Coordinates: 40°24′17″N 104°41′48″W / 40.404853°N 104.696741°W / 40.404853; -104.696741

University of Northern Colorado
University of Northern Colorado seal.svg
MottoSapientia in aeternum est
Motto in English
Wisdom is eternal
TypePublic university
EstablishedApril 1, 1889; 133 years ago (1889-04-01)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$89.8 million (2019)[1]
PresidentAndy Feinstein
ProvostMark Anderson[2]
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
260 acres (1.1 km2)[3]
ColorsBlue and gold[4]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FCSBig Sky
MascotKlawz the Bear
University of Northern Colorado logo.svg
Normal School, Greeley, Colorado (1902)
Normal School, Greeley, Colorado (1902)

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is a public university in Greeley, Colorado.[5] The university was founded in 1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado and has a long history in teacher education.[6] The institution has officially changed its name three times, first to Colorado State College of Education, at Greeley on February 16, 1935, Colorado State College on February 11, 1957, and its current form since May 1, 1970.[7] Approximately 10,000 students are enrolled in six colleges. Extended campus locations are in Loveland, Denver/Aurora, and Colorado Springs.[8] UNC's 19 athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I as members of the Big Sky Conference.[8]


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "University of Northern Colorado" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
UNC's Snyder Hall, a dormitory on Central Campus
UNC's Snyder Hall, a dormitory on Central Campus

The campus is divided into two main areas: central and west. UNC's Central Campus includes the areas north of 20th Street and west of 8th Avenue in Greeley, Colorado. The residence halls on Central Campus have been designated a state historic district.[9]


The board of trustees for the university oversees the administration and approves the university annual budget. Several members of the university's administrative team are ex officio members of the Board.[10]


The university has had 13 presidents since its establishment:[11]

College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) is an arts community of practitioners, scholars, and learners representing a range of arts traditions and disciplines.[13]

UNC has a tradition as an arts institution and its main college offices, located in Guggenheim Hall, are one of the oldest buildings on campus.[14]

Student life

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Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[15] Total
White 63% 63
Hispanic 23% 23
Other[a] 6% 6
Black 5% 5
Asian 2% 2
Foreign national 1% 1
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 35% 35
Affluent[c] 65% 65

Greek life

Traditional sororities

Traditional fraternities

Multicultural sororities

Multicultural fraternities


Main article: Northern Colorado Bears

See also: Northern Colorado Bears football and Northern Colorado Bears men's basketball

Northern Colorado Athletics wordmark.
Northern Colorado Athletics wordmark.

Sports teams at the school are called Bears. Northern Colorado joined the Big Sky Conference on July 1, 2006. The school mascot is Klawz the Bear and the school colors are navy blue and gold. The Fight Song is the "UNC Fight Song". Northern Colorado's Athletic Director is Darren Dunn.

The Bears play their football games at Nottingham Field, while the men's and women's basketball teams and women's volleyball team play at the Bank of Colorado Arena at Butler-Hancock Athletic Center. "Fear The Claw" is the student section slogan. Northern Colorado won its first Big Sky Championship in 2009 when the women's volleyball team beat Portland State to capture the Big Sky Volleyball Championship.

A number of the university's alumni have gone on to have professional sports careers. Vincent Jackson attended and played football at Northern Colorado from 2001 to 2004 before being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 2005 NFL Draft. Other football alumni for the school include punter Dirk Johnson, quarterback Kyle Sloter, safety Reed Doughty, and defensive lineman Aaron Smith.

Before upgrading to NCAA Division I in 2006, UNC was a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference from 1923 to 1972 and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (1972–76). Following several years of being conference independent, the university joined the North Central Conference. The Bears have won two Division II Football National Championships in 1996 and 1997. On March 9, 2011, the Bears won the Big Sky Conference tournament championship in men's basketball, clinching a trip to the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the first in the school's history. The Northern Colorado men's baseball program also ranks among the top 15 schools for most all-time NCAA College World Series appearances, tied with the University of Oklahoma at ten appearances apiece. The Northern Colorado women's softball team appeared in the first eleven Women's College World Series ever held in 1969–1979, advancing to but losing the title game in 1974.[16]


The university's mascot, "Klawz"
The university's mascot, "Klawz"

The bear became UNC's mascot in 1923. Before the school adopted the bear, athletes used the nickname "the Teachers."[17] The bear was said to be inspired by a bear on top of an Alaskan totem pole donated by an 1897 alumnus in 1914. The totem pole was kept in the University Center, but under the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, the pole was reclaimed by the Tlingit in 2003.

Klawz is the mascot that attends all university sporting events. Klawz is the newest addition to the long line of Bears' mascots over the years at the university. Klawz made his first appearance in Nottingham Field on August 30, 2003, before the UNC football team opened their season against New Mexico Highlands.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "Office of the Provost". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "About The University of Northern Colorado".
  4. ^ UNC Style Guide (PDF). March 1, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  5. ^ "About the University of Northern Colorado". About UNC. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  6. ^ The Campus History Series, University of Northern Colorado, by Mark Anderson and Jay Trask, 2010, Arcadia Publishing
  7. ^ Institution Names – University of Northern Colorado. Retrieved September 8, 2020
  8. ^ a b UNC Impact 2014. University of Northern Colorado.
  9. ^ "Weld County". Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. December 28, 2010. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Board of Trustees for the University of Northern Colorado".
  11. ^ "Past Presidents".
  12. ^ "President Andy Feinstein at the University of Northern Colorado". Office of the President. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  13. ^ Wild, Stephi (March 26, 2022). "Edward W. Hardy, Georgina Escobar, and More Will Present at UNCO's First Arts Equity Summit". Broadway World.
  14. ^ Schuhardt, Sara (February 25, 2022). "College of Performing and Visual Arts | University of Northern Colorado". College of Performing and Visual Arts.
  15. ^ "College Scorecard: University of Northern Colorado". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  16. ^ Plummer, William; Floyd, Larry C. (2013). A Series Of Their Own: History Of The Women's College World Series. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States: Turnkey Communications Inc. ISBN 978-0-9893007-0-4.
  17. ^ Various The Mirrors and Cache La Poudres
  18. ^ "Weighing in on diversity". uncmirror. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  19. ^ Fritz, Tim. "Walt Conley: The Founding Father of the Denver Folk Scene". Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  20. ^ "Justin Gaethje MMA Bio". Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  21. ^ Hopkins, Dianne McAfee (2003). "Grazier, Margaret Hayes". In Marilyn Lea Miller (ed.). Pioneers and Leaders in Library Services to Youth: A Biographical Dictionary. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 83–85. ISBN 978-1-59158-028-7. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  22. ^ "Karyl McBride Ph.D." Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  23. ^ Delaney, Anne (February 6, 2019). "Greeley's Sharktooth Ski Area lives on through history, Facebook page". The Greeley Tribune. Greeley, CO.
  24. ^ "Fankie Saenz UFC Profile with proof of attendance". September 14, 2018.
  25. ^ "Loren Snyder". Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  26. ^ "Former Local Man Rates Second Among Video Personalities of West". Greeley Daily Tribune. Colorado, Greeley. March 9, 1950. p. 5. Retrieved October 16, 2018 – via open access

Further reading