UNLV celebrates 60th birthday in Rebel fashion, complete with cake, music, and the mayor

UNLV is celebrating its 60th birthday in a grand fashion, complete with music and cake! (Craig Fiegener | KSNV)

It has been six decades since the University of Nevada, Las Vegas opened its doors under the name "Nevada Southern" on Sept. 10, 1957.

Back then, 500 students were enrolled.

Today, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas brags 30,000 students and its School of Medicine is in its first year

“We're launching a medical school with 60 full-ride scholarships -- from the community -- four-year full-ride scholarships,” said UNLV President Len Jessup.

The Rebel Events Board filled the area outside of the Student Union with bounce houses, a DJ, and cake for a 60th birthday celebration.

One student told News 3 that she's seen growth in the school pride within the students.

"I think that we are slowing growing to get more school spirit and school pride in, and I think with it being the 60th and the diamond celebration ... that's going to bring a lot of people together in the community," said Alexis Shebay, Director of Programming, Rebel Events Board.

The university celebrated its birthday today with Mayor Carolyn Goodman—herself an alumna of UNLV’s graduate program.

“September 10, 2017, is UNLV in the city of Las Vegas,” she declared to a cheering crowd.

The actual birthday fell on Sunday, and the day after was Sept. 11, leading the school to honor the occasion on Sept. 12.

The party happened on the same day U.S. News and World Report named UNLV the most ethnically-diverse campus in the country.

In Rebel fashion, partygoers were served slices of red velvet cake.

Did you know?

  • In UNLV's early days, the president, registrar, and staff shared an office in old Las Vegas High School. Classes were canceled anytime the high school staged a play.
  • UNLV held its first commencement in 1964 with 29 graduates.
  • While the Rebels may have reached their height of athletic fame in basketball, the first official athletics organization was bowling.
  • The university officially adopted the name "University of Nevada, Las Vegas" in 1969.
  • UNLV has more than 115,000 graduates - including current leaders in nearly every industry.
  • More than two-thirds of UNLV's graduates live and work in Southern Nevada.
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