution has officially changed its name three times, first to Colorado State College of Education, at Greeley on February 16, 1935, Colorado State College on February 11, 1957, and its current form since May 1, 1970.[7] Approximately 10,000 students are enrolled in six colleges. Extended campus locations in are in Loveland, Denver/Aurora, and Colorado Springs.[8] UNC's 19 athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I athletics.[8]


UNC's Snyder Hall, a dormitory on Central Campus

The campus is divided into two main areas: central and west. UNC's Central Campus includes the areas north of 20th Street and west of 8th Avenue in Greeley, Colorado. The residence halls on Central Campus have been designated a state historic district.[9] UNC's Central Campus was the original part of the campus and currently houses the College of Performing & Visual Arts, schools in the College of Natural & Health Science, and the Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business. Central has a quieter, more traditional "collegiate" feeling. Historically, UNC's annual convocation ceremony begins in Cranford Park located on Central Campus. Upon conclusion of the ceremony, the marching band leads attendees to Turner Green on West Campus for Taste of UNC and Bear Fest.

West Campus includes the areas south of 20th Street and west of 10th Avenue, including the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Education & Behavioral Sciences, and schools in the College of Natural & Health Sciences. West Campus houses 2,000 students and is generally the more social area of campus.

Other locations[edit]

The university operates satellite centers in Loveland, Denver/Aurora, and Colorado Springs. The Lowry campus straddling the Denver/Aurora border hosts two programs of note - the Center for Urban Education (focuses on providing opportunities for working teachers), and the DO-IT Center (ASL-English interpreter training).

Old Man Mountain is a group of cabins owned by the university located in Estes Park, Colorado, and serves as a common retreat location for the community.

Libraries and collections[edit]

Michener Library[edit]

Michener Library was named after Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist James A. Michener, who attended Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado, from 1936 to 1937. He was a Social Science educator at the Training School and at the college from 1936 to 1941, and later went on to set his novel Centennial in the school's home of Weld County. Michener Library's collections include approximately 1.5 million items in monograph, periodical, government document, audio-visual and microform formats. The Library also houses the James A. Michener Special Collection.

Skinner Music Library[edit]

The Howard M. Skinner Music Library specializes in curricular support of the School of Music and Musical Theatre Programs but is open to everyone. This library has more than 100,000 scores, books, periodicals, and recordings, housed in a facility that opened in October 1997. In 2005, the building was named for Dr. Howard M. Skinner, former Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, in honor of his many years of dedication to UNC and to the Greeley music community.

Digital UNC[edit]

This digital online repository service offered by the university's libraries captures, stores, organizes, indexes, preserves, and provides access to University of Northern Colorado information resources and intellectual output. It brings together selected digital materials from across campus to create a repository of the educational, scholarly, research, and historical assets of the university.


GREE (shortened from "Greeley") is the standard acronym for the UNC Herbarium, which has about 35,000 specimens, about 10,000 of which are backlogged (not mounted and filed). In recent years, GREE has been the fastest growing herbarium in the region on a percentage basis, having increased its holdings by over 300 percent. Estimated specimens by geographical origin include: Southern Rockies, 75 percent; High Plains, 5 percent; North America at large, 15 percent; world at large, 5 percent. The university's facilities provide storage capacity for about 65,000 specimens.

Southern Rocky Mountain Reference Collection (SRMRC)[edit]

The SRMRC is a separate collection of one or two specimens (flower and fruit) of each taxon of vascular plant known to occur in the Southern Rocky Mountain region. The SRMRC is also used to provide a source of specimens for educational demonstrations to school classes, civic groups, and other interested visitors. The collection has over 2,200 taxa and is expanding continuously.

Art collections[edit]

Mariani Gallery[edit]

The Mariani Gallery, created in 1972 to show a variety of art exhibits, is located in Guggenheim Hall, Room 100.

Oak Room Gallery[edit]

The Oak Room Gallery focuses on undergraduate and graduate student work and is located in Crabbe Hall, Room 201.

The Lydia Ruyle Room of Women’s Art[edit]

This is a collection of 48 original works by 40 artists, including Mary Cassatt, Bridget Riley, Louise Nevelson, and Kathe Kollwitz. It is located in Guggenheim Hall.

Mari Michener Art Gallery[edit]

Located in Michener Library, this gallery hosts shows by locally and nationally known artists and often displays the work of alumni, faculty, and staff of the university.


