In my 11 months as UNLV’s president, many people have heard me say what a great opportunity it is to be at this university, in this place, at this time. In a roundabout way, it’s become my mantra. I have witnessed and continue to see incredible things happening on campus that support our Top Tier vision.
Without a doubt, UNLV’s academic year is off to a great start — ranking as the second most diverse campus in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, boosting our fundraising efforts to a five-year high of $75 million in private donations, welcoming our largest-ever freshman class and improving our retention rate by five-percentage points, and securing funding during the legislative session for the UNLV School of Medicine and a new building for the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.
These accomplishments only scratch the surface. Our magazine reflects the stories that demonstrate our aspiration to reach the top. You’ll find a great example of this in our cover story The Meaning of the Mountain. Some of the key players behind the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute discuss its role and growth, which is now entering its second decade. It’s an excellent model of UNLV leading in the arts and the social sciences, and how the international community is taking notice.
Other highlights include:
- Our partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to secure a $11.1 million grant from the National Institute of Health that supports research projects related to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s .
- Our new research agreement with Tesla Motors that taps into our engineering expertise in battery manufacturing .
- Our selection — in a partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority — to host the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 19, 2016, just prior to the general election.
I know many of our successes would not be possible without your support. I have been particularly impressed with our alumni, like those honored during this year’s Homecoming activities. They continue to improve our community and advocate for us.
In closing, I want to share my thanks for all your help and your commitment to UNLV. It’s a true pleasure to serve you and our campus community.
Len Jessup, UNLV President