Cleveland “Cle” Edwards
Cleveland “Cle” Edwards, former Runnin’ Rebel assistant coach, died Aug. 17. Edwards was Jerry Tarkanian’s staff from 1984-90. UNLV made NCAA Tournament appearances in each of those six seasons, including two Final Fours and won the 1990 national championship. He served a second stint as assistant coach during the 1994-95 season as well as interim head coach for 14 games. He later served as a scout for various NBA teams.
Curtis M. Roe
Curtis M. Roe, ’83 BS Hotel Administration, died May 13 in Denver. He had a long career in human resources, including positions around the nation with Marriott and Hilton. In Las Vegas, he was director of human resources for Caesars at Sea. After moving back to his hometown of Denver to care for his parents, he served on many committees at Wellshire Presbyterian Church. While living in Southern Nevada he had been active in Green Valley Presbyterian Church.
Ajoy Datta, professor of engineering, died May 26. He joined the computer science faculty in 1988 and served as graduate advisor for two decades. He was a respected scholar and influential researcher in the areas of operating systems, fault-tolerance, and distributed systems and had close to 200 publications. He also served on the editorial board of the ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems journal. Donations in his memory may be made to Fund 2813 Engineering Dr. Ajoy Datta Memorial. *
William Thompson, emeritus professor of public administration, died Aug. 12. A UNLV faculty member from 1980 until his retirement in 2010, Thompson was a prolific author whose work provided greater understanding of the history and impact of gaming and gaming policy. He made multiple appearances on NBC’s Today, ABC’s World News Tonight, and Nightline and was quoted in Time, Business Week, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Canadian Business, Washington Post, New York Times, and Vancouver Sun. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Patrick Smith, ’97 BA Communications, ’01 Master of Public Administration, died May 28. A government and community affairs consultant, he served as a close advisor to business and elected leaders throughout Nevada. He was considered an expert in campaigns, special events, land use, regulatory affairs, and legislative lobbying and advocacy. Elected to the UNLV Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2011, he was serving as immediate past president at the time of his death. As an student, he served as president of the student Senate and as a founder of the campus Pi Kappa Alpha chapter. He was involved in numerous community organizations, including Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, the Nevada Economic Development Coalition, and Special Olympics Nevada.
Jolene Watanabe, ’90 Computer Science, who put the UNLV women's tennis program on the map three decades ago, died June 22 following a battle with cancer. She holds the distinction of being the first Rebel to forge a successful career on the professional tennis tour. She played at UNLV 1987-90 and left as the program's career leader in singles victories with 120 and doubles wins with 84 (she still ranks third in singles and tied for fourth in doubles). Her single-season record of 34 doubles wins in 1987 still stands. Winner of the Big West Conference Player of the Year Award in 1990, she became the first UNLV women's player to qualify for the NCAA singles championship that same year. In 2001, she retired after an 11-year career on the Women’s Tennis Association circuit. She made national news in 1997 when she upset Jennifer Capriati in the first round of the Australian Open. After ending her playing days, she became a coach, most recently in Hilton Head, South Carolina.