UNLV alumni shine at Palladium Society induction
Million dollar milestones are worth celebrating—and donors whose giving to UNLV adds up to seven figures and beyond are worthy of special recognition. That’s the impetus behind the UNLV Foundation’s Palladium Society, an elite roster of 100 individuals and organizations who each have given $1 million or more in charitable support to UNLV. For the first time since the Palladium Society was created, alumni captured four awards at the 2011 Palladium Society induction ceremony, held at the UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner in October at Aria Resort & Casino.
George Maloof Jr. ’88 was the first alumnus across the stage, accepting the award on behalf of the Maloof family. A member of the Rebel football team from 1984 to 1987, George graduated from UNLV in 1988 with a degree in business administration and a focus in hotel management. As the seminal force behind the gaming and hotel division of Maloof Companies, which most notably includes the Palms Casino Resort, he believes that there is no greater asset to a business or a community than its people. His support to UNLV includes The Maloof Family Scholarship at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and Rebel Athletics Fund scholarships.
Bill Paulos ’69 and Bill Wortman ’71 were classmates at UNLV and have been fellow Rebels fans, fast friends, and business partners for decades. So it is not surprising that they asked to be honored together when they each learned that they would be inducted into the Palladium Society this fall along with their wives (each coincidentally named Bonnie). Paulos, a 1969 graduate of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, was its 2006 Alumnus of the Year. He and Bonnie have been loyal supporters of the Rebel Athletics Fund, the Coaches Continuity Fund, and the Jerry Vallen Professorship Endowment. Wortman graduated from UNLV’s College of Business (now Lee Business School) in 1971 and was its Alumnus of the Year in 1986. He currently serves on the Lee Business School Executive Advisory Board. The Wortman’s support to UNLV includes the Rebel Athletics Fund and scholarships. Bill Wortman and Bill Paulos are co-founders and co-CEOs of Cannery Casino Resorts.
Dr. Robert Mendenhall—whose name is now up in lights on the soon-to-be-opened Mendenhall Center basketball training facility, received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from UNLV in 2006. For nearly 20 years, he and his wife Paula have been ardent supporters of UNLV, and this fall they were honored with a Palladium Diamond award, recognizing their contributions exceeding $10 million. Born on a farm in Alberta, Canada, Bob worked at his grandfather’s Utah construction company before moving to Southern Nevada, where he eventually founded Las Vegas Paving Corporation. While the state-of-the-art Mendenhall Center will be Bob and Paula’s most prominent tribute, their stamp is also evident on the Mendenhall Innovation Program, established at UNLV’s Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering in 2006 to promote technology and engineering education.
Past alumni honorees of the UNLV Foundation’s Palladium Society include: Donna Beam ’76, Manetta Braunstein ’93, and Sonja Saltman ’78, ’83.
Also inducted into the Palladium Society this year were Sanford and Sandra Berman, Fred and Harriet Cox, Maurice Gallagher, and corporate supporter National Security Techonologies LLC. The Engelstad Family Foundation was honored with a Palladium Diamond award.