| || |
Hope you are able to enjoy time with your loved ones this holiday season. It's a special time of the year and it allows us to reflect on many things. That said, Linda and I feel very blessed to be here at UNLV with so many amazing people within the department, the university and the community. Thank you for your support over the past year and for making us a part of the Rebel family. 2011 is going to be a GREAT year to be a Rebel!
Here are a few notes you might be interested in:
Congratulations to Neal Smatresk on officially being named president of UNLV earlier this month. Neal has done an amazing job of connecting with the community serving as the interim president over the past year and a half. His passion for UNLV, its students, its faculty and staff, its alumni and its supporters is evident every day. Personally, it's a pleasure to work with him on a daily basis. But more importantly, the Las Vegas Valley is benefiting - and will continue to benefit - from his leadership. Thank you for leading the Rebels, Neal!
This is Your University
In our last update, we talked about how UNLV Athletics serves as the front porch to the University. Whenever we mention this while out speaking to community members, people give us great feedback. As much as people love Rebel Athletics, UNLV is the priority. And that is the way it should be! That said, I would like to reserve space in every one of these updates to pass along interesting information about our fine institution... Did you know that UNLV has graduated 90,000 students in its 50-plus years with two-thirds of those graduates remaining in Southern Nevada? More than 5,000 of them are K-12 teachers, 9,000 of them are hotel and tourism professionals and, of course, there are thousands of business owners and managers. That is an amazing impact on this community!
Drive With Pride
Get Your Reb On when you drive around town. Did you know you are supporting scholarships for UNLV's student-athletes (as well as the general student population) when you have a UNLV Nevada license plate on your car? So when it is time to renew your registration or when you get a new car, think UNLV and Get Your Reb On by getting a UNLV license plate.
Alumni Association Pre-Game Event tomorrow
I'm excited to see many familiar faces and some new ones at the UNLV Alumni Association's Pregame Event tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 18) at the Richard Tam Alumni Center from 4-6 p.m ... Our Runnin' Rebels play Southern Utah at 7 p.m. and we hope you will be able to join us at the pregame beforehand. The Association has asked me to say a few words around 5:30 p.m. and I'm honored ... Admission is $10 for dues-paying members and guests 13-and-up are $20. Food, drink and entertainment will be provided ... I'll be headed over after our Lady Rebels' basketball game ends. Hope you can join us there beforehand. We tip-off at 3 p.m. at the T&M against South Florida.
Annual Report to be released in January
UNLV Athletics will be releasing an annual report in January to take a look back at where we have been the past year, but more importantly, to see where we are going. The report will be available online and we're excited to share it with our stakeholders.
UNLV celebrated its Fall Commencement with ceremonies at the T&M on Tuesday night. Seventeen of our student-athletes participated in the ceremonies and are new college graduates. We are so proud of all they have accomplished ... It's easy to focus on the traditional Spring Commencement when a large majority of our graduates participate, but these 17 new UNLV graduates are a reason to celebrate. Also, Yvonne Scott, the head coach of our track and field team, received her master's this past week. Great job, Rebels!
Lady Rebel reality TV show starts Dec. 30
Be sure to tune into the MountainWest Sports Network on Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m. PT to watch the first episode of Season Pass: UNLV Women's Basketball. Coach Kathy Olivier is doing some really good things in her third season at the helm and the reality show will give fans a unique look inside the program. The Mtn. is scheduled to air seven different episodes throughout the season ... And make sure to check out the Lady Rebs in person this weekend during the BTI Classic at the T&M. We face South Florida on Saturday (3 p.m.), Texas on Sunday (7:30 p.m.) and SMU on Monday (7:30 p.m.). Remember, kids 12-and-under are always free. It's a great way to spend time with your kids.
Another nationally ranked UNLV squad
Congratulations to both our men's and women's swimming teams for taking first place this past weekend as host of the UNLV Winter Invitational ... Our men's team is ranked No. 16 in the nation and coach Jim Reitz, once again, is doing a great job with our student-athletes.
98.5 KLUC's Chet Buchanan does amazing things with his annual Toy Drive, which recently concluded. Along with the entire Morning Zoo team, Chet was able to collect donations from the community to fill-up 14 semi-truck trailers of toys for less-fortunate children in the Las Vegas Valley. That is amazing - 14! This included 2,287 bikes as well as collecting $145,069 in gift cards. Chet brings awareness to the Toy Drive by living for 12 days on a scaffolding 30 feet above the ground ... We're proud to call Chet a member of the Rebel family as he serves as our on-court and on-field emcee for our Runnin' Rebels and our football team. During the Toy Drive, UNLV coaches such as Tim Chambers (baseball), Lon Kruger (men's basketball), Pete Manarino (softball) and Kathy Olivier (women's basketball) made appearances to support Chet.
Sold out Maaco Bowl LV
Excited to hear the Maaco Bowl LV is another sellout at UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium. It's a great match-up between Boise State (which enters the Mountain West Conference next season) and Utah. Tina Kunzer-Murphy and her Maaco Bowl LV team do a wonderful job with the event. Congratulations to them!
Meet Lisa Kelleher
Lisa Kelleher is in her 19th season as UNLV's Senior Woman Administrator and was recently promoted to Senior Associate Athletics Director. She has a great passion for this university and for our student-athletes. I've really enjoyed teaming with her over the past year.
In her new position, Kelleher oversees management of operations and facilities for the department and provides administrative oversight for the day-to-day operations of women's basketball, women's golf, and men's and women's soccer. She also ensures Title IX compliance for the 10 women's sports programs and oversees department diversity initiatives. In addition, Kelleher is a member of the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame committee, serves on the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Committee, a two-year term, and as the MWC administrative liaison to women's golf, a four-year term.
A 1979 graduate of Miami (Ohio) University, Kelleher earned her master's degree from the University of Arizona in 1980. Kelleher, a doctoral candidate in the UNLV Higher Education Leadership program, will defend her dissertation and graduate May, 2011 (anticipated). Lisa and her husband, Peter, have four daughters: Molly, married to Jeremy Dutton, Bridget, Megan and Tara.
Hope you enjoyed this update and we hope you are buying lots of UNLV gear as gifts this holiday season. (Help us help others get their Reb on! It also supports our student-athletes.) Thank you for all of your support. Happy Holidays and have a great New Year!
Have a GREAT Rebel Day!
Director of Athletics