The University of Northern Colorado ( UNC ) is a public baccalaureate and graduate research university with approximately 12,000 students and six colleges. Founded in 1889, the university’s main campus is located in Greeley, Colorado, about an hour north of Denver, with extended campus locations in Loveland, Denver, and Colorado Springs.

Established as the State Normal School of Colorado, the university has a long history in teacher education, and was an early innovator in the field. In addition to education awards and rankings, UNC claims nationally ranked programs in business, performing and visual arts, nursing, and sports and exercise science. UNC’s 19 athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I athletics.


From Normal School to University

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.

The university 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. Greeley's citizens raised the money for the first building.

In 1911 the school's name was changed to Colorado State Teachers College and two years later, in 1913, graduate courses were added to the school’s curriculum, leading to a name change in 1935, when the school became the Colorado State College of Education .

The school continues to grow, and in 1957 the name was shortened to Colorado State College to reflect the wider range of programs and degrees. Finally, in 1970 the name was changed to the current University of Northern Colorado .

Teaching in its DNA

Dr. Zachariah Xenophon Snyder arrived at the fledgling university in 1891. He studied and implemented the principles of American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey by advancing the ideals of a "child-centered education." He established Colorado’s first kindergarten, and Laura Tefft, from the famous Foebel-Pestalozzo Kindergarten School in Berlin, organized the innovative school. An early photograph shows young children playing on a playground located on campus. While playgrounds are now an everyday sight at primary schools, they were considered an innovation at the time. One of the Normal School’s first master’s theses explored the national playground movement.

Historic Challenges

In 1913, President Snyder established a graduate school at CSCE. After his death in 1915, President John Grant Crabbe saw the university through World War I and the Spanish influenza epidemic. He met financial challenges by contracting with the War Department to initiate the Student Army Training Corps (SATC), housing and educating active service men. Influenza fears fueled a call for closures of universities, but Crabbe kept classes in session while the school was quarantined, keeping student from traveling home and almost certain risk of exposure. No lives were lost on campus. He remained at the university until his death in 1924 at the age of 58.

Scholars Who Teach

George W. Frasier was the university’s president from 1924 to 1948. The Graduate School was created in 1930.

Frasier emphasized teachers who are also scholars, which is still a hallmark of the university. "…faculty members were not only expected to make professional contributions but were to concentrate on their teaching responsibilities as well; everyone taught classes, including Frasier, his administrative staff, and the chairs of the departments." [2]

During World War II, the university operated an army air force clerical training school for more than 4,000 men. Frasier consulted for the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the college conducted a cattle-feeding operation to provide meat for students and Air Force trainees. [2]

In 1942, as Japanese Americans were imprisoned at the Granada Relocation Center in Lamar, Colorado (part of the US’s controversial policy of relocating some 110,000 Japanese Americans) the university offered interns the opportunity to earn student teaching credit.

From Teachers to Bears

It was during President Frasier’s tenure that students adopted the university mascot—a bear—as a replacement to the previous mascot name, the "Teachers." [2]

Expanding Beyond Teaching

The university’s origins as an educator of educators has remained integral to its success, but the university’s offerings expanded. During the mid-1960s, the school ranked eighth in the number of graduate degrees in education conferred. The School of Nursing was established during President William Ross’s tenure, as was an Air Force ROTC program designed to attract more male students. The School of Business was created in 1968. One-fifth of students majored in business, nursing or a liberal arts or non-education area. [2]

A New Name

In 1970, Colorado State College became the University of Northern Colorado. The university’s library was named for UNC alum and former teacher James A. Michener, 1948 Pulitzer Prize winner. [2]

A Century and Beyond

In the early 1980s, the university focused growth on four areas: teacher education, business, music and the nursing and health professions.

In 1986, UNC’s Vocal Jazz I group became the first college vocal group to receive a Grammy nomination. School of Music faculty have been nominated for five Grammy awards, and have won four. [2]

In 1992, UNC inaugurated its ninth president and first Hispanic president, Herman Luján. During his tenure, the campus landscape changed with new construction, including a new campus recreation center, Nottingham Field, and the renovation of Gunter Hall. [2]

In 2002, Kay Norton became the 12th president and the first woman to serve in the position. She leads UNC in developing innovate and organizational strategies, emphasizing the need for the university to take charge of its future in the face of regulatory, financial and social changes. [2]

In 2014, UNC celebrated its 125th birthday.