The board of trustees for the university oversees the administration and approves the university annual budget. Several members of the university's administrative team are ex officio members of the Board (for example, the Vice President for Finance & Administration is also the Treasurer to the Board).


  • Thomas J. Gray — 1890–1891
  • James H. Hayes — Interim 1891, November 11, 1915 – 1916
  • Zachariah Xenophon Snyder — 1891–1915
  • John Grant Crabbe — Late summer 1916–1924
  • George Willard Frasier — 1924–1947
  • William Robert Ross — 1947–1964 (assumed office December 20, 1947)
  • Darrell Holmes — 1964–1971
  • Frank P. Lakin — 1969, 1971 Interim President
  • Richard R. Bond — 1971–1981
  • Charles Manning, Acting President — 1981
  • Robert C. Dickeson — 1981–1991
  • Richard Davies, Acting President — January 1 – August 29, 1987
  • Stephen T. Hulbert, Interim President — July 1 – September 30, 1991
  • Herman Lujan — 1991–1996
  • Howard Skinner, Interim President — June 1996 – June 1998
  • Hank Brown — July 1998 – June 2002
  • Kay Norton — July 2002 – July 2018
  • Andy Feinstein - July 2018 – present[10]

College of Performing and Visual Arts[edit]

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) is an arts community of practitioners, scholars, and learners representing a range of arts traditions and disciplines.[11] UNC has a tradition as an arts institution and its main college offices, located in Guggenheim Hall, are one of the oldest buildings on campus.[12]

Student life[edit]

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[13] Total
White 63% 63
Hispanic 23% 23
Other[a] 6% 6
Black 5% 5
Asian 2% 2
Foreign national 1% 1
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 35% 35
Affluent[c] 65% 65

Greek life[edit]

Traditional sororities[edit]

Traditional fraternities[edit]

Multicultural sororities[edit]

Multicultural fraternities[edit]

Cultural centers[edit]

  • Asian/Pacific American Student Services
  • César Chávez Cultural Center
  • Marcus Garvey Cultural Center
  • Native American Student Services
  • Gender & Sexuality Resource Center
  • Women's Resource Center
  • Veteran's Services

Student housing[edit]

The university has 17 student residence halls; 12 on Central Campus and five on West Campus. They also offer Arlington Park Apartments located roughly one block east of West Campus and three blocks south of Central Campus. These alternative housing options offer students a more "apartment-style" of living. On-campus housing options include same-gender communities for males and females, co-educational communities, and co-educational rooms. Room options include traditional suite-style rooms to fully furnished on-campus apartments. The "living & learning communities" at UNC include floors for elementary education majors, performing and visual arts majors, quiet lifestyles, GLBTA, leadership focused and healthy-living/wellness in certain dormitories.

Radio station[edit]

UNC Student Radio (UNCSR) broadcasts 24/7 on the internet. The station generally plays pre-programmed rock/pop during the day, with live, student-hosted shows in the afternoons and evenings during the school year.

The station, first chartered in 1995 and which is almost entirely student-run, operates from the basement of Davis House and streams to all the UNC dormitories via cable TV channel 3.

The university previously owned and operated local radio station KUNC from 1967 to 2000. However, that station is now operated by a separate organization.


Founded in February 1919, The Mirror is the university's student-operated newspaper. It is published every Monday during the fall and spring semesters. It is not published during school breaks. The publication is funded by student fees as well as advertising from local businesses. The newspaper operates out of its own building on 16th Street, one-half block from campus, and employs an average of 80 students a year.


Northern Colorado Athletics wordmark.

Sports teams at the school are called Bears. Northern Colorado joined the Big Sky Conference on July 1, 2006. The school mascot is Klawz the Bear and the school colors are navy blue and gold. The Fight Song is the "UNC Fight Song". Northern Colorado's Athletic Director is Darren Dunn.

The Bears play their football games at Nottingham Field, while the men's and women's basketball teams and women's volleyball team play at the Bank of Colorado Arena at Butler-Hancock Athletic Center. "Fear The Claw" is the student section slogan. Northern Colorado won its first Big Sky Championship in 2009 when the women's volleyball team beat Portland State to capture the Big Sky Volleyball Championship.

A number of the university's alumni have gone on to have professional sports careers. Vincent Jackson attended and played football at Northern Colorado from 2001 to 2004 before being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 2005 NFL Draft. Other football alumni for the school include punter Dirk Johnson, safety Reed Doughty, and defensive lineman Aaron Smith.

