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

University of Northern Colorado
MottoSapientia in aeterum est
Motto in EnglishWisdom is eternal
EstablishedApril 1, 1889
EndowmentUS$61.5 million[1]
ChairmanDick Monfort
PresidentKay Norton
ProvostRobbyn Wacker
Academic staff492[2]
LocationGreeley, Colorado, United States
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Former namesColorado State Normal School
Colorado State Teachers College
Colorado State College of Education
Colorado State College
ColorsNavy blue and gold
AthleticsNCAA Division I FCS
19 varsity teams
AffiliationsBig Sky Conference
Enrollment figures are as of Fall 2012[1]

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC or Northern Colorado) is a coeducational public institution of higher education in Greeley, Colorado with satellite centers in Loveland, Colorado Springs and the Lowry neighborhood of Denver. Established in 1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado, the University has a strong background in teacher education. The university offers over 100 undergraduate programs in the arts, sciences, humanities, business, human sciences, and education. Undergraduate degrees are typically 4 year programs and degree programs have a strong emphasis in liberal arts education. The university offers nearly 50 graduate programs primarily in education. Academic programs are distributed among six colleges.[2]


The history of The University of Northern Colorado begins in the late 1880s, when citizens of Greeley petitioned the Colorado government to create a school to educate teachers in their community. In April 1889 Governor Cooper signed a bill establishing the Colorado State Normal School. Classes began in October of the next year. Since then the institution has been through many changes in focus, architecture, and student ideals.[3]

The University of Northern Colorado opened on October 6, 1890, as the Colorado State Normal School to train qualified teachers for the state's public schools, with a staff of four instructors and 96 students, offering certification after completing a two-year course. Greeley's citizens raised the necessary money for the first building. At that time, certificates were granted upon the completion of a two-year course. In 1911 the school's name was changed to Colorado State Teachers College and offered bachelor degrees after completion of a four-year course. In 1935 the name changed again to Colorado State College of Education to recognize the graduate program, which was started in 1913. In 1957 the name was shortened to Colorado State College to recognize the further growth of programs and offerings. Finally, in 1970 the name was changed to the current University of Northern Colorado.

Originally Colorado State Normal School occupied only one building, Cranford Hall, and on 40 acres.[4] It was set fire to in 1949 by a disgruntled theater student who was later arrested for this and several other crimes. The building was repaired, and classes were held there until 1965 when the building was deemed unsafe for classroom use. Many offices were held here until December 1971 when the entire structure became too unsafe to use, and in 1972 the building was demolished. The cornerstone was saved and now graces the northeast corner of "Cranford Park" with four commemorative plaques regarding Cranford's significance and legacy in UNC's history.

The south end of Central Campus grew with the addition of Gordon Hall, Belford Hall, and Decker Hall in 1921, which were originally built as female residence halls. Shortly thereafter, the Faculty Apartments were built, later known as Presidents Row. The Faculty Apartments were built shortly after the President's House, which is now used as the Visitors Center. Sabin, Snyder, and Tobey-Kendel Halls were added in 1936 when enrollment was growing, and men's residence halls were added on the old East Campus. These halls, Hadden and Hayes, are east of Campus on 6th Avenue. The institution sold the land and buildings, and are no longer used as residence halls (they were demolished in 2011-2012). In the 1950s, Weibking Hall, Wilson Hall, and a larger dining space were added on to the already existing Tobey-Kendel Hall to accommodate the large influx of students after the war had ended. In 1997, students voted on a fee increase to fund two buildings to house the Women's Resource Center, the Counseling Center, and the Student Health Center. Scott-Willcoxon and Cassidy Halls opened in 1999 with the new Hansen-Willis residence hall.

In the late 1950s the school grew beyond the available acreage. The institution found an outlet for expansion in the Petrikin family farm to the southwest of the main campus, adding about Script error. West Campus expanded to include a new library, several residence halls, academic halls, an athletics facility, and, in the mid-1990s, a new football stadium and a student-fee-funded recreation center. The 1960s was a flurry of construction with a new building erected almost every year. Built in 1963, McCowen Hall was the first co-educational residence hall, and hosted nearly 30,000 students over the course of its lifetime. In the late part of the decade, McKee Hall and Turner Residence Hall opened, adding spaces for the College of Education and 600 residents, respectively. In the early 1970s, James A. Michener Library, Lawrenson Hall and Candelaria Hall would be the last buildings to be added to campus for almost 20 years, until the Campus Recreation Center opened in the mid-1990s. Most recently, McCowen was torn down in 2008 to make room for new residence halls, North and South Hall.