Academic profile

By enrollment, The University of Northern Colorado is the fifth largest university in Colorado. It had a fall 2015 enrollment of 9,394 undergraduate students and 2,542 graduate students for a total of 11,936 students. [2] 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 63% female and 37% male. 23% of students identified themselves as "minorities." Typically, 96% of undergraduates are employed or attending graduate school one year after graduating from the university. [6]

At a Glance [8]

106 undergraduate programs

120 graduate programs

60 percent of courses have fewer than 30 students

Nearly 36 percent of undergraduates are first in their family to attend college.

77 percent of UNC undergraduate students are employed or attending graduate school one year after graduating, and 87 percent of graduate students are employed or furthering graduate education one year after graduating.

In 2014, UNC undergraduates came from 47 states and 34 countries; graduate students came from 49 states and 21 countries.

Top Majors by Enrollment:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies (includes early childhood, liberal arts, student designed majors, elementary teaching)
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
  • Biology Sport and Exercise Science

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 freshmen and transfer students before they declare a major. Within each college are several schools that administer the academic programs.

University Rankings, Awards and Recognition

UNC is one of 240 U.S. colleges and universities receiving Community Engagement Classification from The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

  • Bronze Bike Friendly University (League of American Bicyclists)
  • Tree Campus USA (Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota)
  • Environmental Stewardship Award (City of Greeley)
  • UNC’s Sport Administration graduate program is one of only two U.S. ranked in the top five worldwide by the leading publication covering the international sport business community. [CITE SportBusiness International magazine]
  • UNC’s online graduate programs in education ranked eighth in the nation
  • UNC is ranked 12th for “Colleges with Psychology at Their Core” and 44th among top U.S. Colleges & Universities for Teaching Education. [9]
  • 43rd from among several thousand four-year colleges that offer online degree programs.
  • With a 3.59 team GPA, UNC swimmers and divers are ranked 5th nationally.
  • The University Orchestra has been named the top university orchestra in the U.S. seven times.
  • UNC’s Rehabilitation Counseling program ranked 15th nationally.
  • UNC is one of only three universities in Colorado to hold the Community Engagement Classification designation from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • Among U.S. undergraduate-only Physics programs, UNC ranks in the top 35 for the largest number of bachelor's degrees granted.
  • University Orchestra has been named the top university orchestra in the U.S. seven times in the past 10 years
  • Nearly one-third of the winners of the Colorado Department of Education's Teacher of the Year award are UNC graduates.
  • School of the Year
  • Regional School of the Year (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004 and 2010) The Intermountain Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls.
  • UNC leads the state in teacher employment and has more students enrolled in Science Licensure programs than any other Colorado institution (CCHE, 2013).
  • For eight consecutive years, UNC's chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, has been named an Honor Chapter for its outstanding activities.
  • UNC’s Instructional Services Department of University Libraries has been recognized as one of five university library programs nationally that illustrates best practices in pedagogy.
  • 2015 Military Friendly School. [5]
  • UNC’s Sport Administration graduate program earned a top five worldwide ranking [ SportBusiness International Magazine ]
  • Recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Award. [5]

Accreditation and Certification

  • American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
  • National University Continuing Education Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Colorado Department of Education
  • Colorado State Board of Accountancy
  • Colorado State Board of Nursing
  • CAATE: Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Council for Education of the Deaf
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Council on Rehabilitation Education
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association for Sport and Physical Education/North American Society for Sport Management
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Society for Public Health Education

UNC holds membership to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities, the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States, Project 30 Alliance, the Western Association of Graduate Schools, the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, Colorado Thirty Group and other educational organizations.

