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University of Wyoming - Libraries

Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections: U of WY

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Some UW Facts

University of Wyoming History - a brief, illustrated history of the University.

  • What University departments were created when the University was founded?(1)
    • Liberal Arts, Philosophy, Letters, General Science, Fine Arts, and "the so-called Practical Arts"
      • The list of courses: history, philosophy, philology, Belles-lettres, English language and literature, continental languages and literatures, social and political sciences, natural history, chemistry, physical sciences, mathematics, rhetoric and oratory, music, drawing and design, theory and art of teaching, agriculture, mining and metallurgy, engineering

  • Who was the first woman faculty member appointed by the University's first president, John Hoyt?(2)
    • Miss Elizabeth (Bessie) Arnold was one of the first seven faculty members, appointed in 1887. She taught modern/continental languages (French and German).
  • Why are the University colors brown and gold?(3)
    • Dean Soule, a member of the committee to choose University colors (established before 1892), came upon "brown-eyed Susans" while on a horse ride. "Struck with the color, he picked a bunch and presented them to the committee with his suggestion."
  • How many students entered the first term in the fall of 1887?(4)
    • 62 students entered the University of Wyoming in the first semester of the new University.
  • Who was the first woman in Wyoming admitted to the bar?(5)
    • In November 1898, Grace Raymond Hebard became the first woman in Wyoming admitted to the bar.
  • When was the first library building constructed?(6)
    • The first library building for the University of Wyoming began construction in 1922.
  • What programs were the first to offer PhD degrees?(7)
    •  The first programs to offer PhD degrees were chemistry, geology and the Colleges of Agriculture and Education.
  • Why does the University of Wyoming not have a medical school?(8)
    • A full medical school program was proposed by the University to the Wyoming legislature in the spring of 1978. The House of Representatives passed the proposal, but the Senate deadlocked at 15-15. The legislative session ended before the proposal was passed and was never proposed again.

1. Wilson Ober Clough, A History of the University of Wyoming, 1887-1937 (Laramie, Wyo: Laramie Printing Co., 1937), 27.
2. Clough, A History of the University of Wyoming, 1887-1937, 24; Marguerite Knopf Peryam and Amy G Abbot, eds., Chronicles of the Alumni of the University of Wyoming: Asouvenir Published in Honor of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary and Reunion, June, 1911 (Laramie, Wyo, 1911).
3. Clough, A History of the University of Wyoming, 1887-1937, 49.
4. Peryam and Abbot, Chronicles of the Alumni of the University of Wyoming.
5. Clough, A History of the University of Wyoming, 1887-1937, 73.
6. Clough, A History of the University of Wyoming, 1887-1937, 134.
7. Deborah Hardy, Wyoming University: The First 100 Years, 1886-1986 (Laramie, Wyo.: University of Wyoming, 1986), 116.
8. Hardy, Wyoming University, 263.