We are proud to share the headlines donors to the University are making through their contributions to benefit our students, faculty and programs. If these stories inspire you, consider making a gift.
Nevada Fund supports critical campus initiatives
Through generous donor support, the Nevada Fund allows the University to respond to immediate needs by furthering vital initiatives that support students. Last year, donors aided the Nevada Fund in providing comprehensive and inclusive programming for students through NevadaFIT, Wellness Welcome Back and Move-in/NOW Weekend. Additionally, the fund helped create a retreat focused on healing, support and trust with the Women of Color Collective. And lastly, in partnership with Apple, the University’s Digital Wolf Pack Initiative is working to provide a common learning platform and deliver equal access to technology and digital tools for freshmen and faculty.
Jan Nachlinger Reno Herbarium Endowment established
Janet Nachlinger ’85 M.S. (botany) has long had a passion for the Reno Herbarium in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, serving as both a dedicated volunteer and generous supporter for nearly 10 years. In November, she established the Jan Nachlinger Reno Herbarium Endowment which will support the herbarium’s educational and research programs. The herbarium houses a collection of western U.S. plants, focusing on Nevada specimens, for use by all in need of plant identification or other botanical information.
S. J. Pierce Medical Student Scholarship established through planned giving
Through a bequest in his trust, Steven Pierce will establish this scholarship to alleviate the burden of medical school debt and encourage female students to pursue careers in the family and primary care fields. Once realized, this gift will help cover the cost of tuition, books, mandatory fees and living expenses for one student for the entirety of their four years in medical school.
Nicole Shepherd named 2022 Herz Gold Medalist
During commencement, the University recognized Nicole Shepherd '22 (accounting & applied music) as the recipient of the Spring 2022 R. Herz Gold Medal. She received the award as the graduating senior with the highest University GPA with the most letter-graded credits. Shepherd graduated with a 4.0 while pursuing a double major in accounting and music (clarinet performance) and a minor in mathematics. The Herz Gold Medal is the University’s oldest and most prestigious award and was established in 1910 by brothers Richard, Carl and Otto Herz. Funding for the award is provided by the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation and the Thelma B. and Thomas P. Hart Foundation, a Reno-based charity. Learn more about Shepherd and her University journey in this video interview.
Celebrating the Class of 2022
In mid-May, we welcomed thousands of new alumni to the Wolf Pack Family — conferring 3,213 degrees and certificates at the Spring 2022 Commencement ceremonies. Of those, 2,516 were bachelor's degrees and 697 were master's or doctoral degrees across 169 different majors, with graduates ranging from 19 to 71 years old. As part of the Class of 2022's Senior Class Gift, the Associated Students of the University of Nevada is encouraging this year’s graduating class and our community as a whole to donate to support the next generation of students through scholarships and financial aid. Outgoing ASUN President Austin Brown '22 is asking students, faculty and alumni to join him in making a gift of $20.22 to support future Wolf Pack students, saying, "While our time on campus is coming to a close, our legacy and influence as a member of the Wolf Pack is just beginning." A record 178 gifts across all colleges and schools have already been received.
Hugh Henne Investment Competition Fund established
Mitch Hennessey, known by his alias Hugh Henne, is a self-made millionaire, founder of the private wealth firm Hennessey Capital Management and co-host of PGIR, the world’s leading stock market podcast. Hennessey’s passion for trading stocks started in high school and at age 21, he decided to challenge himself to turn a $50,000 portfolio into $1,000,000 as fast as possible — exceeding that goal in just under four months. Inspired to pass on his knowledge, he created Hugh Henne to help others open Roth IRAs, easily understand the stock market and to give back to the community. By establishing this fund, Hennessey wishes that every business student who takes part in the new Hugh Henne Investment Competition will obtain the knowledge and confidence they need to achieve their unique goals and individual financial freedom. Just months after the fund was established, the competition produced its first award winner, Joshua Palabay ’21 (business administration).
