The Nebraska Union wears a lot of hats for University of Nebraska-Lincoln students. It’s a study spot, a site for shopping, a place to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. During the semester, the building – located at 1400 R St. – is open until midnight throughout the week.
Aside from textbooks, the bookstore in the Nebraska Union basement offers school supplies, Husker apparel, gifts and a wide selection of food options in the connected market – Easy Mac, ramen and other snacks are good options to stock up on in your dorm room for late night hunger. The bookstore is also home to a post office.
The newest addition to the Nebraska Union food court, Valentino’s, replaced Subway Pizza Express and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels after the two vendors closed at the end of the fall 2015 semester. Valentino’s "Express Lunch" menu features pizza slices, salads and pasta dishes. Not in the mood for pizza? Try Imperial Palace’s Asian fare, a Subway sandwich or the ever-classic Nebraska staple: Runza.
The first floor of the Nebraska Union houses a study area affectionately known as "The Crib," as well as the offices of the University Program Council and UNL’s student governing body, the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska. A bank, several meeting rooms and a coffeeshop also find their home on the first floor. Head to the second and third floors of the Nebraska Union for an array of sometimes overlooked services, including the Student Money Management Center, Student Legal Services, the LGBTQA+ Resource Center and the Women’s Center, all of which are free to students. Venture to the basement and you’ll find the Military and Veterans Success Center, opened in September 2015, and the editorial and advertising offices of The Daily Nebraskan.
Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center
Located next to the Nebraska Union and home to the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services, the Gaughan is a nice, quiet place to study, but it also has a music room, a kitchen and the Kawasaki Reading Room for Japanese Studies.
The iconic fountain, located on the plaza outside of UNL’s City Campus Union was built in 1999 and replaced the original Broyhill Fountain that was there from 1970 to 1996. It was constructed as a place for students and the community to congregate, and it still serves this purpose today. Named after Lynn Dianne Broyhill – a student who died in 1966 – the fountain’s jets spray water into the air and above its large rocks. It is illuminated at night and during the inaugural Red Memorial service in April 2015, it was lit red in memory of nine university students and faculty who had died during the previous year.
Don L. Love Memorial Library
In 1940, Don L. Love, a Lincoln banker, lawyer and two-time mayor, made a gift of $850,000 to be used for construction of a new library, because the old one was running out of space to hold its collections. Completed in 1943, the building was initially used as a living space for cadets in the Army Specialized Training program before being opened to students in 1945. At the time of its construction, it was the largest building on campus and was designed to house 800,000 items. By the 1960s, the collections within the library had once again outgrown their building. In 1972, an addition was constructed on the north side of the building.
The main library on campus, Love Library now houses collections on social sciences and humanities, while each of the library’s branch locations – Architecture Library, C.Y. Thompson Library, Engineering Library, Geology Library, Math Library, Music Library and Schmid Law Library – hold their own specialized collections. In addition to a number of study spaces – including the new Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons – Love Library also offers laptops and computers, multimedia equipment and software, printing services, locker rentals and gallery exhibits. The building at 318 R St. also houses the Writing Center and offices for the Explore Center and Education Abroad. Typically open until 1 a.m., the library’s hours may vary during the year, but the Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons is always open to student with a valid NCard.
An 84-foot octagonal shaped tower sits between Bessey and Morrill halls. Gifted from Ralph Mueller – a 1898 UNL graduate – it was provided as the bell tower then-Chancellor Burnett had wished for, but couldn’t provide due to the Great Depression. Erected in the fall of 1949 during homecoming festivities, the tower’s design was the result of a fierce competition between advanced-level architecture students at the university. George Kuska’s design ended up winning. Mueller was jokingly disappointed that no one designed the tower like an ear of corn, although Kuska did stay true to the university by adding a corn motif at the top of the tower.
Originally intended to be keyboard-operated – using an amplifier to carry the sound up to 15 miles, a popular myth on campus is that one time – before the era of cellphones – someone got stuck in the bell tower and was discovered only after repeatedly playing "Help!" by The Beatles.
The source of the tower’s electronic bells, until recently, was a CD player that played a variety of music at 25 minutes past each hour. The system, which could only play one song on a preprogrammed routine that followed UNL’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday class schedule, was upgraded in fall 2015 after it unexpectedly shut down the previous spring. Along with a modern Schulmerich g5 Electronic Carillon, eight new speakers were installed inside the top of the tower. The new sound system, which can be controlled remotely by facilities management employees, allows for the use of 750 songs from the sound system’s library of 7,800 melodies as is now able to accommodate the Tuesday, Thursday class schedule. It also allows for a keyboard to be plugged directly into the sound system, so songs can play directly from the keyboard through the tower.
Arguably the most recognizable structure at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, few buildings have undergone more additions and changes than Memorial Stadium. Built in 1923 on the site of the earlier Nebraska Field, the original Memorial Stadium cost $450,000 to construct. A grassroots drive by the Nebraska Alumni Association for $430,000 was undertaken and reached and groundbreaking ceremonies took place in the rain on April 26, 1923. The stadium was completed in a few more than 90 working days, and by October, the 31,000-seat stadium was ready for its first game, played against Oklahoma. Nebraska won 24-0. The stadium was dedicated as Memorial Stadium on Oct. 20, 1920, in honor of all Nebraskans who served in the wars.
