History of the Utes Through the Years

Here since the beginning About the U

Originally named the University of Deseret, the University of Utah is the oldest state university west of the Missouri River. Founded in Salt Lake City on 28 February 1850, the school's first term - for men only - in November of 1850. The second term was opened to both women and men. At the end of the third term in 1852, classes were discontinued because of lack of funds.

The University was partially reopened primarily as a business school in 1867, and reestablished completely by 1869. The University was housed several places in Salt Lake City until 1884, at which time the school moved to the site of West High School. The first official commencement was held in 1886 when ten normal and two bachelor degrees were conferred. By 1900 enrollment had grown to 400 students, and B.A. and B.S. degrees were offered in classical, scientific, and normal programs. The institution's name was changed from the University of Deseret to the University of Utah in 1894, and Congress granted sixty acres of Fort Douglas land on the east bench to the school. Classes opened on this site 1 October 1900.