Memorial endowment honoring Harumi Sheedy hopes to manufacture joy
For the late Harumi Sheedy, her education was her greatest advantage during her more than 30 years in the manufacturing industry — managing purchasing and supplier management teams around the world. Even after earning associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she continued to further her education. Throughout her career, she encouraged countless women to pursue their degrees and advance their careers. Her husband, Derek Sheedy, could think of no greater way to honor her memory than a scholarship that will support future female engineers and manufacturing professionals as they complete their degrees.
Julius A. Ballardini Cognitive and Brain Sciences Graduate Student Award Endowment established
Julius Ballardini and his daughter, Nicole Ballardini ’96 (psychology), ’07 M.A., established this endowment to provide awards to graduate students studying neuroscience or cognitive and brain sciences. A local Nevadan, Julius grew up in a time when higher education was not easily accessible and hopes support such as this will help future generations of cognitive scientists; and Nicole is a first-generation graduate student of the University’s Cognitive and Brain Sciences Graduate Program.
Welcoming the 2022 Foundation Professors
Deborah Boehm, Ana de Bettencourt-Dias and Fred Harris Jr. were named the Foundation Professors for 2022. Deborah Boehm, professor of Gender, Race, and Identity and Anthropology, researches immigration in addition to the intersectionality of gendered family relations. Ana de Bettencourt-Dias, holder of the Clemons-Magee Endowed Chemistry Professorship, focuses on research of light-emitting compounds and served as associate vice president for University Research from 2015-19. Fred Harris Jr., a professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers on parallel computation, data science and virtual reality, and oversees all of Nevada’s Established Programs to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) programs as director. The honorific Foundation Professor title is carried in perpetuity and each professor receives $15,000 from the University Foundation to support their professional endeavors. With the Foundation’s support, more than $70,000 is awarded to deserving faculty and staff each year.
Dr. Jerry Johnson and Dr. Jeanne Harrah-Johnson establish science and mathematics scholarship endowments
Committed to supporting STEM at the University, Faculty Emeritus Jerry Johnson, Ph.D. and Jeanne Harrah-Johnson, Ph.D. established the Dr. Jerry Johnson and Dr. Jeanne Harrah-Johnson Science Scholarship Endowment and the Dr. Jerry Johnson and Dr. Jeanne Harrah-Johnson Mathematics Scholarship Endowment through a planned gift. Scholarship recipients will be full-time students pursuing a degree in physics, chemistry, biology or mathematics and statistics. Jerry Johnson, Ph.D. served as professor of mathematics from 1993 until his retirement in 2014. He was founding director of the Mathematics Center and chair of the Department of Mathematics from 1995 through 2001.
Lannes support new Basketball Locker Room Building
Eric Lannes ’82 (mechanical engineering) and his wife, Linda, provided generous support to the ICA Facility Campaign Men’s & Women’s Basketball New Locker Room Building Fund. This fund will support the construction of a new locker room building for both men’s and women’s basketball. Set to be completed by early 2024, this leading-edge facility will benefit countless student-athletes for years to come and help our basketball programs recruit the highest-quality athletes and coaches. For their generous support of this fund as well as the Lombardi Locker Room Renovation Project Fund and Wolf Club Scholarship Fund, the Lannes are recognized in the University Honor Court as Silver Benefactors. Eric Lannes served as executive vice president with a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial and industrial water and space heating products.
Crystal Family Foundation supports Scholar Leader scholarship endowment
To support students in The College of Business’ Scholar Leaders Program, the Crystal Family Foundation established the Crystal Family Scholar Leader Scholarship Endowment Fund in 2010 and made its most recent gift to the fund. Focused on enhancing the college’s strategic initiatives through student engagement, this program is designed to identify and support student leaders’ academic and professional success. The Crystal Family Foundation has supported numerous colleges and programs across campus for the last 23 years and is engraved in the Honor Court as a Gold Benefactor.
Katerina Jones Diversity and Inclusion in Nursing Scholarship established
The Jones Family established this scholarship to support students pursuing a bachelor’s of nursing in the Orvis School of Nursing in honor of alumna, Katerina Jones ’06 (nursing), ’16 MSN. This scholarship will support a student who has positively contributed to the LGBTQIA+ community by promoting a more inclusive and equitable health environment.