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Departments and Programs [5]

  • American Sign language—English Interpretation
  • Applied Stats and Research Methods
  • Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Early Childhood
  • Department of Leadership, Policy and Development: Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership
  • Educational Leadership
  • Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership
  • Educational Technology
  • Elementary Education
  • Graduate CLD (ESL) Programs
  • K-12 PTEP
  • Professional Counseling [5]
  • Psychology
  • Reading
  • School Psychology
  • Secondary PTEP
  • Special Education


College Facts, Rankings and Awards

  • UNC leads the state in teacher employment and has more students enrolled in Science Licensure programs than any other Colorado institution (CCHE, 2013).
  • Nearly one-third of the winners of the Colorado Department of Education's Teacher of the Year award are UNC graduates. [5]
  • UNC’s Center for Urban Education earned a national award from the University Continuing Education Association for originality and contribution to the field.
  • In 2007, the college won the prestigious Crista McAuliffe Award for Exemplary Programs in Teacher Education.
  • In 2009, the Colorado Legislature located the Educational Innovation Institute at UNC.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranked multiple programs at the University of Northern Colorado among the top 15 in the country. Rehabilitation Counseling (15th) and online education programs (13th) are recognized in the 2016 edition of the Best Graduate Schools lists. [5]
  • For the third straight year, UNC's online graduate education programs ranks among the nation's best. U.S. News & World Report arrived at its rankings by evaluating the programs' student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, admissions selectivity, and reputation among peers.
  • The Physics Teacher Education Coalition awarded a $320,000 grant to the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado School of Mines to develop their collaborative teacher preparation program into a national model. The joint program, announced last year in response to a U.S. presidential goal to prepare 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade, is among four programs selected out of 17 submitted from across the country.
  • UNC offers more than 50 programs that lead to education licensure.

Institutions and Centers

  • Center for Urban Education
  • Bresnahan Halstead/Kephart Centers
  • Tointon Institute for Education Change
  • Teaching with Primary Sources
  • Center for Gifted and Talented
  • Distance Opportunities for Interpreter Training Center (DO IT)
  • Psychological Services Clinic


  • American Psychological Association
  • Colorado Commission on Higher Education
  • Colorado Department of Education
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • National Association for School Psychology
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Departments and Programs

  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • School of Communication: Communication Studies, Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics
  • English
  • Gender Studies
  • Geography & GIS
  • Hispanic Studies
  • History
  • Modern Languages; Asian Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science & International Affairs
  • Social Science
  • Sociology

College Facts, Rankings and Awards

  • UNC sponsors the annual Rosenberry Writers' Conference, which features appearances by best-selling authors.
  • The Africana Studies program at UNC is one of the few programs across the country that has both a major and a minor in Africana Studies. The program, nearly 50 years old, also offers a major in secondary education teaching for students interested in teaching social studies at the middle or high school level.
  • Professor of Africana Studies Dr. George Junne was chosen as a Summer Visiting Professor at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Ten HSS faculty are Fulbright scholars.
  • Students learn cartography and address social issues using UNC’s state-of-the-art Geographic Information Science Laboratory.
  • History major Owen Volzke received a 2013 Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award. Only 15 of these prestigious awards recognizing academic excellence in the study of American history are awarded nationally each year.
  • Thomas Endres, director of the University of Northern Colorado's School of Communication received the Rocky Mountain Communication Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) partnered with 25 school districts on the Navajo Nation to coordinate a five-year grant program from the US Department of Education, entitled "Presidential Academy in American History and Civics Education."

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Departments and Programs

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Human Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality
  • Sport and Exercise Science

College Facts, Rankings and Awards

  • The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry introduced a new program in Brewing Laboratory Science, designed to teach students the skills needed to work in the brewing industry as QA/QC specialists.
  • The University of Northern Colorado's National Institute for Nursing Education & Scholarship (NINES) impacts and facilitates scholarly resources and leadership for health professions education.
  • UNC’s Sport Administration graduate program earned a top 5 worldwide ranking from the leading publication covering the international sport business community.
  • Among U.S. undergraduate-only Physics programs, UNC ranks in the top 35 for the largest number of bachelor's degrees granted (American Institute of Physics).