Alma materEdit

Ah! Well I Remember is the alma mater of the University of Northern Colorado. It was written by J. De Forest Cline. The words Purple and Gold refer to the previous colors of the institution. While the current colors are Navy Blue and Gold the alma mater retained the former colors.</br>

Ah! Well I Remember, Friends of “Purple and Gold.”</br> Friends met in September, Pledging their Faith to hold.</br> Gone, Friends of September, Gone dear friends of old.</br> Time never shall sever, Friends of “Purple and Gold.”</br> Time never shall sever, Friends of “Purple and Gold.”


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.[Ref 1] 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.

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 locationsEdit

The university operates satellite centers in Loveland, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Denver campus 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.



The University of Northern Colorado offers 100 undergraduate programs and more than 100 graduate programs.[1] The university has a satellite campus in Denver, Colorado

The Board of Trustees for the University oversees the administration and approves the University's 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. 1987 Acting President January 1 – August 29, 1987
  • Stephen T. Hulbert. 1991 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 –

Current trusteesEdit

  • Dick Monfort, Chairman
  • Richard James "Jim" Chavez, Vice Chairman
  • Richard S. Gast
  • Denise "Dee" St. Cyr
  • Paul Washington
  • Sue Carparelli
  • Tony Salazar
  • R. Vishwanathan "Vish" Iyer, Faculty Trustee


Academic profileEdit

By enrollment, The University of Northern Colorado is the third largest university in Colorado. It had a Fall 2012 enrollment of 10,102 undergraduate students and 2,395 graduate students for a total of 12,497 students.[3] In that year most of the students came from Colorado but the student population represents all 50 states, three territories and 37 countries. The Student population is 62% female and 38% male. 22% of students identified themselves as "minorities." Typically, 96% of undergraduates are employed or attending graduate school one year after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado.[4]

Colleges and schoolsEdit

In August 2003, President Kay Norton began a planning and reorganization process to guide the University. One of the outcomes of that process was to re-organize the University into five colleges of approximately equal size in addition to the University College. University College has programs for freshman and transfer students before they declare a major. Within each college are several schools that administer the various academic programs. [5]

  • College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
    • School of Educational Research Leadership and Technology;
    • School of Psychological Sciences
    • School of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education
    • School of Special Education; and Teacher Education
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • School of Communication
    • School of English Language and Literature
    • School of History, Philosophy, and Political Science
    • School of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
    • School of Social Sciences
  • College of Natural and Health Sciences
    • School of Biological Sciences
    • School of Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics
    • School of Human Sciences
    • School of Mathematical Sciences
    • School of Nursing
    • School of Sport and Exercise Science
  • College of Performing and Visual Arts
    • School of Art and Design
    • School of Music
    • School of Theatre Arts and Dance
  • Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business
    • School of Accounting and Computer Information Systems
    • School of Finance and Quantitative Methods
    • School of Management and Marketing
  • University College


James A. Michener LibraryEdit

The University of Northern Colorado’s main library houses approximately 1.8 million items including books, periodicals, government publications, CDs, videos, DVDs and maps. It is named after author James A. Michener, who received his master's degree from and taught at the university before beginning his writing career. Michener bequeathed the majority of his literary legacy to the university upon his death. The reference desk at the library is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays.

Howard M. Skinner Music LibraryEdit

Skinner Library specializes in curricular support of the School of Music and Musical Theatre Programs. Its collections, comprising more than 90,000 musical scores, books, periodicals and recordings, are housed in a state-of-the-art facility that opened in October 1997.

Student lifeEdit

Greek lifeEdit

Traditional sororitiesEdit

Traditional fraternitiesEdit

Multicultural sororitiesEdit

Multicultural fraternitiesEdit

Cultural centersEdit

  • Asian/Pacific American Student Services
  • César Chávez Cultural Center
  • Marcus Garvey Cultural Center
  • Native American Student Services
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Resource Office
  • Women's Resource Center

Student housingEdit

The University of Northern Colorado has 17 student residence halls; twelve on Central Campus and five on West Campus. Additionally, the University offers apartment-style living at University Apartments (formerly known as Student Family Apartments) on the East Campus, and Arlington Park Apartments roughly one block east of West Campus and three blocks south of Central Campus.