Stavitsky Family Internship established
The dean of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies, Alan Stavitsky, and his wife, Kristin Loebbecke, have established the Stavitsky Family Internship to support journalism students interning at KUNR. Additionally, Stavitsky and Loebbecke plan to support the establishment of the Stavitsky Family Internship Endowment in perpetuity for KUNR through a bequest from their trust. Stavitsky is the longest-serving dean in the Reynolds School’s history, where he has launched new academic programs in Spanish-language media, science communication and film production. Kristin Loebbecke has worked as a fundraiser for human services, literacy and public media organizations in Oregon and Nevada, and currently for The Children’s Cabinet.
Tom Dolan provides support for Propionic Acidemia Research Fund
Distinguished Nevadan Tom Dolan ’72 (social psychology) made a gift supporting the Propionic Acidemia Research Fund. Propionic acidemia is a rare metabolic disorder that affects anywhere from one in 20,000 to one in 250,000 people across various parts of the world. This fund supports research into this rare disorder by Seungil Ro, associate professor of physiology and cell biology.
Bruce A. Krater Civil Engineering Memorial Scholarship established
Established by family and friends, the Bruce A. Krater Civil Engineering Memorial Scholarship was created to recognize the late Bruce Krater ’52 (civil engineering) and support undergraduate students in civil engineering. After graduation, Krater served in the U.S. Air Force for four years before coming back to his forever home in Reno where his 50-year career included overseeing the design and construction of numerous important and critical infrastructure improvements in Reno, Lake Tahoe and northern Nevada/Northern California. Krater was past president of the Nevada Society of Professional Engineers; member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Public Works Association; and past president of both the University of Nevada, Reno Engineering Alumni Association and the Nevada Alumni Association.
Loretta Terlizzi establishes three endowments through planned giving
To honor her late husband, Faculty Emeritus James McCormick, Loretta Terlizzi established three endowments benefiting KUNR Reno Public Radio, Special Collections and the Department of Art where McCormick taught for 32 years. The endowment for the Department of Art will provide support to both faculty and graduate students. The endowment for Special Collections will support the ongoing care and maintenance of papers donated by McCormick from 2012-16; and the endowment for KUNR Reno Public Radio will benefit KUNR's classical music and local news broadcasting, which have been a favorite of Loretta’s for nearly 40 years.
Sharlyn Woolley Quasi Endowment for Student Teachers
Established in June 2021 through an estate gift from the late Sharlyn Woolley ’99 M.Ed. (educational leadership), this endowment will support student teachers who are completing their internships in the College of Education & Human Development. Woolley received her bachelor’s in English and Latin from California State University, Sacramento before coming to the University to earn her master’s. With a lifelong passion for learning, Woolley believed in the importance of helping others and spent her 14-year career with the Washoe County School District where she enjoyed teaching elementary students and mentoring new teachers.
John Moran Memorial Scholarship Endowment established
John Moran ’10 Ph.D. (counseling & educational psychology) held various positions in software engineering and marketing management after obtaining a degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. After his graduation, he worked and taught part time in Silicon Valley and later founded a company that organized IT communities of practice for CIOs of various corporations. He continued to operate his company even after moving to Reno in 2001. Upon his relocation to Nevada, Moran attended the University where he earned his Ph.D. and went on to teach in the Information Systems graduate program. Moran’s family has established this endowment in his honor and to recognize his deep commitment to education. It will support undergraduate students in the Information Systems program.
Mission Support and Test Services Student Research in the Physical Sciences Fund established
Mission Support and Test Services, LLC is the managing and operating contractor for the Nevada National Security Site and satellite facilities of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nevada Field Office. MSTS hires outstanding candidates in a variety of career fields, including science, engineering, information technology, project management, human resources, finance, construction and business. MSTS established this fund in September to support University of Nevada, Reno students engaging in research in the physical sciences.
