University of Northern Colorado

Coordinates: 40°24′17″N 104°41′48″W / 40.404853°N 104.696741°W / 40.404853; -104.696741
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University of Northern Colorado
Former names
State Normal School of Colorado (1889-1935)
Colorado State College of Education at Greeley (1935-1957)
Colorado State College (1957-1970)
MottoSapientia in aeternum est (Latin)
Motto in English
Wisdom is Eternal
TypePublic university
EstablishedApril 1, 1889; 135 years ago (1889-04-01)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$100.5 million (2022)[1]
PresidentAndy Feinstein
ProvostMark Anderson[2]
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
260 acres (1.1 km2)[3]
ColorsBlue and gold[4]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FCSBig Sky
MascotKlawz the Bear
Normal School, Greeley, Colorado (1902)
West Campus, Mascot Statue. Bishop Lehr Hall is visible on right, and McKee Hall of Education is on the left
West Campus, Bear Mascot Statue. Bishop Lehr Hall is visible on right, and McKee Hall of Education and Ross Hall of Science are on the left

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 are in Loveland, Denver/Aurora, and Colorado Springs.[8] UNC's 19 athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I as members of the Big Sky Conference.[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]


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.[10]


The university has had 13 presidents since its establishment:[11]

  • 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)
  • Richard R. Bond — 1971–1981
  • Charles Manning (acting) — 1981
  • Robert C. Dickeson — 1981–1991
  • Richard Davies (acting) — January 1 – August 29, 1987
  • Stephen T. Hulbert (interim) — July 1 – September 30, 1991
  • Herman Lujan — 1991–1996
  • Howard Skinner (interim) — June 1996 – June 1998
  • Hank Brown — July 1998 – June 2002
  • Kay Norton — July 2002 – July 2018
  • Andy Feinstein - July 2018 – present[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[15] 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


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.

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, quarterback Kyle Sloter, 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.[16]


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."[17] 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 newest addition to the long line of Bears' mascots.

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, 2022. "Endowment & Stewardship Report" (PDF). University of Northern Colorado. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  2. ^ "Office of the Provost". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "About The University of Northern Colorado".
  4. ^ UNC Style Guide (PDF). March 1, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  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. ^ "Board of Trustees for the University of Northern Colorado".
  11. ^ "Past Presidents".
  12. ^ "President Andy Feinstein at the University of Northern Colorado". Office of the President. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  13. ^ Wild, Stephi (March 26, 2022). "Edward W. Hardy, Georgina Escobar, and More Will Present at UNCO's First Arts Equity Summit". Broadway World.
  14. ^ Schuhardt, Sara (February 25, 2022). "College of Performing and Visual Arts | University of Northern Colorado". College of Performing and Visual Arts.
  15. ^ "College Scorecard: University of Northern Colorado". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Various The Mirrors and Cache La Poudres

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]

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