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A Lifetime of Opportunities

Tina Kunzer-Murphy, the College of Education's Alumna of the Year, rose from being a student-athlete to leading all of them.

People  |  Apr 25, 2017  |  By Brian Sodoma
Tina Kunzer-Murphy
Editor's Note: 

The UNLV Alumni Association will celebrate the accomplishments of graduates at its annual reception and awards ceremony April 26. For a full list of honorees and event details, visit the alumni awards website


Born and raised in Las Vegas, Tina Kunzer-Murphy, ’75 BS-ED and ’77 MEd Physical Education, has been a fixture in the Southern Nevada sports community for more than four decades. On July 1, 2013, she added another accomplishment to her long and varied career as she began serving as UNLV interim director of athletics. The move marked two major milestones as Kunzer-Murphy became both the first woman and the first alumni to run the department. She was later appointed to the position on a permanent basis.


Why I’m a proud graduate of UNLV … 

I’m proud to be a UNLV Rebel as my education has given me a gift that has served me well. As an undergraduate student at UNLV, I worked nights at a drug store to pay for my education, as there were no athletic scholarships for women at the time. I had many wonderful mentors, one of whom was Alice Mason; she was our tennis coach, basketball coach, athletic director, and friend. She cared deeply for all the women student-athletes. I have fond memories of my days as a student, living in Cottage Grove Circle, studying all night, and then eating breakfast at the Aladdin Hotel for 29 cents with my fellow student-athletes. To this day, I believe that UNLV is one of the greatest places on earth.

My UNLV education has given me so many opportunities and I am eternally thankful to all of the professors, family, and friends who helped me get my degrees. UNLV always told me “yes” when many said “no”.  What a gift it has been – thank you!