Nevada Public Health Foundation establishes scholarship endowment in gerontology
Dedicated to building a healthy future for Nevada, the Nevada Public Health Foundation established the Nevada Public Health Foundation Scholarship Endowment for Gerontology Nursing Fund in June. Supporting students pursuing graduate degrees in adult gerontology acute care or adult gerontology primary care, this endowment aims to build a stronger workforce through advanced nursing education. In addition to the establishment of this fund, the Nevada Public Health Foundation established a scholarship endowment for social work in 2019 and has supported the School of Public Health over more than 11 years of philanthropy.
Celebrating the newest Nevada alumni at Winter Commencement
The University celebrated 1,993 new degrees and certificates conferred during the Winter 2021 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 4. Of those, 1,406 were bachelor's degrees and 587 were master's or doctoral degrees across 169 different majors. Two separate ceremonies were held inside Lawlor Events Center to celebrate the August and December 2021 graduates who ranged in age from 18 to 77 years old. This commencement also marked the University's first bachelor's in musical theatre degree and first master's of science in cybersecurity degree.
Christine A. Fey Graduate Scholarship in Art Endowment established
Christine Fey ’88 (anthropology), ’91 M.S. (land use planning) established this scholarship endowment through planned giving to support graduate students in the Department of Art. Scholarships helped Fey attain both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University, which would have been very difficult or impossible without this support. Fey says she knows the importance of scholarships to help attract talented students and hopes this endowment will help with recruitment and provide needed support to graduate art students who may not be able to continue their studies otherwise.
Robbyn and Harry Tolles Family Medical Education Research Fund established
Robbyn and Harry Tolles ’00 MBA are establishing this fund through a bequest from their trust. Robbyn worked for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine’s Office of Medical Education first as an assistant director of medical education, then as coordinator and lastly, as director for curriculum assessment and development. In her 14 years with UNR Med, Robbyn noticed there were limited funds for medical education research. The Tolles hope this fund will provide access to financial support for medical education-focused projects and/or programs, especially hypothesis-based research evaluating improvement in students’ learning or clinical skills as well as aiding faculty in trying out new learning strategies.
College of Business Graduate Student Scholarship established
Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, this scholarship has been established to support graduate-level students pursuing a degree in The College of Business. The college is a premier business school with a world-class reputation as a source of uniquely qualified future industry leaders.
Reverend Jackie Leonard Next Generation Radio Nevada Program Endowment established
Recognized as Patrons in the University Honor Court, the Leonard family has a long-standing connection to numerous programs and colleges campuswide. Rev. Jackie L. Leonard ’71 (speech communication and theatre) and her brother, Guy ’77 (philosophy) followed in their parents’ footsteps, Paul ’36 (journalism) and Gwen Leonard ’37 (history), as alumni. Rev. Leonard went on to serve the community for decades as a police chaplain with the Reno Police Department, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada Highway Patrol as well as on the pastoral staff of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Reno since 1995. In May, Rev. Leonard established this endowment, coupled with additional funding from a planned gift, to support the annual Next Generation Radio Nevada Program in the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism.
SAEF Accounting Award established by Sayles Advancement in Education Foundation
In September, the Sayles Advancement in Education Foundation established the SAEF Accounting Award in The College of Business. Co-founded by certified public accountants Jessica Sayles and Jacqueline Matthew, this foundation aims to further the post-secondary accounting education for students facing personal or financial hardships. The SAEF Accounting Award will recognize and support hardworking undergraduate and graduate students studying accounting.
Endowments and scholarships support student veterans, National Guard members, reservists and ROTC cadets
The University of Nevada, Reno and University Foundation are grateful for the military service of our donors, faculty, staff, alumni and students. Thank you for your courage, strength and dedication. There are more than 400 student veterans, National Guard members and reservists at the University, and there are more than 120 cadets in the University’s ROTC Wolf Pack Battalion. Donors have established endowed scholarships to benefit veteran students at the University, including the Anthony W. & Delores J. DeSio Foundation Scholarship, the Amy & Mark Nichols Veteran Scholarship featured below, the A. Clark Hestmark Scholarship, and the George Prassinos & Thurman Fogarty Scholarship for Veterans & First Responders. Scholarship endowments that benefit veteran students and students participating in the University’s ROTC program include the Barsanti Brothers Military & Veterans Scholarship, the William A. Chaffin Jr. ROTC “Quarter Horse” Scholarship, the Colonel & Mrs. John M. Etchemendy Scholarship and the Frost Family Scholarship.
