For some readers, this will be the first issue of UNLV Magazine they have ever received. The expanded distribution is part of the UNLV Alumni Association’s new Rebels Forever program. The association has shifted from a dues-paying membership model to a philanthropic one, aimed at ensuring you remain connected to your alma mater, and to each other.
As a diverse and growing Top Tier university, UNLV is uniquely positioned to make a profound impact on the lives of our students while discovering solutions to today’s greatest challenges through study and research.
On these pages, you will find examples of the many great things happening at UNLV right now. In addition to hitting a record-high fall enrollment – topping 31,000 – UNLV’s students are staying in school and graduating at higher rates than ever before. Our first-year retention – the rate of first-time, full-time freshmen who return for a second year – is up to 79.4% from 75.9%. Our six-year graduation rate continues to rise and is now at 44.8%. Both the retention and graduation rates have reached all-time highs thanks to sustained efforts aimed at student success.
UNLV has been creating academic programs that prepare these students for long-term success in our rapidly changing world. Take, for instance our cover package (page 28) on programs that take an interdisciplinary approach to wellness. Our interior design program is training future architects to create spaces that improve the wellbeing of populations with specialized healthcare needs. Like our health law program, it is one of a very few of its kind in the country.
This year, we also launched a new brain health program to investigate neurodegenerative diseases. The top-notch researchers in the program are forging multiple collaborations to build our community’s health care infrastructure while bolstering our already strong neuroscience and health disparities research initiatives.
UNLV is an entrepreneurial university that works with the community in so many ways. In the past year, donors invested more than $74.3 million in the university, including nearly $1 million during our first-ever Rebels Give Day. We’ve also formed public-private partnerships to develop the Maryland Parkway corridor into a destination for the community while providing a safe and welcoming environment for student living.
Rebels, like you, make incredible things happen every day. Turn to page 44 and consider how Alumna of the Year Bev Rogers is enriching the cultural and intellectual vitality of Southern Nevada. Or how UNLV provided a springboard for some first-generation graduates like Erica Mosca and Robert Vargas to find their callings through service. Or how Vanessa Sanders, the first black woman to earn a PhD in radiochemistry in the country, is making sure that other girls interested in science have a role model to follow.
UNLV is a proving ground for current and future engineers, scientists, educators, health professionals, artists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. Our impact can be felt in boardrooms, courtrooms, exam rooms, and classrooms. No matter our focus or field, we are Rebels forever and united by our capacity and drive to make a difference.