It’s been a crazy week but it’s finally over. Last night was the UNLV Alumni Awards followed by the Scarlet and Gray Experience for UNLV’s Homecoming. I’ve never been to any of these kinds of events so I really didn’t know what to expect. Thank goodness I got my award early in the program and got my speech out of the way because the accomplishments of the people that came after me were amazing. The award was already a tremendous honor but to be awarded in the company of those other winners was humbling to say the least.
Before I go any further, I wanted to acknowledge my amazing team. I can’t say enough about how much they mean to me and how much they help me. Dee for Dentist would not exist today if it wasn’t for all the hard work that my team puts in. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now back to last night. We arrived at Greenspun Hall at 4:30 for the “dress rehearsal”. I was pleasantly surprised that Dr. Sanders, my former professor and now associate dean of the dental school, would be the one presenting the award to me. It was great catching up with him and hearing about what’s going on at the dental school.
The ceremony started promptly at 5:30. I was the second award of the evening and Dr. Sanders made a touching introduction. To say I was nervous during my acceptance speech would be an understatement and like I said before, thank goodness I got that out of the way early. The rest of the winners included a CEO of Dignity Health Hospital, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, and an iconic worldwide Hotelier to name a few.
Following the awards we were ushered into the Scarlet and Gray Homecoming Experience. In addition to the amazing food, which included deep fried oreos, we got to meet people normally outside of our social circle. It’s really surreal when you’re the one being congratulated by the President and Vice President of UNLV. On an interesting side note, the Vice President believes so much in the UNLV Dental Program that he and his wife actually get their work done by the students at the Dental School.
After the program we made our way home where our daughter Ellie greeted us with “thank you for the trophy mommy.” Back to reality.
If you didn’t believe me about the other winners here’s the complete list:
- Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
- Brent J. Bell, ’91 – President and
- Silver State Award
- Carolyn M. Sparks – former Chair of the Board of Regents for the NV System of Higher Education
- Achievement in Service
- Randall J. Campanale, ’77 – Senior VP for The Northern Trust Company
- Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year
- Dr. Seyhmus Baloglu, PhD – Distinguished Chair in the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration
- Lee Business School Alumnus of the Year
- Jerald M. Dick, ’65 – President Limited Real Estate
- School of Dental Medicine Alumna of the Year
- Dr. Rewadee Meevasin, ’07 – Dee for Dentist
- Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering Alumnus of the Year
- Chad W. Miller, ’92 – Patent Attorney
- College of Fine Arts Alumnus of the Year
- Joe Aldridge, ’79 – Chair of the Nevada Resort Association
- Honors College Alumnus of the Year
- Dr. Robert L. Smale, ’95 – Author and Faculty Member at the University of Missouri
- William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration Alumnus of they Year
- Gerald J. Inzerillo, ’75 – CEO of Forbes Travel Guide
- William S. Boyd School of Law Alumnus of the Year
- Keith Brown, ’05 – Associate General Counsel for Southwest Gas Corporation
- College of Liberal Arts Alumna of the Year
- Dr. Nicole Ann Cavenagh, ’03 – Clinical Director for Touro University Nevada Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities
- School of Nursing Alumna of the Year
- Victoria VanMeetren, ’81 – CEO Dignity Health Hospitals Southern Nevada
- College of Sciences Alumnus of the Year
- Dr. Tony Alamo, ’86 – Chairman Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Commission
- Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Alumna of the Year
- Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler, ’96 – Deputy Director City of Las Vegas Office of Community Services
The video of the award presentation just hit YouTube: