LAS VEGAS - Longtime UNLV supporter Kitty Rodman and Las Vegas Sands and its chairman Sheldon Adelson will be honored at the 2014 UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner Oct. 13 at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas.
The UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner began in 1989 as a way to celebrate individuals and organizations that advance UNLV's mission through their private support each year. Donors whose cumulative giving tops $1 million are recognized at the annual dinner and inducted into the university's Palladium Society. Kitty Rodman, who passed away in February 2014, will be recognized posthumously.
In fiscal year 2014, multi-million dollar gifts from Las Vegas Sands and the Rodman estate helped the UNLV Foundation raise more than $61 million in gifts and gift commitments.
Las Vegas Sands committed $7 million toward construction of a new hotel college academic building and a proposed Center for Professional and Leadership Studies. Rodman was a stalwart supporter of numerous UNLV programs and initiatives. Her legacy of giving to UNLV was widespread but strongly focused on students, and her estate gift to UNLV will be announced and recognized during the dinner.
"Our donors have made countless contributions to the university and the annual event is our opportunity to recognize their philanthropy and highlight the impact their giving has on UNLV and its students and programs," said Michael Yackira, UNLV Foundation Board chairman. "UNLV's long term success hinges on private support from people and organizations in our community. We couldn't be as successful without them."
The Las Vegas Sands gift to the Harrah Hotel College was announced in April and will support executive education opportunities and contribute to construction of Hospitality Hall, a new hotel college academic building in the heart of UNLV's campus.
Rodman was a 25-year member of the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees who over the years was a staple at UNLV academic and community events. She co-founded the Jean Nidetch Women's Center, supported scholarships, helped establish the physical therapy program, and funded the construction of campus residence halls - one of which is named in her honor.
Last year's dinner honorees were Carolyn Hanna and Christina M. Hixson and the Lied Foundation Trust. In 2012, the Lee Family (Lee Business School), Bob Boughner, and the Caesars Foundation and Caesars Entertainment were recognized.
Since 1981, the UNLV Foundation has raised more than $1 billion in gifts and gift commitments to the university to provide support areas such as student scholarships, academic programming, faculty endowments, and research equipment and facilities. Over the past five years, the Foundation has raised close to $44 million in support for scholarships.
UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner Speaker
A distinguishing tradition of the dinner since its inception in 1989 has been to showcase a keynote speaker. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will keynote the 2014 dinner. Previous speakers include news personalities Charlie Rose and Peter Jennings, former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, former President Bill Clinton, former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and former first lady Barbara Bush.
Support for the dinner comes from individuals and organizations that represent Southern Nevada's strongest advocates for higher education. The 2014 lead sponsors include:
Bank of America
Barnes & Noble College
Bennett Family Foundation
Cashman Equipment Company
Kell and Nancy Houssels
Konami Gaming, Inc.
Dana and Gregory Lee
Mr. and Mrs. Hae Un Lee/Lee's Discount Liquor
The Mendenhall Family
MGM Resorts International
Wells Fargo Foundation
Michael and Renee Yackira