University celebrates years of tradition and excellence

2013 marks numerous anniversaries for the University of Nevada, Reno

University celebrates years of tradition and excellence

2013 marks numerous anniversaries for the University of Nevada, Reno

If you go into many of the University of Nevada, Reno's historical buildings, you can often find black and white photographs that highlight important moments in the campus history. From sporting events to students studying on the Quad, these photographs celebrate years of tradition, and this year, the University will observe many important anniversaries that honor these traditions.

Founding Father

"Mackay Madness," an Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) event, kicked off on Feb. 28, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mackay Day. The celebration has since grown into Mackay Week, and this year is celebrated with month-long activities that end March 30.

The event honors John William Mackay, who formed a partnership with James G. Fair, James C. Flood, and William S. O'Brien that became known as the Bonanza Firm, famed for developing the Comstock Lode. In 1908, the Mackay School of Mines was presented to the University of Nevada, Reno in Mackay's memory by his widow and his son.

Events for Mackay Madness include Mackay Mondays, free lunch every Monday at a secret location on campus; the Mackay Standoff, a competition to be the last girl touching Morrill Hall for a prize; and Steak and Steins, a steak dinner on the Quad complete with a live band.

Peavine Peak

The 100th anniversary of another student tradition is also celebrated this year. Each fall, University of Nevada, Reno students hike up Peavine Peak, a mountain just north of campus, to add a fresh coat of white paint to the 150-foot high, 140-foot wide block "N." Two junior surveying students in 1913, Clarke Webster and Harvey McPhail, chose the spot after McPhail suggested the idea to the student government.

On Sunday, March 13, 1913, many students trudged up the mountainside, working an entire week before it was finished. The students wanted to be sure it was finished before a Santa Clara track meet at Mackay Stadium on May 3.

Greek Life

Another anniversary celebrated in 2013 is the 100th year of the Theta Theta chapter of Delta Delta Delta. This chapter, previously known as Theta Epsilon, was the first Greek organization on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, founded in 1913.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has been Delta Delta Delta's national philanthropic partner since 1999. Last year their chapter alone raised $21,000 to donate to St. Jude.

Their favorite national tradition is the Delta House of Pancakes event. For 12 straight hours the girls serve pancakes at their house and one hundred percent of the proceeds go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The girls also host an annual charity softball tournament, Frats at Bat. Fraternities, university clubs and community members play in the tournament and all of the proceeds also go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act which led to the creation of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Cooperative Extension is the University's outreach college that works to develop research and resources to aid individuals in Nevada, and has offices in each county of the state. The college is the organizing division behind 4-H youth development programs, the Living with Fire homeowner's education program, and many others.

News and Music

Since the first show aired 50 years ago in 1963, KUNR has remained the University's National Public Radio station. KUNR is a listener-supported nonprofit station, licensed to the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education, and broadcasts classical music, jazz, national news and other cultural and community programming.

As KUNR reflects on their last 50 years they are also looking ahead to what is next and invite the public to be a voice in their future by participating in their 2013 community survey.


This year, on Nov. 15, the Fleischmann Planetarium, built by the Fleischmann Foundation, will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Max Fleischmann had established the foundation to honor his parents, Charles and Henriette, who both had connections to the University. Since Charles Fleischmann was a respected professor and inventor at the University, the Fleischmann foundation and the University felt the best way to honor Charles and Henriette was to build Nevada's first planetarium and the world's first atmospherium.

Raymond Hellmann, a famed Reno architect, was chosen as the lead architect for the building and designed the planetarium with a hyperbolic parabaloid roof, a roof that is shaped like a saddle and only supported at two different points. While the roof is four inches thick on average, in proportion to its area, it is thinner than an eggshell. The building was completed in October 1963 and held its official opening Nov. 15 that year. The opening ceremonies involved many local government and University officials who gave speeches, including Governor Grant Sawyer and University President Charles Armstrong.


This November will also serve as the 30th anniversary of Lawlor Events Center, which was completed in 1983 and has been the site of the Wolf Pack men's basketball home games ever since. The women's basketball team did not start playing there until the 1994-95 season. Named after Nevada's legendary coach and athletic director Glenn "Jake" Lawlor, the Events Center was built with grant money approved by the Nevada State Legislature in 1979.

Lawlor Events Center has been host to such sporting events as the Professional Bull Riding Association's Bullnanza and concerts such as Fleetwood Mac, Cher, Bette Midler, Metallica, Prince, Pavarotti, Tina Turner and Elton John.

Latest From

Nevada Today