The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) today announced a $7 million gift from Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) to the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. The gift will support construction of a new hotel college academic building and boost executive education opportunities through a proposed Center for International Hospitality and Gaming Education.
"With Las Vegas Sands' support, we are setting the global standard in hospitality and gaming education and development of the industry's future leaders and scholars," said Stowe Shoemaker, dean of UNLV's Harrah Hotel College. "These endeavors are vital for continuing UNLV's leadership and building an environment that enhances the learning styles of tomorrow's students, creating a truly global classroom."
The LVS gift advances construction fundraising for a new hotel college academic building, dubbed Hospitality Hall, in the heart of UNLV's campus. During the next five years, LVS will allocate $2.5 million for the construction of Hospitality Hall.
Early designs of the facility include roughly 95,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory and meeting space that will encourage interaction and a sense of community between students, faculty, and industry professionals. The total project cost is estimated at $50 million, with a proposed $30 million in public funding and $20 million in private support.
LVS has also committed $4.5 million to create a new Center for International Hospitality and Gaming Education. The center will support hospitality industry managers and executives through a mix of open enrollment and custom in-person and online executive education courses. It will provide working professionals the skills and knowledge necessary to advance their careers, and further position UNLV as the world's premier educational leader in hospitality and gaming.
"Industry partnerships are essential to keep the Harrah Hotel College at the forefront of hospitality and gaming education, and to ensure we're preparing our graduates to compete and succeed globally," said UNLV President Donald Snyder, who served as dean of the Hotel College from 2010 to 2013. "The generous support of Las Vegas Sands will strengthen Las Vegas' reputation as the global intellectual capital of gaming by creating new education opportunities for industry professionals and by continuing momentum on a new academic building that will connect the university and the industry like never before."
The LVS gift is part of the corporation's new global citizenship program, Sands Cares, which focuses on corporate giving in support of local communities where LVS operates. This includes support for LVS employees, the hospitality industry, and efforts to reduce environmental impact. In addition to the UNLV gift, LVS also donated $1 million to international nonprofit Clean the World.
"LVS is committed to creating positive and tangible benefits in the areas we care most about - our team members, our industry, the local communities we call home, and our planet," said Michael Leven, LVS president and chief operating officer. "Sands Cares and our work with UNLV and Clean the World will impact all of these focus areas. With this corporate commitment uniting our teams around the globe, we will truly make a difference on some very important initiatives."
State legislators approved planning funds for Hospitality Hall during the 2013 Legislative Session, and the State Board of Examiners approved a contract for architectural services on Feb. 4, 2014. UNLV expects to present a public funding request during the 2015 Legislative Session, which if approved could lead to project completion by late 2017.
About Hospitality Hall
The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration has been at the heart of hospitality education for nearly 50 years, shaping the future of the hospitality industry in Las Vegas and around the globe. To remain at the forefront of essential knowledge and best practices, Hospitality Hall will help the College raise the bar for hospitality education. It will feature sweeping views of the Las Vegas Strip and serve as a bridge to the resort industry with public and private support from the state of Nevada and hospitality, gaming and tourism industries. In 2010, the Caesars Foundation provided $2.5 million to the Harrah Hotel College to drive the project's initial planning and design phase. Fundraising for building construction launched in February with a $2.5 million gift from Konami Corporation.
About Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) is a Fortune 500 company and the world's premier developer of integrated resort destinations, including the five-diamond Venetian and Palazzo resorts and Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Sands Bethlehem in Eastern Pennsylvania, the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and multiple developments in China. Through majority ownership in Sands China, Ltd., LVS owns a portfolio of Cotai Strip properties, including the Venetian Macao, Four Seasons Hotel Macao and Sands Cotai Central, as well as the Sands Macao on the Macao Peninsula.
For 25 years, the company's innovations have set the bar in the hospitality industry and transformed regions where it does business. LVS is dedicated to being a good corporate citizen, anchored by the core tenets of delivering a great working environment for more than 46,000 employees worldwide, driving impact through its Sands Cares corporate citizenship program and leading innovation with the company's award-winning Sands ECO360? global sustainability program. To learn more, please visit www.sands.com.