Endowed scholarship helping student veterans reach graduation
Established through planned giving by Ron and Grace Nichols and named in honor of their daughter, Amy ’13 (neuroscience), and their late son, Mark, the Amy & Mark Nichols Veteran Scholarship Endowment supports veterans of the U.S. armed forces pursuing their bachelor’s in engineering. This year’s recipient, Jacob Tucker (class of 2022) says starting college at an older age was intimidating, but this scholarship has been a critical support as he nears graduation. A U.S. Army veteran, Jacob traveled as a combat medic for seven years but always knew his future professional passion had started at a young age. “I was obsessed with video games as most boys are but when I started to wonder about the mechanics of the games and the physics engines powering them, I knew my obsession was my life goal,” Jacob said. “The opportunity to take my passion for games and technology and turn it into a career is something that I will never take for granted. Scholarships such as this have been crucial in providing financial help as I build my dreams as well as motivation for me to finish my degree.” Jacob will graduate with his bachelor’s in computer science and engineering and double minor in mathematics and digital interactive games in May.
Jim and Mary Ann Kidder Campus Art Loan Program Endowment established
Jim Kidder spent 18 years at the University of Nevada, Reno, and served as the initial associate vice president, planning, budget and analysis. Jim's wife, Mary Ann (Cushing) Kidder ’87 M.Ed. (educational administration), ’90 Ed.S. (educational leadership), served as a graduate assistant at the University and as an elementary school teacher in Montreal, the Bay Area and with the Washoe County School District. Over the past 35 years, the Kidders have provided generous support to a number of University initiatives, including “Jimmie’s Garden” next to Manzanita Lake which is named after their infant son who died shortly after birth. Through a gift of their art collection, featuring approximately 100 artworks, and the establishment of this endowment through a bequest, they hope to provide opportunities for art displays throughout campus while simultaneously supporting The John & Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art. The Kidders have also made provisions in their estate for the Jim and Mary Ann Kidder Undergraduate Student Loan Fund Endowment. They are recognized in the University Honor Court as Silver Benefactors.
Scholarship season underway with almost $8 million awarded
The Fall 2021 semester continues with 21,034 undergraduate and graduate students back on campus to continue their studies and research. Already, more than 3,600 individual student awards have been given from donor-funded scholarships — totaling almost $8 million in student support. These crucial scholarship awards will continue through the fall and into the Spring 2022 semester. During the 2020-21 academic year, more than 4,820 students received critical support totaling $9.46 million thanks to the support of generous donors like you. Vincent Lee (class of 2024) says scholarships, including the Clarence & Martha Jones Foundation Scholarship Endowment, have had a huge impact on his success at the University. "As a first-generation student, money was a big concern. Scholarships have allowed me to follow my dreams and get here today," Vincent said.
Helaine Greenberg RSVP Award for Cultural & Athletic Events Endowment
Helaine Greenberg has dedicated much of her life to being an advocate for older adults, helping them maintain an active, engaged and joyful life as they age. She established this endowment to recognize the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program’s more than 500 volunteers who are actively involved in the Sanford Center for Aging’s community outreach programs and provide them the opportunity to attend University cultural and athletic events.
Andre Agassi Foundation for Education supports Pack Athletics
In August, the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education — an educational organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities and resources to otherwise underserved populations — gave a gift to provide computers for Wolf Pack student-athletes as well as support for the Alpha Fund Feeding Women Student-Athletes. The Alpha Fund, started by University President Brian Sandoval ’86, was created to provide nutrition education and quality calories to help our 200-plus female student-athletes maximize their strength and reach peak performance in training, competition and in the classroom.
