Organization:Nebraska Wesleyan University

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Short description: University in Lincoln, Nebraska
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Nw old main.jpg
TypePrivate university
  • NAICU[1]
  • Annapolis Group
Religious affiliation
United Methodist
Endowment$56.35 million[2]
PresidentDarrin Good [3]
Academic staff
104 Full-time and 91 Part-time[4]
United States
Black & Gold
NicknamePrairie Wolves
MascotPrairie Wolf

Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) is a private Methodist-affiliated university in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was founded in 1887 by Nebraska Methodists. As of 2017, it had approximately 2,100 students including 1,500 full-time students[5] and 300 faculty and staff. The university has 119 undergraduate majors, minors, and pre-professional programs in addition to three graduate programs.


Chartered on January 20, 1887, Nebraska Wesleyan University had an initial enrollment of 96. The initial teaching and administrative staff at this time totaled eight, including the chancellor.

In September 1887, the cornerstone was laid for Old Main, which became the central building of the campus. Still with no stairways, windows, or flooring on some floors, classes began in September 1888. The first graduating class was four women in 1890. The second graduating class, in 1891, was made up of four men. Nebraska Wesleyan received accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1914.

The school is located in the former town of University Place, Nebraska. Today, it is part of northeast Lincoln, Nebraska;[6] the surrounding neighborhood is a historic residential and shopping area of Lincoln.

Early on, Nebraska Wesleyan was a college of liberal arts; schools of art, business and education; a music conservatory; an academy (high school) also comprising an elementary school and kindergarten. The high school was discontinued in 1931, and the primary schools in 1941 (grade school) and 1942 (kindergarten).

Construction of the Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science began in 2017 with completion in 2019. It was the first new academic building in University Place in three decades.[7]


The Nebraska Wesleyan athletic teams are called the Prairie Wolves.[8] The university is a member of the NCAA Division III ranks, primarily competing in the American Rivers Conference (ARC; formerly known as the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) since the 2016–17 academic year.[9] The Prairie Wolves previously competed in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1969–70 to 2015–16; as well as an NCAA D-III Independent while holding dual affiliation membership with the NAIA and the NCAA from 1982 to 2016.

Nebraska Wesleyan competes in 21 intercollegiate varsity sports. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field and wrestling. Women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, golf, soccer, swimming, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball. Former sports included women's bowling.


Nebraska Wesleyan has been associated with four mascots in its history, the Sunflower (1894–1907), the Coyote (1907–1933), the Plainsman (1933–2000), and the Prairie Wolf (2000–present). The school colors are black and gold.[8]

Athletic facilities

Nebraska Wesleyan's athletic facilities include Abel Stadium, which seats approximately 2,500 people and is used for college football, soccer and other events, and Snyder Arena, which seats 2,350 and is used for basketball and volleyball.[10]


The men's golf team won the 2006 NCAA Division III National Championship,[11] its first in men's golf. The Prairie Wolves won by 10 strokes over the University of Redlands. The men's golf team has also won 35 conference championships; with back to back championships in 2018 and 2019.[12]

The men's basketball team won the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship, its first in men's basketball.[13]

Greek life

IFC Fraternities
  • Phi Kappa Tau
  • Theta Chi
  • Zeta Psi
Panhellenic Sororities
  • Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Delta Zeta
  • Willard[14]

