Louise Pound: The Woman

Louise Pound with golf club


Louise Pound was a professor in the UNL philology department (Knoll, page 70). Pound was born in Lincoln and educated at home until age 14 (Louise). She came from a very high-achieving family, with a father who was a district court judge and state senator. Pound was the middle child, and was extremely competitive (Haller). She received her bachelor’s degree as well as a music diploma from the University of Nebraska in 1892, followed by her master’s degree in 1893. Later, she went on to receive her doctor’s degree at the University of Heidelberg, earning it in one-third the usual time (Manley, page 170). Louise Pound came to UNL known as Dean Roscoe Pound’s little sister but was determined to make a name for herself. An article in the Nebraska Alumnus states that few individuals did more to promote UNL to all parts of the world.


Pound was active in many organizations while attending UNL and while employed here. She was president of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. She held many records: women’s western lawn tennis championship, Lincoln women’s golf champion, 1908-1923, Nebraska state golf champion, 1916 (Nebraska). Pound defeated all competition, even men, for the UNL tennis title in 1891 and 1892. She won the Rainbow gold Medal fro bicycling 5,000 miles (Hutchinson). She coached the girls’ basketball team at UNL and was internationally known and respected for her involvement in several organizations (Louise). She served as the first woman president of an organization important to her field, the Modern Language Association (Knoll, page 78). She was honored by several organizations, such as the Lincoln Kiwanis Club, which held a ceremony to award her with a medal for Distinguished Service for her achievements as a teacher and athlete (Lincoln). The Sunday World Herald interviewed Pound after she had taught 50 years at Nebraska. The article talks about how she was well-known in college because of her athletic accomplishments. She then went on to teach, and treated her students as her own children, taking great pride in their accomplishments. Pound was always willing to jeopardize her own position for the greater good of justice. Pound didn’t even have a recent photograph to include in the article because she had no time for petty things such as pictures (Simpson).


Pound used her athletic abilities to represent UNL well throughout her time on campus. One of Pound’s opponents in a men’s tennis tournament stated, It was the greatest piece of tennis playing ever seen in the United States, and the plucky western girl was the heroine. It was man’s tennis, and a high quality of that.” Roscoe pound said of his sister: “From the beginning she has always taken first place in everything she has undertaken; and she has undertaken about everything worthwhile which an active, ambitious, and talented woman could try her hand at.” (Slote) Pound appears in a page of the 1925 Cornhusker yearbook as a faculty “N” wearer, a woman who had accomplished much in competitive sports (Cornhusker1925). Throughout her time at the University, Pound saw many people come and go. By the time Mabel Lee came to campus in 1924, Pound, 14 years older than Lee, was already a local legend (Knoll, page 98). 

Pound Hall Photo

Pound Hall is a 13-story residence hall built in 1963 for women. The hall was dedicated to Louise Pound in honor of her distinguished work as an English instructor at UNL. The first year students lived in the hall was 1969. A pamphlet published at the time of the dorm’s opening told students what living in the hall would be like. It states “This home will be like none you have known before: filled with sounds of buzzers buzzing, typewriters clicking, popcorn poppers popping…filled with taste of homemade care packages, Valentino’s pizza, and East Campus ice cream cones…your home at Pound Hall will be all this, and much more. You will laugh in it, yell in it, cry in it, and remember it fondly, no matter where your home may be, for the rest of you life (LouisePoundHall).

In December of 2017 the University demolished both the Cather and Pound residence halls. Prior to the fall semester of 2018, the building that once housed the College of Business became Louise Pound Hall.