2021 Alumnus of the Year: Keith Lee ’65
Keith Lee followed in the footsteps of his father and uncle, graduating from the University with a bachelor’s in physics in 1965. The family legacy of Wolf Pack alumni is now three generations deep with Lee's sister, wife and three daughters all graduating from Nevada and two granddaughters currently attending. Lee went on to the University of San Francisco School of Law and returned to the Silver State to practice law for 50 years and served as a lobbyist for the last 38 years. A generous supporter of the University for 40 years, Lee is recognized in the Honor Court as a Silver Benefactor. Alongside gifts benefiting programs campuswide, Lee gave his time and talents as the 2003 University of Nevada, Reno Foundation chair and has served as trustee emeritus and as a member of the College of Science Advisory Board. Lee has been recognized as a Distinguished Nevadan and has received the University of Nevada, Reno Silver Award, the University Service Award, Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Science and now the 2021 Alumnus of the Year honor.
Donors provide vital assistance for Emergency Support for College of Science Students Fund
Silver Benefactors in the University Honor Court, Lillian and Stephen Frank provided a generous gift in February to support College of Science students who are struggling to make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Support for College of Science Students Fund provides critical financial support to students who may not be able to afford tuition, rent, books or even food. Over their more than 13 years of philanthropy at Nevada, the Franks have helped the College of Science, Marching Band, Pack Provisions, KUNR and more.
UNR Med Alumni Chapter establishes white coat endowment and provides matching support
The UNR Med Alumni Chapter established the UNR Med Alumni Chapter White Coat Endowment in December 2020 to assist in the purchase of medical students’ white coats and coat patches. Additionally, ahead of the White Coat Ceremony in August, the alumni chapter committed to match all funds raised by the 2021 White Coat Crowdfunding Campaign up to $17,500 — helping raise more than $32,000 in total for the fund. Each year, approximately 70 outstanding scholars have the honor of joining the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine when they are formally welcomed as the newest class of students during the annual White Coat Ceremony. Their white coats signify the beginning of their journeys to achieve the long white coat when they become physicians.
Weatherford Family Political Science Internship Endowment established
Stephen Weatherford ’68 (political science) and his spouse, Lorraine McDonnell, established the Weatherford Family Internship Endowment in September. This endowment will support University students serving as interns in a public service or governmental organization. As a first-generation college graduate, Weatherford went on to the University of Oxford after graduating from Nevada and completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He and Lorraine were professors of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This endowment “pays forward” the encouragement Weatherford received from teachers in the public schools of Sparks, the University of Nevada, Oxford and Stanford; and recognizes the importance of scholarships throughout his academic career, especially the support of the Nugget Scholarship.
Master of Arts in Counseling Scholarship Endowment established
Alumna of the counseling program in the College of Education & Human Development, J. Ray ’76 (counseling & personnel service) values the work therapists do to better the lives of individuals and families. By establishing the Master of Arts in Counseling Scholarship Endowment in July, Ray will support graduate students pursuing licensure in school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and marriage and family therapy.
Gareth Ferneyhough Lake Tahoe Music Camp Memorial Endowment established
For the late Gareth Ferneyhough ’10 (computer and information engineering), ’13 M.S. (computer science and engineering), music was instrumental to his life. At age 13, he was presented with the opportunity to participate in the Lake Tahoe Music Camp — an experience that solidified his love for music. While majoring in computer science, Ferneyhough continued to pursue his musical craft playing the French horn in the University orchestra and he went on to work with a number of community orchestras after graduation. To celebrate his passion and honor his memory, more than 150 friends and family established this endowment in July that will provide other deserving students the opportunity to pursue their love of music at the Lake Tahoe Music Camp.
See It To Be It Initiative established by Anthem
In April, Anthem provided generous support to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine to help establish the See It To Be It Initiative Fund. This initiative will seek to broaden awareness about and increase attendance at existing and future educational programs by pre-med students from populations underrepresented in medicine or from medically underserved communities through monthly podcasts, mentorship programs and a one-day summit. Anthem has also provided generous support to Project ECHO and the Youth Horticulture Education Program on campus.