In March 1903, the Nebraska Legislature appropriated $50,000 to build a normal school in western Nebraska, touching off a heated competition among several communities wanting to be selected. The debate and ballots – 111 of them – made history. The last vote brought the Nebraska State Normal School to Kearney.
Jump ahead to September 1905 – 111 years ago – when new Normal School president A.O. Thomas took over fall classes in the new Administration Building. It had temporary stairs, lacked window glass, and required steam engines to deliver heat until the heating plant was completed.
Could the Nebraska Legislature and president Thomas know that nearly 85 years later, in 1989, another historic legislative battle would erupt over the fate of then-Kearney State College, to become part of the University of Nebraska?
The year 2016 brings us to historic benchmarks – 111 years since the institution’s founding, and 25 years since becoming University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Chancellor Doug Kristensen has invited alumni, community members, faculty, staff and students, and all Nebraskans, to celebrate throughout 2016. The year-long series of events began in March to share the wide-ranging and rich history of what we now know as University of Nebraska at Kearney. The events are documented here in photos and videos
Do you have a memory or reflection on UNK’s history? Leave it below.