Nebraska Wesleyan University

Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) is a private Methodist university in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was founded in 1887 by Nebraska Methodists. As of 2017, it has approximately 2,100 students including 1,500 full-time students[8] and 300 faculty and staff. The school teaches in the tradition of a liberal arts college education. The university has 119 undergraduate majors, minors, and pre-professional programs in addition to three graduate programs.

Nebraska Wesleyan
Religious affiliation
Endowment$35.7 million[2]
PresidentDr. Darrin Good [3]
Academic staff
107 Full-time and 209 Part-time[4]
Location, ,
United States
ColorsBlack & Gold
MascotPrairie Wolves


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 defining 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 Lincoln, Nebraska; 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.[9]


Nebraska Wesleyan athletic teams are known as the Prairie Wolves. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field and wrestling. Women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.

Formerly a dual member of both the NAIA and NCAA, Nebraska Wesleyan moved exclusively to the NCAA as part of its 2016 move to the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, now known as the American Rivers Conference.[10]

The football team played Pepperdine in the 1947 Will Rogers Bowl, the only postseason bowl appearance for either school.[11]

The men's basketball team won the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship, its first in men's basketball.[12]

Nebraska Wesleyan has been associated with four mascots in its history, featuring 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.

Greek Life

IFC Fraternities
Panhellenic Sororities

Notable alumni

See also


  1. NAICU – Member Directory Archived 2015-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  2. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  8. Reist, Margaret (October 4, 2017). "Nebraska Wesleyan to offer $15,000 scholarship to SCC transfer students". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  9. Dunker, Chris (April 4, 2017). "Wesleyan science building to be named for Duane Acklie". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  10. "Nebraska Wesleyan to Join Iowa Conference in 2016-17". Nebraska Wesleyan University. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  11. "Nebraska Wesleyan University All-Time Football Results" (PDF). Nebraska Wesleyan Prairie Wolves. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  12. "Nebraska Wesleyan wins 78-72 thriller over UW-Oshkosh for program's first DIII basketball title". Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  13. Academic Performance by Chapter. Nebraska Wesleyan University Retrieved June 4, 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. "Shawn Bouwens". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  15. "Nebraska Governor Ralph Gilmour Brooks". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  16. "CURTIS, Carl Thomas, (1905–2000)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  17. "GRISWOLD, Dwight Palmer, (1893–1954)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  18. Dunker, Chris (September 28, 2017). "How did a Nebraska university benefit from Playboy money and connections?". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  19. Korbelik, Jeff (February 8, 2011). "NWU graduate enjoying TV, stage and music success". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  20. "John N. Norton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  21. Klivans, Laura (December 15, 2014). "Six months in, new schools head Antwan Wilson pushing his 'roadmap' for a challenged district". Oakland North. Retrieved December 9, 2016.

Further reading

  • David H. Mickey, class of 1939, wrote Of Sunflowers, Coyotes and Plainsmen: A History of Nebraska Wesleyan University (1992).[1] 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.

  1. Mickey, David H. Of Sunflowers, Coyotes, and Plainsmen. Lincoln, Neb., Augstums Print, 1992.
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