Nebraska Wesleyan University

Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) is a private Methodist-affiliated university in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was founded in 1887 by Nebraska Methodists. As of 2017, it had approximately 2,100 students including 1,500 full-time students[6] and 300 faculty and staff. The university has 119 undergraduate majors, minors, and pre-professional programs in addition to three graduate programs.

Nebraska Wesleyan University
MottoPro Christo et Ecclesia[1]
TypePrivate university
Religious affiliation
United Methodist
Endowment$56.35 million[3]
PresidentDarrin Good [4]
Academic staff
107 Full-time and 73 Part-time[5]
Location, ,
United States
Campus50 acres (20 ha)
Black & Gold
NicknamePrairie Wolves
Sporting affiliations
MascotPrairie Wolf



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, which became the central 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 northeast Lincoln, Nebraska;[7] the surrounding neighborhood is a historic residential and shopping area of Lincoln.

Early on, Nebraska Wesleyan also included a high school, elementary school, and kindergarten. The high school was discontinued in 1931, and the primary schools in 1941 (grade school) and 1942 (kindergarten).

Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science opened in 2019. It was the first new academic building on campus in three decades.[8]



The Nebraska Wesleyan athletic teams are called the Prairie Wolves.[9] The university is a member of the NCAA Division III ranks, primarily competing in the American Rivers Conference (ARC; formerly known as the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) since the 2016–17 academic year.[10] The Prairie Wolves previously competed in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1969–70 to 2015–16; as well as an NCAA D-III Independent while holding dual affiliation membership with the NAIA and the NCAA from 1982 to 2016. It was during their time in the GPAC Wesleyan played their traditional rival Doane University in nearby Crete, Nebraska.[11]

Nebraska Wesleyan competes in 21 intercollegiate varsity sports. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field and wrestling. Women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, golf, soccer, swimming, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball. Former sports included women's bowling.



Nebraska Wesleyan has been associated with four mascots in its history, the Sunflower (1894–1907), the Coyote (1907–1933), the Plainsman (1933–2000), and the Prairie Wolf (2000–present).[12] The school colors are black and gold.[9]

Athletic facilities


Nebraska Wesleyan's athletic facilities include Abel Stadium,[13] which seats approximately 2,500 people and is used for college football, soccer and other events, and Snyder Arena, which seats 2,350 and is used for basketball and volleyball.[14]



The men's golf team won the 2006 NCAA Division III National Championship,[15] its first in men's golf. The Prairie Wolves won by 10 strokes over the University of Redlands. The men's golf team has also won 35 conference championships; with back to back championships in 2018 and 2019.[16]

The men's basketball team won the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship, its first in men's basketball.[17]

Greek life


There are several fraternites and sororities on campus.

Notable alumni


See also



  1. ^ Wyckoff, Richard Tyson (1924). Latin Mottoes of Universities, Colleges, Technical Schools, Academies, Theological Schools, Normal Schools, Individual Schools, Individuals, Companies, Societies, Countries, States, Towns, Etc. Recorder. p. 13. Retrieved January 11, 2024.
  2. ^ "NAICU - Membership". Archived from the original on November 9, 2015.
  3. ^ As of June 30, 2017. "All U.S. and Canadian NCSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2017 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY2016 to FY2017". 2017 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  4. ^ "Darrin S. Good | Nebraska Wesleyan University".
  5. ^ a b c d "College Navigator - Nebraska Wesleyan University".
  6. ^ Reist, Margaret (October 4, 2017). "Nebraska Wesleyan to offer $15,000 scholarship to SCC transfer students". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Dunker, Chris (July 31, 2022). "State Department grant to boost Nebraska Wesleyan's study-abroad programs". Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  8. ^ Dunker, Chris (April 4, 2017). "Wesleyan science building to be named for Duane Acklie". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Davis, Jerry (September 26, 2016). "The Other Wesleyans". The Wesleyan Argus. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  10. ^ "Nebraska Wesleyan to Join Iowa Conference in 2016-17". Nebraska Wesleyan University. July 20, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "This Date in History: NWU Football Upsets Rival Doane Under the Lights". December 19, 2023.
  12. ^ "History of Nebraska Wesleyan University | Nebraska Wesleyan University". Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  13. ^ "Abel Stadium". Nebraska Wesleyan University Athletics. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  14. ^ "Athletic Facilities". Nebraska Wesleyan University. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "DIII Men's Golf Championship History |". Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  16. ^ "Men's Golf History". Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  17. ^ "Nebraska Wesleyan wins 78-72 thriller over UW-Oshkosh for program's first DIII basketball title". Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  18. ^ "Former Nebraska lawmaker will serve as Rural Development director". Associated Press. December 19, 2021. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  19. ^ "Shawn Bouwens". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  20. ^ "Nebraska Governor Ralph Gilmour Brooks". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  21. ^ "CURTIS, Carl Thomas, (1905–2000)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  22. ^ "Gerrard, John M. | District of Nebraska | United States District Court". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  23. ^ "GRISWOLD, Dwight Palmer, (1893–1954)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  24. ^ Korbelik, Jeff (February 8, 2011). "NWU graduate enjoying TV, stage and music success". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  25. ^ "John N. Norton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  26. ^ "Urbom, Warren Keith | District of Nebraska | United States District Court". Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  27. ^ Klivans, Laura (December 15, 2014). "Six months in, new schools head Antwan Wilson pushing his 'roadmap' for a challenged district". Oakland North. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  28. ^ "D.C. Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson Resigns After School-Transfer Scandal". WAMU. Retrieved December 30, 2021.

Further reading

  • David H. Mickey, class of 1939, wrote Of Sunflowers, Coyotes and Plainsmen: A History of Nebraska Wesleyan University (1992). Its three volumes cover inception to 1987. Volume One describes how the university began and tracks its progress to 1921. The second volume covers the years 1921–1946 and the third volume encompasses 1946–1987.

  Media related to Nebraska Wesleyan University at Wikimedia Commons

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