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Contributions soar in memory of Bonnie Bryan ’61

Bonnie BryanMore than 100 individuals and organizations have donated to the Richard H. and Bonnie B. Bryan Scholarship Endowment in recent months in memory of former first lady of Nevada Bonnie (Fairchild) Bryan '61 (psychology), who passed away Aug. 30 at the age of 77.

The scholarship was established in 2009 by the Bryans' children, Richard Bryan Jr. '90 M.D., Leslie (Bryan) Hart and Blair (Bryan) Butler '90 (elementary education), '92 M.Ed. in honor of their parents' accomplishments and their dedication to public service in the state of Nevada. Recipients of the scholarship are political science students who graduated from a Nevada high school and who have financial need.

"Scholarships offer an incredible financial relief," says Jose Marroquin, a 20-year-old Las Vegas native who received the scholarship this year. "They minimize the amount in loans I need, which provides a considerable cushion for when I graduate. This gives me the freedom to explore potential goals and opportunities after graduation." Marroquin plans to attend law school and aspires to become an environmental lawyer.

Bonnie met her husband, former Nevada Governor and U.S. Senator Richard H. Bryan '59 (prelegal), when they were both undergraduates at the University of Nevada, Reno. He was ASUN president while she served as a senator. The pair married on Sept. 1, 1962. During Richard's political career, Bonnie championed her own causes, from children's literacy to teen DUI prevention to the creation of Great Basin National Park. In 2005, she received the Lifetime Community Achievement Award from the Junior League of Las Vegas. Throughout her professional and personal life, Bonnie was known for her warmth and tireless service to her community. 

"The University has lost an exemplary alumna in Bonnie Bryan," said Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations John Carothers. "The outpouring of donations we have received in her memory is a testament to her impact on the communities she served. We are grateful that Bonnie's memory will continue to be honored by the students who earn the scholarship bearing her name."

Photo: Former first lady of Nevada Bonnie Bryan '61, who passed away Aug. 30 at the age of 77. Hundreds of donors have contributed in her memory to a scholarship established in 2009 in honor of the Bryans. (Photo courtesy of Richard H. Bryan '59.)

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To learn more about supporting the University, please contact Keiko Weil, director of donor relations, at (775) 682-5964.