Students have a variety of options when "claiming their space" on-campus. Options include, but are not limited to: same-gender communities for males and females, co-educational communities, and even co-educational rooms. Room options include everything from traditional suite-style rooms to fully furnished on-campus apartments.

There are also a variety of "living & learning communities" at UNC, including floors for elementary education majors, performing and visual arts majors, quiet lifestyles, GLBTA, leadership focused and healthy-living/wellness.

Radio stationEdit

UNC Student Radio (UNCSR) broadcasts 24/7 on the internet at or 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, currently operates from the basement of Davis House and streams to all the UNC dorms via cable TV channel 3.


Founded in February 1919, The Mirror is the student-operated newspaper of the University of Northern Colorado. It is published every Monday during the fall and spring semesters, and operates a website at Typically it is not published during school breaks (spring break, winter break, national holidays, etc.). The publication is funded by student fees as well as advertising for 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.


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Sports teams at the school are called Bears. Northern Colorado is currently in the fourth year of a four-year process of moving from NCAA’s Division II to Division I, Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) for football. 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 Jay Hinrichs.

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 Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. "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. The Bears have many athletes in the pros. The best known is probably Vincent Jackson, who 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 famous football alums for the school are: punter Dirk Johnson, safety Reed Doughty who plays for the Washington Redskins, defensive lineman Aaron Smith of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and over 10 others.

Before upgrading to NCAA Division I in 2006, UNC was a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference from 1923 to 1972. Joining the Great Plains Athletic Conference for four years (1972–76). Following several years of being conference independent, The University of Northern Colorado 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 10 appearances apiece.


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The bear is the mascot of the UNC. The bear officially became the mascot in 1923. Before the school adopted the bear as their mascot, athletes used the nickname the Teachers.[1] The bear was said to be inspired by a bear on top of an Alaskan totem pole donated by an 1897 alum 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 in the mascot that attends all the sports games. Klawz is the newest addition to the long line of Bears' mascots over the years at the University of Northern Colorado. He was recruited after Gunter Bear became exhausted from his duties and retired. Klawz made his first appearance in Nottingham Field on August 30, 2003 before the UNC football team opened their season against New Mexico Highlands.


Normal schoolEdit

Founded in 1889 as the State Normal School, Northern Colorado met a vital need to train qualified teachers in the growing state of Colorado, which was then less than 15 years old. More than a century and four name changes later, the institution has grown to become a Doctoral Research university. At Northern Colorado's centennial in 1989, only four universities in the U.S. surpassed it in the total number of teachers trained.Larson, Robert (1889). Shaping educational change: the first century of the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley. All current Northern Colorado programs are clustered around an institutional mission devoted to teacher education. Its early dedication to reaching the highest levels of educational excellence, coupled with the generation and dissemination of new pedagogical knowledge, earned Northern Colorado the name “Columbia of the West.”Larson, Robert (1889). Shaping educational change: the first century of the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley. In 1985, the Colorado Legislature took the unique step of designating Northern Colorado as “the primary institution for undergraduate and graduate teacher education in the state of Colorado.”[citation needed]

Monfort College of BusinessEdit

The Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado offers the only program of its kind in the Rocky Mountain region – focused exclusively on undergraduate business education and internationally accredited in business administration and accounting. One of five undergraduate-only programs in the United States to hold such accreditations, Monfort is the sole business school to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the Office of the President of the United States and the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Timberline Award from Colorado Performance Excellence, and the Program of Excellence Award from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. Students at Monfort score in the top 5% on nationwide standardized exit exams and earn a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting, computer information systems, finance, general business, management, or marketing.

School of MusicEdit

The University of Northern Colorado School of Music is one of the larger and more successful programs within the University and is well known in the region for its music education and Jazz Studies programs, as well as having one of the first full-scale music technology centers in the country. The award-winning Jazz Studies program, reared from infancy by Gene Aitken, is currently led by Grammy-nominated jazz composer/pianist Dana Landry. The program under Landry has received much acclaim in recent years. The Northern Colorado Jazz Lab I under his direction has received the Down Beat magazine award for best college big band in 2005 and 2006. It has also recently become one of a very limited number of schools in the world to offer a doctoral program in jazz, with their Doctor of Arts with an emphasis in Jazz Studies.

Notable alumniEdit

References Edit

  1. Various The Mirrors and Cache La Poudres
  2. "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.

Further readingEdit

  • 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 linksEdit

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