Luke Tanaka named University’s Fall 2015 Herz Gold Medalist

Clark High School graduate caps academic career as top-achieving student

Luke Tanaka named University’s Fall 2015 Herz Gold Medalist

Clark High School graduate caps academic career as top-achieving student

The University of Nevada, Reno has named Luke Tanaka the recipient of the Fall 2015 Herz Gold Medal for having earned the highest grade-point average. The Herz Gold Medal will be presented to Tanaka for his outstanding scholarship during the University's Winter Commencement ceremony.

Tanaka, a born-and-raised Nevadan and graduate from Clark High School in Las Vegas, graduates from the University at 8 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, with a bachelor's of science degree in accounting and a minor in computer science and engineering. He will also "take over" the University's Snapchat account, unevadareno, one day during the week of graduation for the monthly #PackSpotlight.

Tanaka has dedicated his time toward the betterment of the College of Business and the Reno community through extensive involvement with the Business Student Council and Circle K International. Chapter members of Circle K demonstrate fellowship and leadership development, and they collectively perform more than 1 million hours of service on their campuses and communities every year. Tanaka studied abroad in London with the Nevada Global Business Program and represented the College of Business during the Executive Mentorship Program in Seattle. In addition to his work with the College of Business, Tanaka is an Honors Program student who served on the student board of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society chapter.

"The University has a lot of opportunities and I think students do not realize that when they come in as a freshman," Tanaka said. "I encourage students to seek out the many opportunities available on campus and pursue the things that they have passion for."

Outside of academic pursuits, Luke has developed a passion for bicycle touring and spent last spring break biking the California coast to raise money for the Kiwanis International and UNICEF joint venture, the Eliminate Project.

Tanaka has worked at the University as a career mentor at the Nevada Career Studio and a student worker in the Advising Center.

Upon graduation, Tanaka looks forward to taking his Certified Public Accountant examination, then biking from Vancouver, British Columbia, to San Diego, Calif., and starting his career in public accounting with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Las Vegas area next August, where he previously worked as an intern.

In addition to the Herz Gold Medal, Tanaka is recognized as the Fall 2015 Senior Scholar for the College of Business, and has named the University's Associate Professor of Accounting Charles Carslaw as his academic mentor. Tanaka also received the IABNS scholarship, Nevada Society of CPAs scholarship, NVCPA/CAMICO scholarship, Millennium Scholarship, Kafoury Armstrong Accounting Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship and the IGT Business Scholarship. Tanaka plans to become a licensed CPA and pursue a career in related fields while actively finding opportunities to better communities through volunteerism.

The Herz Gold Medal is the University's oldest and most prestigious award and was established in 1910 when the University was only 36 years old 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. The foundations continue to honor the Herz family and this tradition of recognizing excellence.

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