Billionaire philanthropist to fund new center to address pressing issues in society
By John Bracchitta
LAS VEGAS–In a city that makes its money on the luck of the draw, the Lincy Foundation and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) are looking for some definitive answers regarding problems in society.
The foundation, which was founded by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, has announced that it has awarded $14 million to UNLV to create a new Institute at the school to try and solve some of our society’s more pressing issues.
Pending approval from Nevada’s Higher Education Board of Regents, the donation from the foundation will help establish The Lincy Institute at UNLV, a new center that will “set a new standard for integrated problem solving by allowing regional organizations to more effectively address large-scale challenges in the areas of education, health care, social systems and public policy,” according to a press release announcing the gift.
Additionally, the center will utilize other research centers already established at the university and report its findings to the UNLV vice president for research and graduate studies to help solve local issued affecting the area surrounding the school.
“To truly prosper as a region, we need to address our key issues through a sustainable, productive and inclusive approach,” said UNLV President Neal Smatresk. “The Lincy Institute will be a hub for addressing the human capital challenges that are integral to the future prosperity of our region. It brings together the resources of the university in partnership with nonprofit agencies to tackle problems in a focused, cohesive manner.”
The Institute will employ a variety of health, education, and social system directors along with a grant writer. It will also sponsor 12 faculty fellowships that will be awarded to experts in areas related to the institute’s ideals.
The Lincy Foundation was founded in 1989 by Kerkorian to help those affected by deadly earthquakes in Spitak, Armenia. With its focus on helping children and families “reach their full potential,” the foundation has donated more than $800 million since its founding to various philanthropic and humanitarian causes.