  • National Institute for Nursing Education & Scholarship (NINES)
  • Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute
  • Sport Marketing Research Institute

College of Performing and Visual Arts

Schools and Programs

  • School of Art and Design
    • Art Education
    • Art History
    • Ceramics
    • Computer Graphics
    • Drawing
    • Fibers
    • Graphic Design
    • Jewelry
    • Painting
    • Photo Imaging
    • Printmaking
    • Sculpture
  • School of Music
    • Jazz Studies
    • Keyboard
    • Music Education
    • String
    • Vocal
    • Wind and Percussion
  • School of Theatre Arts and Dance
    • Performance Studies/Acting
    • Theatre Education
    • Theatre Studies
    • Dance
    • Musical Theatre
    • Design & Technology

College Facts, Rankings and Awards

  • UNC’s Jazz program has received more than 100 DownBeat Magazine awards.
  • Through a National Endowment for the Arts grant, UNC’s Center for Integrated Arts Education facilitates the Arts Education Leadership Institute: An Interchange of Traditional and Contemporary Arts and Culture.
  • University Orchestra named the top university orchestra in the U.S. seven times.
  • The School of Theatre Arts and Dance was named a Colorado Program of Excellence by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.
  • Five faculty have performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City; 21 UNC graduates have performed on Broadway.

Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business


  • Accounting
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Finance
  • General Business
  • Management
  • Marketing

Programs, Institutes and Centers

  • Financial Education Center
  • Monfort Executive Professor Program
  • Small Business Development Center/UNC BizHub Collaborative
  • Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative

College Facts, Rankings and Awards

  • UNC's Monfort College of Business is the first and only business program in the U.S. to receive a presidential award for excellence, the Baldrige National Quality Award
  • UNC was the first public university in Colorado accredited in both business and accounting.
  • A team of six University of Northern Colorado business students took third place, finishing as the top team in the state, at the Daniels Fund 2015 Ethics Consortium Case Competition April 23–24 in Denver.
  • A four-member team from the University of Northern Colorado's Monfort College of Business took first place and collected a $2,000 cash prize during an ethics competition at Kansas State University
  • Graduating business majors have scored in the top 4 to 10 percent on nationwide standardized exit exams.
  • MCB is accredited by AACSB International ( Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in both business and accounting—the "gold standard" for accreditation.
  • In 2011, the Student and Foundation Fund (SAFF) class won first place in the Undergraduate Core Student Funds category at the Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) forum, competing against students from 24 countries.


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. [10] 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 Turned 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

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.

Points of interest

Hi Bridge: Located between Gunter and Gray Hall, this bridge was a gift from the 1940 senior class. The bridge established the tradition that any who crossed the bridge, friend or stranger, were to greet each other with a cordial “Hi”. [.]

Norton Theater: This is a black box “theatre in the round” which generally consists of a simple, somewhat unadorned performance space, with black walls, and a flat floor with seating around the stage. Many of the Theatre Department’s productions are performed here. Norton Theatre is also used each summer by the Little Theatre of the Rockies, the School of Theatre Arts and Dances professional summer stock program.

Garden Theater: The Garden Theatre is an open stage located on Central Campus and hosts many events throughout the year, including concerts and ceremonies. During the summer, the College of Performing and Visual Arts holds their annual concerts Under the Stars there, and UNC’s award-winning jazz program sometimes holds impromptu performances here.

Northern Vision sculpture: This 12-foot high bronze sculpture of a towering bear, located just outside the University Center, was donated by Loveland, Colorado artist Dawn Weimer. A beloved landmark, this bear has appeared in many photos with UNC students since its installment in April, 2004.

Stonehinge: North of Gunter Hall, there are a series of benches—in the shapes of hinges—arranged in a circle. The artwork was installed in 1999. Created by artist Barry Rose, the installation is titled “A Place in Time.” The piece explores the passage of time; short term time as the shadow of the central 10’ bronze hingepin moves across the face of the 45-foot diameter informal sundial; long term time in the allusion to Stonehenge (hence, stonehinge) an ancient cosmic timepiece.”

Gunter Bells: Gunter Hall, built in 1917, is home to the university’s college of Natural and Health Sciences. Generations of UNC students—since at least 1928—walked campus to the sound of the Westminster chimes that rang from the campus landmark. When the bells were silenced in 1986 due to age and mechanical difficulties, a heartfelt grassroots campaign called “Bucks for Bells” brought $1 contributions from students, faculty, alumni and community members. The bells rang out again October 17, 1987 and have continued – from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. – to chime every quarter-hour since.

Gunter photo gallery and uniforms: Within Gunter Hall you’ll find artifacts and photographs that reflect the building’s former use as UNC’s athletic building. The building housed two gymnasiums and a pool. When the building was refurbished and renovated, center court of the old gymnasium was left intact and visible to students passing by on the way to classes.

