Governor Mike Johanns proclaimed March 26, 2003 as the University of Nebraska at Kearney Centennial Celebration Day, urging all Nebraska citizens to take note of the observance.
March 26, 2003 marked 100 years since the House Roll No. 1 of the State Legislature appropriated $50,000 for the establishment of a State Normal School in Central or Western Nebraska on March 26, 1903.
On September 1, 1903, after 111 ballots, Kearney was chosen as the site for the Nebraska State Normal School. The first classes were held on June 19, 1905, and the campus opened to classes on September 25, 1905.
In 1921, the name of the Institution was changed to Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney and was authorized to offer four-year degree programs. The name was changed again in 1963 to Kearney State College and finally in 1991, to the University of Nebraska at Kearney as it remains today.
UNK enrolls students from all 93 counties of the state of Nebraska, 40 states and 50 countries. UNK is Nebraska’s public, residential, comprehensive university characterized by small classes and a faculty dedicated to the teacher-scholar model. The University of Nebraska at Kearney plays a vital role in state development and continues to meet the educational, research and service needs of Nebraska.