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EDITORIAL: Rogers family bolsters UNLV — again

Behind the incomparable generosity of TV titan Jim Rogers and his wife, Beverly, was a plan: Making Las Vegas a better place to learn would make it a better place to live.

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, the former longtime owners of the valley’s NBC affiliate, have given millions upon millions of dollars to Nevada’s higher education system and advocated tirelessly for the value of college. Mr. Rogers also served as the system’s chancellor for several years, donating the token salary he received back to taxpayers.

Mr. Rogers died in June after a long fight with cancer, but Beverly Rogers is pressing forward with their mission through the Rogers Foundation. And on Thursday, she announced another trajectory-altering gift to the state: a $20 million donation to UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute, one of the largest donation’s in the university’s history. That’s on top of the $10 million they gave the advanced writing center two years ago.

The gift “propels this program into the upper echelon around the country. It takes what was already a very good program and now makes it one of the very best in the country,” new UNLV President Len Jessup told the Review-Journal’s John L. Smith last week.

The donation will create new degree programs, expand BMI’s City of Asylum program for foreign writers whose expression endangers them, fund lectures and create a $50,000 biennial Rogers literary prize, one of the most lucrative in the nation.

“This will enable us to go around the world and attract the top writers, scholars and students in creative writing to come to Las Vegas,” Mr. Jessup said. Las Vegas as a nation-leading center for literature. Imagine that.

Bravo to the Rogers Foundation for its faith in UNLV and the Black Mountain Institute.

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