The University of Las Vegas
Back in the early 1970s, I lived on Maryland and Elizabeth across from UNLV. Every Sunday at noon, the siren on top of the UNLV building would whine. I told my daughter Katherine it was a test in case of an attack or emergency. She asked me, “What would happen if we were attacked on Sunday at noon? I answered, “Then for sure the siren would go off.”
In that same building twenty-five years later, Katherine (who had already practiced law in other states) passed the Nevada bar exam in order to practice in Las Vegas where she lives. As Sal Gogino, president of the state bar association, addressed the audience at Katherine’s graduation, I thought about the little girl who grew up across the street from UNLV. “…There are two kinds of lawyers,” he said, reciting an old attorney’s joke. “Those who know the law and those who know the judge.” Hearing that, I laughed to myself thinking how Katherine would do everything strictly by the book, unlike her old man.
Today, UNLV has come a long way from the high school dressing rooms that once served as classrooms. Thanks to the dedication of faculty, staff, students, generous donors, and Las Vegas residents over the past half century, the university has much to celebrate:
· At its 44th commencement in May 2007, the university had a record number of graduates, over 2,700.
· The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching placed UNLV in the prestigious category of Research Universities with High Research Activity.
· Students compete in 20 intramural sports and 16 sports at the NCAA Division I intercollegiate level.
· The 350-acre campus includes branches specializing in biotechnology, dental medicines, and research and technology. In addition, UNLV recently established its first international campus in Singapore.
· The UNLV International Gaming Institute offers degrees in gaming and hospitality management.
My granddaughter also graduated UNLV in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She’s now a third grade teacher at Robert E. Lake Elementary. And look at me…a guy who was kicked out of third grade.