The state-of-the-art, 328-seat auditorium in UNLV's new Lied Athletic Complex was officially named the Barron Hilton Auditorium during a dedication ceremony today (Monday, April 14). The event honored Barron Hilton and recognized a $500,000 gift to UNLV for the athletic complex from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
"Future student-athletes will be inspired by the tradition of excellence that is represented by the Hilton name," UNLV President Carol C. Harter told invited guests, faculty, staff, and students. "This is much more than an auditorium - it is a place of learning that was specifically designed to fill multiple roles for study, classrooms, and meetings. We are deeply indebted to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for underwriting the cost of this outstanding facility for our dedicated student-athletes."
The $8.5 million Lied Athletic Complex opened last August and was built entirely with private funds initiated by a $4 million challenge gift from the Lied Foundation Trust. The gift from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation brings the total number of major donors to 15.
"Our roots in Nevada run deep, as does our foundation's commitment to supporting programs that benefit education and activities for young people," said Barron Hilton, a director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. "It is in that spirit that we were pleased to make this grant for UNLV's new auditorium, and I am personally proud the university has chosen to honor me by naming the facility the Barron Hilton Auditorium."
The 65,000-square-foot intercollegiate sports facility is one of the best in the nation, according to Charles Cavagnaro, UNLV athletics director. "The complex was designed with all of our student-athletes in mind. We can now provide the ultimate possible support for our young women and men," Cavagnaro explained. "The auditorium and study hall spaces were as carefully planned as the strength and fitness areas to give our students a competitive edge in academics and athletics."
The auditorium is the largest on campus and serves a multitude of purposes. The area is used for study hall and tutoring during the day. During training hours, teams can reserve space for meetings. Large-group activities, such as NCAA orientations, can be conducted for all UNLV athletes and staff at one time.
Marilyn and Si Redd contributed $1.5 million, and 12 other donors have been recognized as honorary lettermen for donations or pledges of $100,000 each. They are H. Don Ackerman, Ernest Becker Sr., William S. Boyd, the estate of James Cashman III, Frank and Vicki Fertitta, Michael Gaughan, Jerry and Sue Lykins, Chuck Ruthe, Richard Tam, Tom Wiesner, Leonard and Evelyn Wilson, and the Earl E. and Hazel Mae Wilson Trust. The names of the honorary lettermen will be mounted on a unique honorary lettermen's wall in the main corridor adjacent to the equipment facility.
The Lied Athletic Complex is located on the northwest side of campus adjacent to the Earl E. Wilson Baseball Stadium. It includes the Marilyn and Si Redd Sports Medicine Center, a 10,000-square-foot strength and conditioning center, full-service equipment room, laundry, locker rooms, extensive office spaces, and the Barron Hilton Auditorium.