University's birthday! Today is one of the most important days in University history as we turn 149-years-old.

Morrill Hall sits on the south end of the University of Nevada, Reno quad, a large lawn area surrounded by trees and a walking path.

University's birthday!

Today is one of the most important days in University history as we turn 149-years-old.

October 12, 2023

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

Today is one of the most important days in University history as we turn 149-years-old. On Oct. 12, 1874, after a weeks-long effort by D.R. Sessions, the University’s founding principal of the Preparatory Department of the University of Nevada to get the word out about the new institution through a series of advertisements in the state’s newspapers, the University officially opened its doors in Elko to seven students.

Today also marks the official “kickoff” of the University’s year-long 150th celebration. The University community has been planning a number of special events to make the coming year one that we will all remember and cherish.

Here is some information regarding the University’s sesquicentennial celebration:

Business Building groundbreaking and Bash/Clash events today: The University will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Business Building at the Mathewson Gateway Project site, on the corner of Ninth Street and University Way, beginning at 3 p.m. today to officially kick off our year-long sesquicentennial celebration. ASUN and the Nevada Alumni Association will hold the “150th Bash/UNLV Clash” pep rally on the Quad tonight from 6-8 o’clock. The gathering will feature music, giveaways, lawn games, food trucks and members of the Wolf Pack athletic teams.

Wolf Pack plays UNLV on Saturday: The Wolf Pack will meet UNLV on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Mackay Stadium to culminate the first week of sesquicentennial activities. The Mountain West Conference, which usually encourages rivalry games to be played at the end of the conference season, agreed to schedule this year’s rivalry game between the Wolf Pack and UNLV here in Reno just two days following our 149th birthday. Be sure to get your tickets soon!

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center: The Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center will be featuring three different 150th exhibitions throughout the celebration. A special shout-out to the Knowledge Center and its incredible staff for playing such a central role in the 150th celebration!

Anniversary Table Book: A University 150th anniversary table book that will be published by the University of Nevada Press and released in 2024; a screening of a 150th anniversary video that will be shared with the campus community in early 2024; an Indigenous Relations mural that is planned to be added to the Ansari Business Building in the near future.

University 150th anniversary license plates available: Nevada residents can order official license plates or souvenir plates (non-legal license plates for decoration) from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles with the special University sesquicentennial logo. These plates will only be available to purchase for one year. The 150th plates are available to all motorists in Nevada as charitable plates. The starting cost of the 150th plate for a sequential option is $61 as an initial fee and $30 for annual renewal. Fees increase for personalized options.

In addition to supporting the Wolf Pack with school spirit, these plates will benefit Pack Provisions. Pack Provisions is the on-campus food pantry that serves the University of Nevada, Reno community. Sequential plates are available in stock at Nevada DMV offices and personalized 150th plates can be ordered online through the DMV Personalized License Plate Availability Search webpage.

The Great98: License Plate Auction: The Ultimate showcase of Wolf Pack Pride, the Alumni Association is inviting alumni and supporters to become one of “The Great98.” The first 98 Sesquicentennial license plates are being made available for a fundraiser for need-based scholarships and Pack Provisions. Those who want a specific numbered plate can bid against each other in $100 increments or select a “buy it now” option. “The Great98” will go live on Monday, Oct. 23 at 9 a.m. and close on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.

Additional 150 resources include:

  • Find out more about the University’s long and distinguished history through this University timeline from University Libraries, as well as this interactive timeline on the University’s 150 celebration website.
  • University Libraries has also prepared a Sesquicentennial Resource Hub that includes event support, locating materials, printing and more.
  • A special 150th anniversary email signature is available to students, faculty and staff.

Be sure to use #WolfPack150 on social media throughout our yearlong celebration to share your images, stories and memories about the University, as well as pictures from the many 150 anniversary events!

I wish to also express my gratitude to the members of the Celebrate 150 Committee, who since last year have met regularly to establish a great deal of the framework involved with the planning of this year’s celebration. The members of the committee have been strong and enthusiastic advocates for coming together to commemorate this important time on our campus. Much of their work can be found on the Celebrate 150 website.

We’ve come a long way from D.R. Sessions’ newspaper advertisements of 149 years ago informing a new state about its new University. At the time, there was little certainty that the University opening its doors in Elko on Oct. 12, 1874 would survive. Today we are a thriving institution that represents the hopes, dreams and successes of all of Nevada. Thank you for all that you are doing in making this such a special place.

Happy birthday, University of Nevada!

Go Pack!

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval