UNR commencement slated for today, Saturday

The University of Nevada, Reno will again conduct two undergraduate Spring Commencement ceremonies this year. The ceremonies are today and Saturday.

The University of Nevada, Reno will again conduct two undergraduate Spring Commencement ceremonies this year. The ceremonies are today and Saturday.

The University of Nevada, Reno will conduct two undergraduate ceremonies for Spring 2014 Commencement on the historic Quadrangle located on the southern part of campus.

The first undergraduate ceremony is today for graduates of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, College of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering and Division of Health Sciences.

The second undergraduate ceremony will be Saturday for graduates of the Reynolds School of Journalism, College of Liberal Arts and College of Science.

Both undergraduate ceremonies will have the same format: line-up for each will be at 8 a.m. with the processional starting at 8:15 a.m. Students receiving dual degrees are welcome to attend both baccalaureate ceremonies.

The university introduced the additional undergraduate Commencement ceremony last spring primarily due to dramatically larger crowds resulting from increased enrollment and improving graduation rates.

“Commencement ceremonies are meaningful milestones in the lives of our students and their families and friends,” said Melisa Choroszy, associate vice president of enrollment services. “We thank the community for continued support of these important events, which celebrate student success and exemplify the commitment of the university’s faculty and staff as well.”

The advanced-degree ceremony for master’s and doctoral degrees awarded by all colleges will also be today with line-up at 4:45 p.m.

Public parking is available in the West Stadium Parking Complex.

For additional information, go to www.unr.edu/commencement. Live-streaming of the ceremonies will be available the day of each event at www.unr.edu. Join the social media conversations by following or using the hashtag #PackPride.

Distinguished Nevadans

Distinguished Nevadan represents the most prestigious award conferred by the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education. It is bestowed upon individuals who have made significant achievements that have contributed to the cultural, scientific or social advancement of Nevada. Gregory Wright Ferraro, Keith Lee and James D. Santini will be honored as three of the Regents’ 2014 Distinguished Nevadans during the University of Nevada, Reno’s advanced-degree commencement ceremony today in Reno at 4:45 p.m. Other recipients include Monte L. and Susan J. Miller, Dr. Raymond D. Rawson, Michael and Sonja Saltman, Carolyn M. Sparks and Bret Whipple, who will be recognized during other commencement ceremonies within the state.

Gregory Wright Ferraro

Ferraro, during a career that has spanned three decades, has had a profound influence on the policy, advocacy and quality of life in the state of Nevada.

Following graduation from Reno High School, Ferraro, a fourth-generation Nevadan, studied journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, graduating in 1985. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, worked for the campus newspaper selling print advertising, was elected ASUN senator and served as president of the Blue Key Honor Society.

He began his career in public service following graduation, when he joined U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt’s staff in Washington, D.C., and served as assistant to the general chairman in Laxalt’s office at the Republican National Committee. He then was public relations manager for R&R Advertising, and was hired in 1988 as an assistant to Robert Broadbent, director of aviation at McCarran International Airport. After serving as issue manager and spokesperson for Clark County, Ferraro oversaw the Northern Nevada office of R&R Advertising. Over the next 12 years, he was president of the Government and Public Affairs division of R&R, establishing R&R’s lobby practice and serving as senior advisor on numerous political campaigns, including those of Gov. Kenny Guinn and Attorney General Brian Sandoval, and as lead strategist for successful school bond campaigns in Washoe County.

In 2004, Ferraro founded The Ferraro Group, which today has offices in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City. That same year, Gov. Kenny Guinn appointed Ferraro to serve a four-year term on the Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission, to which he was re-appointed and served as chairman. In 2010, Ferraro served as a senior consultant for Sandoval’s successful bid for Governor.

Keith L. Lee

For more than a half century, Lee’s personal and professional achievements have been a testament to the value of service to one’s community, university and state.

Lee’s family settled in Nevada’s Lincoln County in 1864. Service to the state of Nevada was ingrained from an early age for Lee, who can trace his family’s involvement in public service to his grandfather’s two terms as Lincoln County Clerk-Treasurer in the early 1900s and his father’s two terms as State Controller during the governorship of Grant Sawyer.

Lee attended public schools in Reno and Carson City, where he graduated from high school. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, where he served as ASUN president in 1964-65, following in the footsteps of his father, also named Keith, who was ASUN president in 1932-33. Lee graduated, with honors, from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

He has been a practicing attorney in Nevada since 1970 with an emphasis on business, gaming, regulatory and governmental affairs areas.

Lee served 17 years as a member of the Nevada Board of Bar Examiners and six years as chair of the Committee on Character and Fitness. He has served as a member and chair of the Nevada Wildlife Commission, member of the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, president of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, member and chair of the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, member and chair of the Children’s Cabinet, chair of the Children’s Cabinet Foundation, and member of the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Gap Scholarship Committee. Lee is a past recipient of the Nevada Alumni Association’s University Service Award and was a member of the Century Campaign Cabinet.

James D. Santini

Santini’s distinguished career in public service has been one of historic firsts and influential leadership that has helped improve the lives of all Nevadans.

Born in Reno, Santini graduated from the university in 1959 with a bachelor’s of science degree in education, and graduated from Hastings College of Law in 1962. Following service in the U.S. Army as an officer from 1963-66, Santini served as deputy district attorney for Clark County and was appointed the county’s public defender, earning the distinction as one of the three most outstanding Public Defenders in the Nation.

He served as justice of the peace for Las Vegas and was appointed Clark County district court judge, becoming the youngest judge to be appointed in Nevada’s history.

In 1974, Santini was elected to the U.S. Congress, serving as Nevada’s only member in the House of Representatives from 1975-83. His role in Congress was substantial, as he chaired the Mines and Mining Subcommittee and was a member of the Oversight and Special Investigations Subcommittee, Public Lands Subcommittee, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Subcommittee, Transportation and Commerce Subcommittee and Select Committee on Aging, Housing and Consumer Interests. He also co-founded and chaired the U.S. Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus.

Following his congressional career, Santini has become one of the most respected lobbyists in Washington.


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