Notable alumni

  • Kate Bolz – USDA State Director of Rural Development for Nebraska, former Nebraska State Senator, 2020 Democratic nominee for Nebraska's 1st Congressional District[15]
  • Shawn Bouwens – professional football player for NFL's New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, and Jacksonville Jaguars[16]
  • Ralph G. Brooks – 29th Governor of Nebraska[17]
  • Carl T. Curtis – former United States Senator[18]
  • Sandy Dennis – Oscar-winning actress
  • John R. Dunning – physicist and key player in the Manhattan Project
  • Mignon Eberhart – mystery novelist
  • Rick Evans – singer and guitarist, writer of hit "In the Year 2525" as part of group Zager and Evans
  • Ted Genoways – poet and former Virginia Quarterly Review editor
  • John M. Gerrard – current Judge for the Federal District of Nebraska and former Associate Justice on the Nebraska State Supreme Court[19]
  • Gene V Glass – Regents' Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, author, social scientist
  • Dwight Griswold – former United States Senator and Governor of Nebraska[20]
  • Mary Lou Harkness – university library director
  • Kent Haruf – novelist
  • Glenn Hefner – father of Hugh Hefner, former accountant and treasurer for Playboy[21]
  • Robert Hilkemann – Nebraska State Senator
  • Harry Huge – international lawyer
  • Lew Hunter – screenwriter and Chair Emeritus of UCLA Film Department
  • Emily Kinney – television and theater actress (The Walking Dead)[22]
  • Lowen Kruse – minister and former Nebraska State Senator
  • Jason Licht – general manager of NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • James Moeller – former Vice Chief Justice, Arizona State Supreme Court
  • Bess Gearhart Morrison – Chautauqua speaker
  • James MunkresProfessor Emeritus of Mathematics at MIT
  • Orville Nave – author of Nave's Topical Bible
  • John N. Norton – former United States Representative[23]
  • Marian Heiss Price – former Nebraska State Senator
  • Robert Reed – science-fiction writer
  • Ed Schrock – former Nebraska State Senator
  • Coleen Seng – former Mayor of Lincoln, 2003–2007
  • Warren K. Urbom – former Chief Judge for the Federal District of Nebraska[24]
  • Antwan Wilson – former Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, California,[25] and Chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools[26]

See also

  • Alice Abel Arboretum


  1. "NAICU - Membership". Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. 
  2. As of June 30, 2017. "All U.S. and Canadian NCSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2017 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY2016 to FY2017". 2017 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. 
  3. "Darrin S. Good | Nebraska Wesleyan University". 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "College Navigator - Nebraska Wesleyan University". 
  5. Reist, Margaret (4 October 2017). "Nebraska Wesleyan to offer $15,000 scholarship to SCC transfer students". Lincoln Journal Star. 
  6. Dunker, Chris. "State Department grant to boost Nebraska Wesleyan's study-abroad programs" (in en). 
  7. Dunker, Chris (4 April 2017). "Wesleyan science building to be named for Duane Acklie". Lincoln Journal Star. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Davis, Jerry (2016-09-26). "The Other Wesleyans" (in en). 
  9. "Nebraska Wesleyan to Join Iowa Conference in 2016-17". 
  10. "Athletic Facilities". Nebraska Wesleyan University. 
  11. "DIII Men's Golf Championship History |" (in en). 
  12. "Men's Golf History". 
  13. "Nebraska Wesleyan wins 78-72 thriller over UW-Oshkosh for program's first DIII basketball title". 
  14. "Academic Performance by Chapter | Nebraska Wesleyan University". Nebraska Wesleyan University. 
  15. "Former Nebraska lawmaker will serve as Rural Development director" (in en). 
  16. "Shawn Bouwens". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. 
  17. "Nebraska Governor Ralph Gilmour Brooks". National Governors Association. 
  18. "CURTIS, Carl Thomas, (1905–2000)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  19. "Gerrard, John M. | District of Nebraska | United States District Court". 
  20. "GRISWOLD, Dwight Palmer, (1893–1954)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  21. Dunker, Chris (30 Sep 2017). "How did a Nebraska university benefit from Playboy money and connections?". 
  22. Korbelik, Jeff (2011-02-08). "NWU graduate enjoying TV, stage and music success". Lincoln Journal Star. 
  23. "John N. Norton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  24. "Urbom, Warren Keith | District of Nebraska | United States District Court". 
  25. Klivans, Laura (December 15, 2014). "Six months in, new schools head Antwan Wilson pushing his 'roadmap' for a challenged district". Oakland North. 
  26. "D.C. Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson Resigns After School-Transfer Scandal" (in en). 

Further reading

  • David H. Mickey, class of 1939, wrote Of Sunflowers, Coyotes and Plainsmen: A History of Nebraska Wesleyan University (1992). Its three volumes cover inception to 1987. Volume One describes how the university began and tracks its progress to 1921. The second volume covers the years 1921–1946 and the third volume encompasses 1946–1987.

External links

[ ⚑ ] 40°50′21″N 96°39′03″W / 40.83925°N 96.65095°W / 40.83925; -96.65095