2020 Palladium Honoree: Reg Grundy and Joy Chambers-Grundy
Each year, the UNLV Foundation honors donors whose lifetime giving to UNLV has reached $1 million or more with the Palladium Award. Honorees are recognized at the UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner, a tradition that began more than 25 years ago. Because of COVID-19, the 2020 Annual Dinner has been postponed but we look forward to celebrating this year's Palladium Awardees when we can gather together once again.
Reg Grundy and Joy Chambers-Grundy are groundbreaking figures in the history of Australian and international media. They married and became business partners in the early 1970s, and together they shaped what at one time was the largest independent entertainment production company in the world.
Now, they are groundbreakers in a different medium: scientific exploration of the brain.
The Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience in the Department of Brain Health, School of Integrated Health Sciences at UNLV was launched this spring, made possible by a landmark $6 million gift. The Center offers hope to patients and families suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. The Center is a think tank and research enterprise devoted to finding improved approaches to treatment for patients with brain disorders. It is positioned to drive research, track the progress of clinical trials around the world, and provide learning opportunities in the quest to develop new treatments.
Joy Chambers-Grundy and the late Reg Grundy also established an endowed chair for UNLV’s Department of Brain Health held by Dr. Jefferson Kinney, and an endowed professorship held by Dr. Jeffrey Cummings.
“My darling late husband, Reg, and I have always been drawn to support this wonderful cause that aims to end the suffering for so many people,” says Joy Chambers-Grundy.
“Our fervent hope is that scientists across the world can collaborate with Dr. Cummings and other top researchers at UNLV to find treatments for brain disorders and help people thrive in their daily lives.”
Joy Chambers-Grundy began her television career as a writer and production assistant in Queensland, Australia in the early 1960s. She began studying acting in the 1970s and went on to appear in panel shows and dramas. A role in the international hit “Neighbours” made her a household name throughout the United Kingdom.
She later added “novelist” to her list of credits and has authored five historical novels and a book of poetry.
Reg Grundy’s career began as a radio reporter covering livestock and sporting events shortly after World War II. In 1959, he packaged and hosted his own television show, “Reg Grundy’s Wheel of Fortune.” It was the first of hundreds of Grundy productions that transformed television culture in Australia.
During the 1970s, the Grundy enterprise became successful internationally. Over the next several decades, it produced tens of thousands of hours of programming watched by hundreds of millions of people. Together, Reg and Joy formed RG Capital in 1995, a private group of companies that included media, entertainment, and telecommunications.
Among numerous honors, Reg Grundy was named Officer of the British Empire in 1983 and Companion of the Order of Australia, that nation’s highest honor, in 2008. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Queensland.
— Marian Alper