University of Nebraska-Lincoln

OLD IRON GATES & COLUMNS

The old iron gates served as the main entrance to campus from 1892 to 1922. In 1892, UNL was surrounded by an iron fence to encompass the University and prevent cows from wandering onto main campus. Later, in 1922, the fence was removed because of logistical difficulties presented by an expanding university. However, two gates remained in their place, while the rest of the fence was moved to the Agricultural Campus. These gates were moved around campus to many aesthetically-pleasing places, but in 1942 were placed near the Union and Pharmacy College. In 1947, the University Superintendent had them removed for being deemed “out-of-place,” and as a result, a committee was formed to see to their restoration and replacement on campus.

The gates now mark the entrance to a row of free-standing columns outside the northeast side of Memorial Stadium.

The columns arrived on campus in 1930. Originally part of the Burlington train station in Omaha, the columns were purchased by UNL when the station began a remodel. Morrill Hall Director Erwin Barbour and George Seymour, one-time regent and university campus committee member bargained for UNL’s purchase of 28 columns for $5,000. The columns were originally meant to line the walkway from the Sheldon Art Gallery to Memorial Stadium; however, this plan was never executed, and the columns were placed at their current location at the northeast corner of Memorial Stadium.

According to legend, if a girl graduates from UNL without being kissed during her college years, then a column will crumble.