The summer months are an ideal time to visit the University of Nevada, Reno campus: The trees, flowers and greenery on campus have bloomed to their full glory, the sun shimmers off Manzanita Lake, and the pace along the sidewalks and walkways has slowed way down. Here's a list of 10 lesser-known facts about this historic land-grant campus to help guide your summertime campus tour.
Morrill Hall was the first building constructed on campus when the University of Nevada, Reno moved from Elko to Reno in 1885. The hall housed the president's and registrar's offices, classrooms, a library, museum and living quarters for the groundskeeper.
The University Quadrangle
The giant elm trees that line this campus centerpiece were planted in 1908. In the university's infancy, underclassmen were strictly forbidden from stepping foot on the Quad. This has loosened over the years to allow all students, pets and the university's commencement ceremonies.
Dedicated in September 1997, Honor Court was built with the help of donated materials and labor from local contractors. Sierra white granite pillars and a tall obelisk feature the names of top students, staff, faculty and donors who have left indelible marks at the University. Names are added annually.
The Mackay Influence
A 7-foot, 8-inch statue of John Mackay, created by Gutzon Borglum, who later carved Mount Rushmore, has stood on the north end of the Quad since 1908. The family of John Mackay, an Irish immigrant who helped direct the extraction of more than $100 million in ore from two Virginia City mines in the mid-1870s, bequeathed the university more than $1.5 million for the Mackay School of Mines building, the Quad, an athletic field, land acquisitions and the Mackay Science Hall.
Swimming is no longer allowed in Manzanita Lake, but in the past was a recreational destination and played a large part in campus tradition. According to the Reno Evening Gazette, less than a year after Manzanita Lake was unveiled, the sophomore class woke the new freshmen, brought them to the lake, and proceeded to throw them in.
By the 1940s, Hollywood movie producers were using Manzanita Lake and the university's brick buildings as a setting for popular films, including "Mr. Belvedere Goes to College," with Shirley Temple; "Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble," with Mickey Rooney; and "Mother Is a Freshman," with Van Johnson.
The Frandsen Humanities Building, built in 1917-18 and considered one of the most picturesque buildings on campus, originally contained the College of Agriculture, and several agricultural and home economics laboratories. The building is named of honor of Peter "Bugs" Frandsen, a well-known biology professor whose career at Nevada spanned 40 years.
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
Completed in 2008, the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center is one of the most technologically advanced libraries in the country. The Mathewson Automated Retrieval System (MARS) is like a robotic librarian, giving students access to more than 1 million volumes.
J.E. Church Fine Arts
The Church Fine Arts Complex, which opened in 1962, is named for James Edward Church, a professor of Latin, German, classical art and history at the University of Nevada, Reno from 1892-1959. Church's development of the first snow surveying techniques and a system of analyzing avalanche hazards brought recognition to the school and the state.
Mackay Stadium Past and Present
Since the early 1900s, Nevada football teams have played in facilities named after University benefactor Clarence Mackay. Until the mid-1960s, Mackay Stadium was a small field located in the bowl that currently houses the Reynolds of Journalism. The modern Mackay Stadium was completed in 1967 with a seating capacity of 7,500. Today, the stadium has a capacity of 29,993.