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The Back Story: The Rose Garden

The Lee Pascal Rose Garden is ready to bloom. Here's how this beautiful campus spot came to be.

UNLV History  |  Jun 11, 2014  |  By UNLV News Center

Lee Pascal Rose Garden (R. Marsh Starks / UNLV Photo Services)

Traveling north from UNLV's student union along the school's north-south mall, it's hard not to be drawn to the upside down Flashlight sculpture resting between the Artemus Ham Concert Hall and Judy Bayley Theatre. But before you get to the stairs ascending to the Flashlight, the Lee Pascal Rose Garden quietly awaits.

In 1989, local businesswoman and philanthropist Elaine Wynn funded this memorial to her mother, Lee Pascal. The garden is populated with "Show Biz," roses, symbolizing the Wynn family's prominence in the gaming and entertainment world.

Inscribed on the stone that commemorates the garden's dedication on June 15, 1989, is a simple quote from poet John Keats: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." Wynn chose the adage which, she said, she learned from her mother.

Wynn served on the UNLV Foundation board of directors from 1983 to 2008 and was board chair from 1985 to 1991. She was granted trustee emerita status in 2008. In her years of service to the board, Wynn helped raise millions of dollars for UNLV.

The rose garden also serves as a unique talking point for campus tours. Along with other stops like the Xeric Garden and the various Champion Trees, the garden contributes to a unique distinction that fewer than 10 percent of national college campuses hold: the 332-acres that make up UNLV have been designated an arboretum by the state.


Elaine Wynn

Year Installed:


Reason for Installation:

To honor the memory of Elaine Wynn's mother, Lee Pascal.