Before upgrading to NCAA Division I in 2006, UNC was a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference from 1923 to 1972 and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (1972–76). Following several years of being conference independent, the university joined the North Central Conference. The Bears have won two Division II Football National Championships in 1996 and 1997. On March 9, 2011, the Bears won the Big Sky Conference tournament championship in men's basketball, clinching a trip to the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the first in the school's history. The Northern Colorado men's baseball program also ranks among the top 15 schools for most all-time NCAA College World Series appearances, tied with the University of Oklahoma at ten appearances apiece. The Northern Colorado women's softball team appeared in the first eleven Women's College World Series ever held in 1969–1979, advancing to but losing the title game in 1974.[14]


The university's mascot, "Klawz"

The bear became UNC's mascot in 1923. Before the school adopted the bear, athletes used the nickname "the Teachers."[15] The bear was said to be inspired by a bear on top of an Alaskan totem pole donated by an 1897 alumnus in 1914. The totem pole was kept in the University Center, but under the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, the pole was reclaimed by the Tlingit in 2003.

Klawz is the mascot that attends all university sporting events. Klawz is the newest addition to the long line of Bears' mascots over the years at the university. Klawz made his first appearance in Nottingham Field on August 30, 2003, before the UNC football team opened their season against New Mexico Highlands.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "Office of the Provost". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "About UNC".
  4. ^ UNC Brand Identity Style Guide (PDF). May 18, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  5. ^ "About the University of Northern Colorado". About UNC. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  6. ^ The Campus History Series, University of Northern Colorado, by Mark Anderson and Jay Trask, 2010, Arcadia Publishing
  7. ^ Institution Names – University of Northern Colorado. Retrieved September 8, 2020
  8. ^ a b UNC Impact 2014. University of Northern Colorado.
  9. ^ "Weld County". Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. December 28, 2010. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "President Andy Feinstein at the University of Northern Colorado". Office of the President. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Wild, Stephi (March 26, 2022). "Edward W. Hardy, Georgina Escobar, and More Will Present at UNCO's First Arts Equity Summit". Broadway World.
  12. ^ Schuhardt, Sara (February 25, 2022). "College of Performing and Visual Arts | University of Northern Colorado". College of Performing and Visual Arts.
  13. ^ "College Scorecard: University of Northern Colorado". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  14. ^ Plummer, William; Floyd, Larry C. (2013). A Series Of Their Own: History Of The Women's College World Series. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States: Turnkey Communications Inc. ISBN 978-0-9893007-0-4.
  15. ^ Various The Mirrors and Cache La Poudres
  16. ^ "Weighing in on diversity". uncmirror. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  17. ^ Fritz, Tim. "Walt Conley: The Founding Father of the Denver Folk Scene". Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  18. ^ "Justin Gaethje MMA Bio". Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  19. ^ Hopkins, Dianne McAfee (2003). "Grazier, Margaret Hayes". In Marilyn Lea Miller (ed.). Pioneers and Leaders in Library Services to Youth: A Biographical Dictionary. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 83–85. ISBN 978-1-59158-028-7. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  20. ^ Zarczynski, Andrea (February 23, 2021). "How Critically Acclaimed Violinist Edward W. Hardy Is Transforming Mood Into Music". Forbes. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  21. ^ "Karyl McBride Ph.D." Retrieved February 7, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Delaney, Anne (February 6, 2019). "Greeley's Sharktooth Ski Area lives on through history, Facebook page". The Greeley Tribune. Greeley, CO.
  23. ^ "Fankie Saenz UFC Profile with proof of attendance".
  24. ^ "Loren Snyder". Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  25. ^ "Carol Crump, "Dr. Tom Walsh, 67, died of leukemia in Casper on New Years Day, 2010"". Casper Journal, January 3, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  26. ^ "Former Local Man Rates Second Among Video Personalities of West". Greeley Daily Tribune. Colorado, Greeley. March 9, 1950. p. 5. Retrieved October 16, 2018 – via open access

Further reading[edit]

  • Albert Frank Carter – "Forty years of Colorado State Teachers College, formerly the State Normal School of Colorado, 1890–1930"
  • Larson, Robert W; Boulder: Colorado Associated University Press, (1989). Shaping educational change: the first century of the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley. ISBN 0-87081-172-X.
  • Kurt Hinkle – "Northern Light: The Complete History of the University of Northern Colorado Football Program." (1998).

External links[edit]