Apr. 9, 2024


UNLV's first graduate and longtime supporter, Jon Cobain, has passed away. His time at UNLV coincided with an era of transformation for the university, when it was originally known as Nevada Southern, representing the Southern Regional Division of the University of Nevada. Nevada Southern held its first commencement in 1964, graduating 29 students as the "Centennial Class" in honor of Nevada's 100th anniversary as a state. Jon served as that class’s student body president and was the first student to cross the stage, hence recognizing him as the first graduate. A year later, the school became Nevada Southern University, and in 1969, the university adopted its current name, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Cobain believed that UNLV needed alumni support to attain the same prestige as other universities. As he developed his career, he supported UNLV in many ways including the Cobain Scholarship for Lee Business School, which supports first-generation students. Cobain was passionate about providing equitable access to education and consistently contributed to creating opportunities for students with financial need. He had a deep appreciation for travel, languages, and fine arts, and enriched every community he lived in through giving and volunteering. His vision and generosity touched countless lives, and his memory will continue to inspire future generations of Rebels.

We extend our deepest condolences to his family, especially his wife Judy and his children Erika and Leif, grandchildren, friends, and all who had the privilege of knowing him. In this time of mourning, let us honor his memory by reaffirming our commitment to the values of excellence, integrity, giving, and the Rebel spirit that he embodied.