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UNLV sets new fundraising record with $93M haul

Updated July 28, 2017 - 5:04 pm

UNLV set a record for fundraising in the just-concluded fiscal year, attracting more than $93 million in new gifts and pledges.

A last-minute $25 million anonymous gift to UNLV’s new medical school was the donation that led to the record.

“It would never have been possible without the donors, friends and alumni,” said Scott Roberts, vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement and president of the UNLV Foundation. “They’re the ones who are investing in making this a great place.”

The anonymous gift, which was matched by $25 million in funds from the state Legislature, is the largest single gift in UNLV’s history. The combined $50 million is dedicated to the eventual construction of the school’s new medical education building.

Roberts said UNLV’s medical school is only one example of the “incredible momentum” that the university is experiencing. He also pointed to the university hosting the third presidential debate in 2016 and possible future partnerships with the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders as evidence.

From 2010 to 2014, the university brought in about $49 million in contributions each year; the figure jumped to about $75 million over the past two years.

“There are so many pieces, so much great synergy and excitement,” Roberts said. “That’s why people are investing at this incredible level. There is a buzz on this campus and they can feel it.”

Gifts and pledges to UNLV athletics — $22 million — also contributed to the record year for that department. The money includes a $10 million commitment from brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta for the planned Fertitta Football Complex, a 73,000 square-foot football training facility.

“The commitment from our donors and the community is both powerful and inspiring,” UNLV President Len Jessup said in a statement. “We are enormously grateful for their continued confidence in our university and its important role in our region.”

In total, the UNLV Foundation — the university’s fundraising arm — has raised $243 million over the past three years.

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

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