Early History of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)

On September 10th 1957, the first classes were held on the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) campus in a new 13,000-square-foot building; serving a growing post-war population in need of higher education services. The university started as an extension program from the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) back in 1951. It gained independence from Reno and was given equal status in 1968. During this time it acquired the Rebel name and mascot from the students as they sought to break away.
As demand for more classes grew, construction of new facilities boomed including a physical education and health center, a science and technology building, a classroom building named for regent Archie C. Grant, and the James R. Dickinson Library. Today UNLV’s enrollment is more than 31,00 students and is one of the most diverse campuses in the nation reflecting the southern Nevadan community.

Here are a few early photographs of UNLV from our William D. and Marian Carlson Collection.

Dedication of Frazier Hall at UNLV in honor of Maude Frazier (seated). At the podium is Archie Grant, then Chairman of the Board of Regents.
Dedication of Frazier Hall at UNLV in honor of Maude Frazier (seated). At the podium is Archie Grant, then Chairman of the Board of Regents.
Aerial view of the UNLV campus 1960
Aerial view of the UNLV campus 1960
cornerstone ceremony for first UNLV building in 1957
Cornerstone ceremony for first UNLV building in 1957