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Nebraska Wesleyan University

Nebraska Wesleyan University is a private, coeducational university located in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. It was founded in 1887 by Nebraska Methodists. As of 2007, it has 1,600 full-time students and 300 faculty and staff.


5000 St Paul Ave


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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Methodist Church
Campus Housing
Brown Gold
Summit League

College History


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, 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). Nebraska Wesleyan offered a Master of Arts degree until 1937. The University currently has 48 majors and 39 minors. It also offers graduate programs: a Master of Science in Nursing developed in 2000, a Master of Forensic Science degree first offered in 2001 and a Master of Arts in Historical Studies degree, whose first class graduated on May 19, 2007. Nebraska Wesleyan has been associated with four emblems 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 of brown and gold are a tribute to the first emblem. A fire on November 17, 2006, at the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house killed 1 brother and sent 3 others to the hospital in critical condition. The Lincoln Police later cited 2 men and arrested 1 other on hazing charges as well as illegal possession of fireworks, although not in connection with this fire, resulting in suspension of the fraternity from campus for two to four years. Phi Kappa Tau has returned to Nebraska Wesleyan University in Fall 2011

College Specialty


Nebraska Wesleyan University is an academic community dedicated to intellectual and personal growth within the context of a liberal arts education and in an environment of Christian concern.Nebraska Wesleyan was founded by Nebraska Methodists and actively maintains its relation to The United Methodist Church. The University reflects the Judeo Christian tradition in its efforts to integrate questions about meaning and value with the pursuit of learning and understanding.The University is committed to excellence of academic endeavor and to learning as a lifelong process. The curricula and programs are designed to assist students in gaining and expanding knowledge and skills, in developing their competence in rational thought and communication, in broadening their perspectives on humanity and culture, and in enhancing their spiritual, physical, emotional, and aesthetic resources.Nebraska Wesleyan intends that its students develop a sense of individual worth and become useful and serving members of the human community.



Brenda Bence - author, senior executive coach and branding expert Shawn Bouwens - professional football player for the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, and Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchises Ralph G. Brooks - 29th Governor of Nebraska Donald Carlyon - former president Delta College (Michigan) Carl Curtis - former United States Senator John R. Dunning - physicist and key player in the Manhattan Project Betty Meisinger Dyer - Philanthropist Mignon Eberhart - mystery novelist Rick Evans - singer and guitarist, writer of the hit In the Year 2525 as part of the group Zager and Evans Ted Genoways - poet and Virginia Quarterly Review editor John M. Gerrard - current Nebraska State Supreme Court Justice Gene V Glass - Regents' Professor, Arizona State University, author, social scientist Dwight Griswold - former United States Senator and Governor of Nebraska Kent Haruf - novelist Glenn & Grace Hefner - parents of Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine Harry Huge - international lawyer Lew Hunter - screenwriter and Chair Emeritus of the UCLA Film Department Emily Kinney (2006) - television and theater actress (The Walking Dead) Paul D. Knox - Brigadier General, North Dakota Air National Guard Lowen Kruse - minister and current Nebraska state senator L. Jay Lemons - current president of Susquehanna University James Moeller - jurist and former Vice Chief Justice, Arizona State Supreme Court James Munkres - Mathematician Orville Nave - author of Nave's Topical Bible John N. Norton - former United States Representative Marian Heiss Price - former Nebraska state senator Robert Reed - Science fiction writer Ed Schrock - former Nebraska state senator Coleen Seng - mayor of Lincoln 2003-2007 Dwight Starkey - comedian W. Robert Thurber - physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology Edwin R. Williams - physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology