“He understands what our students are going through.”
“A true visionary.”
“A leader who is focused on team building, new designs, and new trajectories.”
These are just a few of the endorsements that earned UNLV President Len Jessup the 2018 CEO Leadership Award from fundraising industry association The Council for Advancement and Support of Education, District VII (CASE).
Jessup is the first UNLV president to receive this honor since it was established in 1999. Annually, the award recognizes leaders who demonstrate outstanding contributions to their campus communities, support fundraising at their institutions, and promote a public understanding and support of education.
Jessup received the recognition during the Connect West annual conference March 1-3 in San Francisco, which was attended by more than 600 higher education leaders from CASE District VII. In accepting the award, Jessup recognized UNLV as a vibrant institution with momentum and growth.
“There’s something special about this university, in this place, at this time,” Jessup said. “With everything that’s happening in Las Vegas right now, for UNLV to be making this push to become a Top Tier university – it’s an incredible opportunity, and I’m very grateful to be here.”
Since becoming UNLV’s president in 2015, Jessup has led the university to develop a new brand, “Different, Daring, and Diverse,” that reflects UNLV's core strengths. Beyond a tagline, he has challenged his leadership team to put this message into practice. Additionally, UNLV has had its best fundraising years in the university's history since 2015.
Nominator Scott Roberts, vice president for the Division of Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement, and president of the UNLV Foundation, noted that Jessup has launched a medical school and built the world-class Hospitality Hall, the new academic building for the Harrah College of Hospitality.
“Under his leadership, UNLV is distinguishing itself as an inclusive, diverse institution that’s improving access to education and developing the next generation of professionals in fields ranging from healthcare to hospitality,” Roberts said.
The award also recognized Jessup for developing many unique opportunities for UNLV, such as hosting the final U.S. Presidential debate in October 2016. He has worked closely with community leaders to help secure a state-of-the art stadium at no cost to the university for UNLV football games in the future.
The CEO Leadership Award is part of CASE District VII’s People Awards program, which honors individual contributions and achievement within the district. CASE District VII represents professionals and institutions in the western region of the United States, including Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, and Utah.