$10 Million Gift to Expand Black Mountain Institute’s Literary Programs

Jan. 2, 2014

Since its founding in 2006, UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute has loomed large over the cultural landscape of Southern Nevada. Now, a $10 million gift commitment from business leader and Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Emeritus Jim Rogers and his wife, Beverly, will allow the prestigious international literary center to elevate its profile and bolster its influence in promoting discourse on challenging issues of our times.

In recognition of the Rogers’ generosity, BMI is being renamed the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute.

The gift will infuse BMI’s budget with between $500,000 and $800,000 annually for 15 years. It will enable BMI to reinstitute and expand its acclaimed City of Asylum program, increase support for existing Ph.D. and fellowship programs, create a new reading room for students and faculty, and enhance BMI’s public programming.

In addition, the gift will create the Black Mountain Institute Prize, a biennial $50,000 award for fiction that will be judged by a panel of highly regarded writers.

“Writers love Las Vegas,” says Carol Harter, founder and executive director of BMI. “They enjoy the city’s energy, and BMI has welcomed writers from all over the world as fellows, speakers and guest lecturers. The Rogers Family Foundation’s generous commitment enhances BMI’s offerings on every level.”

Among the literary figures who have participated in public programs on campus are Michael Chabon, Junot Diaz, E.L. Doctorow, Yiyun Li, Joyce Carol Oates, Jane Smiley, and Nobel Laureates Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott.

“Jim and I are so proud of Carol and of what she has accomplished at Black Mountain Institute,” says Beverly Rogers. “Carol created a ‘pocket of excellence’ within UNLV that not only opens doors for scholars and writers worldwide, but links the university with the community.

“Our vision is to inspire others to join with us in the strengthening of the force that is Black Mountain Institute to put UNLV and Las Vegas on the cultural and literary map.”