The University of Nebraska celebrated its 150th anniversary Friday with several events at its Lincoln campuses.
Festivities to commemorate the day included an open house at the Wick Alumni Center, a gala at the Lied Center for Performing Arts and a celebration at the Dairy Store on East Campus.
The Dairy Store event included the unveiling of a new "Nifty 150" ice cream flavor.
"We wanted to embody the school's spirit," said Dairy Store manager LeRoy Braden. "This isn't just an ice cream flavor, it represents something much bigger."
The cold creation consists of vanilla ice cream, strawberry ice cream and chocolate chips. During the event Friday, temperatures remained in the low teens with steady snowfall, but that didn't stop many UNL students from getting their fill of free ice cream.
"Any event like this creates energy and positivity while also creating a stronger sense of community," said Catherine Jones, a student at UNL. "All of those things work together to make Nebraska great."
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Added student Matthew Morton: "Just to celebrate the 150 years and be active at this university is great. It's nice to celebrate all the work that's been done and I'm looking forward to all the work that will be done in the future."
The event included a photo station, an appearance by Herbie Husker and some of university leaders, most notably UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green.
"This is just like celebrating a birthday, right?" Green said. "It's meant to really cause people to reflect on the deep commitment the university has to the state ... so it's celebratory while also marking the history."
The University of Nebraska was established Feb. 15, 1869. That year, just four years removed from the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant became president and Mark Twain had his first book published.
With so much history over the past 150 years not only in Lincoln, but around the world, the Dairy Store, as one of the university's oldest establishments at 102 years old, simply had to be involved.
"I think the idea was that we ought to have a flavor of ice cream celebrating our 150th birthday, so that's where 'Nifty 150' came from," said Mike Boehm, the NU Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources. "You can't celebrate a birthday without ice cream."