The stadium site consisted of only the east and west stands for more than 20 years until the 1940s, when the Field House was completed. A series of expansions that began in the 1960s increased the stadium’s capacity to more than 70,000. In 2006, an expansion that included the Osborne Athletic Complex was completed, increasing the stadium’s capacity to more than 81,000.
The latest $63.5 million expansion in 2013 added 6,000 new seats and 38 suites, increased the height of the East Stadium to that of the West Stadium (165 feet) – which gave the stadium a complete horseshoe look – and added new concessions and bathrooms. Each corner of the stadium is inscribed with words written by University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor of philosophy Hartley Burr Alexander.
- Southeast: "In Commemoration of all the men of Nebraska who served and fell in the Nation’s Wars"
- Southwest: "Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory"
- Northwest: "Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of many sport"
- Northeast: "Their Lives they held their country’s trust; They kept its faith; They died its heroes"
The Iron Gates and Kissing Columns
Northeast of the university’s historic Memorial Stadium stand old iron gates that were the entrance to campus from 1892 to 1922. Stories suggest the fence was originally constructed to keep cows from coming onto the land. More likely, the fence was added to define the campus and set it apart from downtown Lincoln and nearby neighborhoods. The University soon outgrew its fence, and after a serious fire occurred on campus and fire engines were not able to pass through the width of the old gates, the decision was made to remove the fence. The fence was dismantled in 1925 and was placed around Wyuka Cemetery, where it is still in use. The gates, however, settled in their current spot on campus near a row of freestanding columns.
A gift to the University from the Burlington Northern Railroad, these 24 columns were originally meant to line the walkway from the Sheldon Art Gallery to Memorial Stadium in a part of an "avenue of a thousand columns," but were placed outside the northeast corner of Memorial Stadium in 1930. Legend goes that if a girl graduates from the university without being kissed during her time here, a column will crumble.
General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces to Europe in World War I, was a UNL professor of military science between 1891 and 1895. Upon his arrival in Lincoln, Pershing found the morale of the Reserve Officers Training Corps at low ebb. To infuse life into the corps, Pershing built an elite drill team which eventually became known as the Society of Pershing Rifles. The organization served its purpose well, and from 1900 to 1911 it carried prestige not only in military circles but in the social life of the University as well. Many of its young officer graduates were on active duty in the Spanish-American War and in World War I. After Pershing was transferred to another post, interest in the Rifles waned and in 1917 it was disbanded. Interest returned in the 1920s, and in 1925 a chapter was installed at Ohio State University. Today Pershing Rifle Societies are found in more than 100 universities. Pershing was elected to the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1964, and his bust placed in the Nebraska State Capitol in 1965.
Perhaps one of the most obscure campus landmarks, it’s worth the walk to Architecture Hall to see a pair of the largest – and oldest – urinals west of the Mississippi River. You’ll know it’ when you see it – a quote from Hamlet is engraved on its door. Patented in 1910, Arch Hall’s Hinsdale competes with one other Hinsdale in the nation, located in the Old Town Bar in Manhattan, New York.
Archie the Mammoth
South of 14th and Vine streets, there’s Morrill Hall, UNL’s own museum of natural history. Outside of the hall one will notice a very distinct mascot: Archie, the giant bronze mammoth statue that greets visitors as they walk toward the steps. It’s known to be good luck if a student high-fives Archie’s raised foot. He’s named after the Imperial Mammoth’s scientific name of Archidiskidon imperator maibeni and is a unique character on UNL’s campus.
East Campus Union
Sometimes called "the living room of East Campus," the East Campus Union shouldn’t be underestimated. Just like the Nebraska Union, it’s a good place to hang out or study, but the East Union also features a six-lane bowling alley and Loft Gallery.
Back in 1875, the superintendent of UNL’s East Campus (or "farm campus" as it was known back then), S.W. Perin, moved into a white house with a large and welcoming porch that was built on the land. It was originally built as a dorm for students there but even after Perin moved in, he was known to have gatherings for the then-small amount of students in the agriculture department to socialize and study on the porch. Recently, the university’s Botanical Garden and Arboretum constructed a replica of the porch to serve the same purpose in the same spot.
From its beginnings as a milk separator facility and with celebrations in sight for its 100th anniversary in 2017, the Dairy Store remains the place for hands-on education and a model harmony between agriculture, industry and business – not to mention the best scoop of Scarlet and Cream around. Based on UNL’s colors, Scarlet and Cream isn’t the only popular flavor served on the East Campus Loop: Corn is another seasonal favorite. In addition to expanding its menu to include coffee, sandwiches, soup and café-style options, the Dairy Store sells a diverse array of cheeses and cheese boxes, some of which come packaged in a Nebraska-shaped container.
In the 1940s, a man by the name of Earl Maxwell began planting trees near a creek on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus. Nurtured through the years, this stretch of land is now well-shaded by hardy oaks, decorated by perennials and even serves as a testing ground for new species of plants as its towering dome-like canopy acts as a buffer to the surrounding traces of urban life.
Now dedicated as the second site of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, the East Campus arboretum isn’t only a showcase for what can grow in Nebraska. Within its winding trails, visitors can find a monolithic Eastern Cottonwood, anchoring the arboretum’s center like a cathedral, to the more ornamental and decorative trees like the European Tricolor Beech and the Korean Sun Pear. UNL’s current landscape now boasts more than 325 acres of green space, home to approximately 9,000 trees and 68,000 shrubs and is valued at more than $9.1 million.