The Oldest Tree: A silver maple tree, planted south of Lujan Hall in the 1890s, is the oldest and largest tree on campus. Designated a Tree Campus USA, UNC’s 250-acre campus boasts approximately 3,700 trees, and features three one-hour, self-guided tree tours.

President Ross’s Sculpture: In the lobby of Ross Hall, on West Campus, you’ll see the bronze bust of UNC’s fifth president, William R. Ross. Born on a ranch near Fort Collins, Colorado, Ross served from 1948 to 1964. Students passing the bronze sculpture give President Ross’s head a rub for good luck on finals.

Permaculture Garden: Located outside Ross Hall (which houses the sustainable studies program), this demonstration garden is funded by the Student “LEAF” (Leadership for Environmental Action Fund) organization. It includes greenhouses, keyhole gardens, a spiral herb garden, espaliered fruit trees, and vegetable gardens.

Disc Golf: Located on West Campus, this public 9-hole course begins near Butler-Hancock and finishes near Candelaria Hall. Course maps and score cards are available at the Campus Recreation Center, and discs (drivers and putters) are available to rent there as well. This par 27 course was designed by a UNC student and modified by the Recreation Center and is managed by UNC Facilities Management; the baskets were donated by the city of Greeley, which also has three city-managed disc golf courses.

Mural in Candelaria: Candelaria Hall, which is the primary home of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, was built in 1973 and named after UNC Spanish Professor Martin Candelaria. A special feature of Candelaria Hall is the mural painted by Colorado artist and teacher, Leo Tanguma, and 19 UNC students. Encircling the north stairway, the mural depicts the life and times of Dr. Candelaria.

Totem Teddy Display: In 1914, the university received a totem pole from alumnus Andrew Thompson. Beloved by students and given the name “Totem Teddy,” the top of the Alaskan Totem featured a carved bear, which led to the university’s Bear mascot. The totem pole was repatriated to its home with the Tlingit tribe of Angoon, Alaska in 2004. The totem’s story and journey is chronicled in a display on the top floor of the University Center in the Fireside Lounge and available .

Libraries and collections

Michener Library

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. 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

The Howard M. Skinner Music Library specializes in curricular support of the School of Music and Musical Theatre Programs but is open to everyone. Here you’ll find more than 100,000 scores, books, periodicals, and recordings, housed in a state-of-the-art 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

This digital online repository service offered by the University 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 cohesive and sustainable 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 currently has about 35,000 specimens, about 10,000 of which are backlogged (not mounted and filed). Over the past eight 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. Our facilities currently provide storage capacity for about 65,000 specimens.

Southern Rocky Mountain Reference Collection (SRMRC)

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 currently has over 2,200 taxa and is expanding continuously.

Art collections

Created in 1972 to show a variety of art exhibits. Located in Guggenheim Hall, Room 100.

Focuses on undergraduate and graduate student work. Located in Crabbe Hall, Room 201.

The Lydia Ruyle Room of Women’s Art

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

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. 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 trustees

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


Student life

Greek life

Traditional sororities

Traditional fraternities

Multicultural sororities

Multicultural fraternities

Cultural centers

  • 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 housing

The university has 17 student residence halls; 12 on Central Campus and five on West Campus. Additionally, the University offers student housing on East Campus through the University Apartments (formerly known as Student Family Apartments), and the 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.

  • West Campus Residence Halls
    • Harrison Hall
    • Lawrenson Hall
    • North Hall
    • South Hall
    • Turner Hall
  • Central Campus Residence Halls
    • Belford Hall
    • Bond Hall (Presidents Row)
    • Brown Hall (Presidents Row)
    • Decker Hall
    • Dickeson Hall (Presidents Row)
    • Gordon Hall
    • Hansen-Willis Hall
    • Lujan Hall (Presidents Row)
    • Sabin Hall
    • Snyder Hall
    • Wiebking Hall
    • Wilson Hall

When choosing 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

UNC Student Radio (UNCSR) broadcasts 24/7 on the internet at . 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.


Founded in February 1919, The Mirror is the student-operated newspaper. It is published every Monday during the fall and spring semesters, and operates a website at . 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.


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 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 alumni 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 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. 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.


The bear became UNC's mascot in 1923. Before the school adopted the bear, athletes used the nickname the Teachers. 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 the sports games. 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