Len Jessup, 2018 CEO Award Winner

Len JessupLen Jessup
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Len Jessup has been president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for the past three years, and his personal journey and vision for the future have inspired the UNLV community. The son of a firefighter, Jessup is a first-generation college graduate in his family. He knows the power of higher education to transform a family tree and the vital role that UNLV—as the most diverse university in the nation (U.S. News & World Report 2017)—plays in the lives of minority students.

Jessup led UNLV to develop a new brand-Different, Daring, and Diverse-that reflects UNLV's core strengths. But this is more than a tagline, as Jessup has challenged his cabinet and deans to put this message into practice. In addition, under Jessop's leadership, UNLV has had its best fundraising years in the university's history. Jessup has (1) merged the foundation and alumni organizations into a new, comprehensive service division; (2) created UNLV's first Office of Community Engagement; and (3) launched a comprehensive campaign budget to build and sustain a $125-million-per-year goal.

One of Jessup's nominators for this award shared, "Len is a leader who is focused on team building, new designs, and new trajectories. He is a fundraiser and has built the identity of the university, enhancing its connection to the overall community. He is always looking to collaborate and engage in creative ways to drive the university forward and on new pathways."