Michael Beiler recently was appointed director of development for University Libraries, transferring from his position as a fundraiser for UNLV Athletics. In total, he has worked for UNLV for nearly four years. Beiler holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Florida Gulf Coast University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Oklahoma. Recently married to Las Vegas native and UNLV alumna Kourtney Scherrer Beiler ’18 BS Hotel Administration, he is now proud to call Las Vegas home.
Tell me about an “a-ha” moment in your career.
I played tennis in college at Florida Gulf Coast University. I remember going to a donor event with the head development officer at the time and thinking his job seemed really cool and like something I could do. As I journeyed through graduate school, earning a master’s in education from the University of Oklahoma, I look back to that moment as a turning point for me.
When did you realize you were a good tennis player?
I started playing tennis late, at 10 years old. Early on, my coach said, “You’re built for tennis – you’re tall and long. I wish I would have coached you earlier because I think you could have been really good.”
In high school, I trained hard to get an athletic scholarship to college. I know I felt more connected to my university because of tennis. It helped me as a student as well, giving me a lot of structure. I also created friendships with my teammates that will last a lifetime. It was a blast.
What have you learned about the University Libraries so far?
There’s so much more that goes on here than most people on campus would realize – from Special Collections and Archives to our Makerspace to the multimedia recording studios as well as the different branch libraries around campus. The libraries’ faculty and staff are so focused on student success and cultivating an atmosphere of innovation, knowledge creation, and discovery. Being a part of a unit that affects every student at UNLV is what interested me – and I’m really impressed.
What kind of student were you growing up?
I was a solid student – not the best, but a product of having parents who were involved and made sure that I stayed on top of things. In college, I was always better at reading and writing, and it made sense that I gravitated toward a career that’s about relationship building.
What tips can you give us on building better relationships?
I was always told you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listening is a big part of building relationships, and knowing how to ask good questions. Making a point to remember things – like remembering little things about a conversation to make the other person feel seen and heard.
How did you meet wife?
I met her at a Golden Knights game. I got tickets for the Vegas vs. Tampa game from someone who knew I was a Tampa Bay Lightning fan, and it just so happens that Kourtney was there with her parents next to another couple I know through UNLV. I was introduced to her, we immediately hit it off, and I got her number after the game. The rest is history. We started dating right before the pandemic and then we spent practically every day together during quarantine. We just got married this past summer.
What is your favorite date night?
Going somewhere for good Italian food and a bottle of wine. There’s a lot of “classic” dates that we haven’t done because of the pandemic, like we just went to our first movie together. I took her to see House of Gucci because she likes Gucci as a brand. But we enjoy food so that’s a perfect date night for us; we’re both kind of old souls.
Do you have any favorite holiday foods or traditions?
My mom’s family is Italian, and growing up we always celebrated the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. It’s an Italian-American tradition to serve a big meal with seven different seafood dishes, and I love it. This will be my first Christmas with my wife so we’re looking forward to creating our own holiday traditions with our collective families.
Continuing with the theme of food, what is your guilty pleasure?
Cheez-Its and pretty much any chocolate, especially Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I have a terrible sweet tooth and can eat a whole box of Cheez-Its in one sitting.
How much UNLV apparel do you own?
So much … probably too much. Shoes, jackets, polos, quarter zips, long sleeves, sweatshirts. You name it, I have it.