The Fountain Closing & How it Looks Today

Aerial photograph of the Union Plaza and original Broyhill Fountain

The original Broyhill Fountain stood as the focal point of the Union Memorial Plaza on the University of Nebraska's city campus for over 25 years. In 1996, plans for the expansion of the existing Nebraska Union called for the destruction of the fountain to create room.

The announcement of the fountain's closing caused an uproar among students who were upset a staple of the city campus would be destructed. Many students recalled the hours spent studying at the fountain's ledges, the several amusing (and illegal) midnight swims students had risked punishment and embarked on, and the numerous cheap, yet romantic dates that had taken place at the fountain over the years. Students of the past and at the time were very sad to learn the Broyhill Fountain, which served as a daily reminder of those memories, would disappear. (Kerber)

Plans had begun for a newly designed fountain to be constructed along with the Nebraska Union renovations, and the Broyhill family was included in its design proposals. When the fountain was shut off for the final time in October 1996, progress on the new Broyhill Fountain started immediately after the old fountain's destruction.

Overhead view of Broyhill Fountain in Union Plaza

Along with a newly renovated Nebraska Union came a newly constructed Broyhill Fountain, completed in the spring of 1999. This remodeled Broyhill Fountain was rededicated in a ceremony on April 15 of that year.

The new fountain featured a more contemporary design, yet was still just as inviting and enjoyable as the original Broyhill Fountain. Along with jets of water that spray into the air and lights that feature its brilliance at night, the newly constructed Broyhill Fountain also contains several large rocks that students have been known to climb on to dip their feet in the water. Students have been pleased overall with the Broyhill Fountain's new look and many spend their time near it studying, talking with friends, or perhaps, like students of the past, partaking in more not-so-legal midnight swims. (Daehn)

Although the Broyhill Fountain appears differently today than it was originally constructed, it still stands as a reminder and commemeration to honor the memory of a student who had tragically passed away, Lynn Diann Broyhill. Even though not everyone may be aware of the story behind the fountain, there is a respect for its peacefulness and beauty, and it remains one of the focal points of the University of Nebraska's campus.

The Fountain Closing & How it Looks Today