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After WWI, athletic facilities became a building priority for sports enthusiasts and the University as a whole. The Athletic Board of Control was formed by Chancellor
Avery in 1922 to serve as the oversight committee for the construction of the Stadium. It was comprised of both Alumni Association members and University business personnel. While the Memorial Stadium fundraising effort staged by the Alumni Association was viewed as a success, initial efforts fell short of the original goal, which was to raise a million dollars for a facility that would serve as both a gymnasium/auditorium and stadium. As a result, the Stadium was built, but the University still lacked a suitable facility for basketball, commencement, dances, and other social activities.

The Athletic Board of Control took action to construct a new gymnasium facility. John Selleck, business manager of athletics and member of the Athletic Board, spearheaded the effort. The Coliseum, a name that Selleck suggested, was financed using future gate receipts from football games at Memorial Stadium. When completed, the Coliseum was then made a gift to the University. The Board of Regents contributed an additional $100,000 to incorporate a stage into the design, making the Coliseum a versatile building which could be used for an assortment of activities. Like the Memorial Stadium project, George Holmes again arranged for financing through his office as president of the First National Bank. Davis & Wilson, having successfully co-designed the Stadium, were hired to design the Coliseum. Ground was broken in 1925 and it was completed in time for Commencement exercises to be held there in the spring of 1926.

Initially, the planned location of a gymnasium was directly north of Avery Hall; the "official architects of the University", Charles Hodgdon of Coolidge & Hodgdon, Chicago, discussed the building location and its design with the Regents as early as 1919. By the time construction funds were finally in place for the Coliseum, the Stadium was located on that site. The Athletic Board and Alumni Association wished to hire Davis & Wilson again. Ultimately, the University elected to sever its exclusive relationship with Coolidge & Hodgdon, ending a decade-old arrangement. George Seymour, elected to the Board of Regents in 1921, developed an interest in campus planning and began developing what would become the master plan for University growth for the next twenty years. In the end, the Coliseum was located at the head of 13th street, along the still undeveloped Memorial Mall. An intersecting mall, running between the future Morrill Hall and the existing Bessey Hall, was also envisioned by Seymour.

Stylistically the Coliseum blends well with the other buildings on Memorial Mall, particularly Morrill Hall and Memorial Stadium, all built within a five year period just prior to the financial crash of 1929. All designed by Ellery Davis, these structures present a unified and collegial dignity well suited to the University. Like all other buildings constructed during the early 20th century, it is constructed of red pressed brick and Bedford limestone. The entry is flanked by ten large columns. Memorial Mall never lived up to Seymour's vision; instead it now serves as a pair of parking lots.

The Coliseum has been the site of many important cultural and athletic events held on the University campus. For many years, it served as a much needed venue for commencement exercises. Well known swing bands regularly played at dances and concerts at the Coliseum, including Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown and Harry James. The Coliseum was home to the national championship UNL Volleyball team until 2013. It was renovated in 1989 and incorporated into the multi-building Campus Recreation center.

Source Information:
Athletic Board Moves Ahead, by RD Scott. Nebraska Alumnus. Jan. 1965. University Archives, Samuel Avery papers.