The University Preparatory School – precursor to the University of Nevada – first opened its doors in Elko to seven students on Oct. 12, 1874. The University of Nevada and its original bell later moved to Reno, but the original University bell returned to Elko where it has been on display outside of Elko High School, adjacent to the original University site, since 1974.
Recognizing the timber framework holding the bell was in dire disrepair, Elko service organizations, businesses and individuals rallied to raise funds to rebuild the structure, with a goal to complete the project in Nevada’s sesquicentennial year.
WHAT: Dedication of the newly constructed framework for the original University of Nevada bell and celebration of the start of higher education in Nevada. This event is designated as a Legacy Project commemorating Nevada’s 150th birthday.
WHO: Elko resident, Rotarian and member of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents Kevin Melcher; University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson; Great Basin College President Mark Curtis; other Elko officials and Rotary club members.
WHERE: Elko High School, outside the “old gym,” 987 College Avenue.
WHEN: 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22.
MORE: The “Nevada Bell Project” was made possible by financial support from Elko Rotary clubs, Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining Corporation, University of Nevada, Reno alumni and other individual contributors.
The Nevada State Legislature approved the relocation of the University of Nevada from Elko to Reno in 1885, and students were welcomed to classes in historic Morrill Hall in 1886.
Elko is also home to Nevada’s first community college which is today Great Basin College.