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Welcome to the University Archives Frequently Asked Questions page. This page addresses several reference questions regarding the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Click on a hyperlink below to access a photo, image or more information regarding a particular topic.

Q. What was the original mascot for the University? 
A.  The original mascot for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) was “Beauregard.” This mascot was created in 1957.  It was a wolf dressed in what looked like a Confederate Civil War uniform.

Q. Why was “Beauregard” dressed in a Civil War uniform?
A. “Beauregard” was dressed in a Civil War uniform because of the north south rivalry between the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and UNLV.  The idea was that UNLV was from the southern part of Nevada that was rebelling against its northern rival UNR.  UNLV’s mascot was an easy going wolf that was in sharp contrast to the ferocious wolf pack mascot of UNR.  However, over time, some students objected to the Confederate uniform that “Beauregard” wore.  Eventually, the mascot would be redesigned.

Q. What was the new mascot?
A. The new mascot became a "Minuteman."  However, the title “Rebel” remained as a result of a favorable vote by a large percentage of the UNLV student body.  Unfortunately, the minuteman mascot never really took off because residents of Nevada and UNLV students couldn’t relate to a Revolutionary War figure.

Q. What was the next mascot?
A. The next mascot became “Hey Reb” on December 9, 1982.  This new mascot was a mountain man and was designed by Mike Miller.  The mountain man mascot had a big hat, mustache, and a coat.  The coat had the UNLV and Rebels logo on it.  The new mascot came from the idea of UNLV being an institution that was an explorer and a pathfinder.

Q.   Who was the first UNLV president?
A. The first campus officer to have the title president was Donald Moyer in 1964.  However, William D. Carlson was the first Director or Executive Officer for the Southern Regional Division of the University of Nevada in 1957.  1957 was the year that the first university building was constructed on Maryland Parkway.   The campus would eventually be renamed the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1969.

Q. How many times has the university changed its name in the past 50 years?
A.  There have been three names for the university in the last 50 years.  The first was the Southern Regional Division of the University of Nevada in 1957.  Next, it was renamed Nevada Southern University in 1965.  Finally, it was renamed the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1969. 

Q. What was the first university building located on Maryland Parkway?
A. The first university building constructed on Maryland Parkway was Maude Frazier Hall.  It was constructed in 1957.

Q. What is the Presidential Medallion?
A. The Presidential Medallion was a gift to the university from the Student Senate and Activities Board of the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada (CSUN) in 1973. It represents the President's Office and is worn at commencements and other events. It was created by a local company named Huntington Jewelers. It is made of silver and the medallion embodies the official seal of the State of Nevada. The links on the chain show the names of past presidents of UNLV and include their terms in office. The links symbolize the continuity of responsibility in the office of the president.

Q. What is the Centennial Medallion?
A. The Nevada Centennial Medallion is presented each year to the graduating senior earning the highest four-year scholastic average at UNLV. There were one-hundred-and one medallions given to the university by the Rotary Club of Las Vegas in 1964 in recognition of the state's centennial celebration. The last medallion will be awarded in the year 2064. 2064 will be the year Nevada celebrates it's two hundredth birthday.

Q. What is the University Mace?
A. The University Mace is carried on ceremonial occasions at the head of the academic procession by the Grand Marshal. It is the symbolic duty of the Grand Marshal to protect the university, its persons, and its processes. The UNLV Mace is made of metal which is polished and features a black hardwood staff. It's cubical top embodies the university's seal, a depiction of the Statue of Liberty and a likeness of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci is included to represent the integration of knowledge from various fields. Finally, the cubical top of the Mace includes a shelf of books flanked by artists brushes.

Q. Who was the first to graduate from UNLV ?

The first commencement at Nevada Southern University (UNLV) was on Wednesday June 3, 1964. Jon Eric Cobain was the President of the Class of 1964 and received the first diploma.

Some of the information on this page was provided by an article in the February 25, 1992 edition of the Rebel Yell. It is entitled, “Big Bad Wolf Ousted for Humble Mountain Man” by La Rae Bringhurst. Other information was provided by UNLV Commencement material located in the Publications Series of the University Archives.

Updated: Wednesday, 06-Mar-2013 15:09:18 PST
Content Provider: Thomas Sommer
Page Editor: Thomas Sommer