UNL Before the Merger
The Nebraska State Legislature established the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, with a charter formally signed on February 14, 1869, just two years after Nebraska became a state. The University of Nebraska was a land grant institution established within the framework of the Morrill Act. The building that housed the institution, University Hall, sat amid the open landscape dotted with only a few houses. The construction of the building proved to be one of the earliest challenges for the fledgling campus. Classes at the university began in September 1871 with only a handful of faculty and students enrolled in both preparatory classes and college-level classes. From those beginnings the University of Nebraska grew to incorporate two campuses, extension services, and provide learning opportunities, resources, and research to the state and beyond.