LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The future UNLV School of Medicine medical education building was officially named the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV on Thursday morning.
In a private ceremony, representatives named the currently under construction 135,000-square-foot facility after Kerkorian, known as a philanthropic and business trailblazer in Southern Nevada.
Lindy Schumacher led the announcement that marks the first time Kerkorian’s name will appear on a building anywhere.
UNLV School of Medicine representatives say Kerkorian created tens of thousands of jobs in his nearly six decades of work in the community, spanning a stake in the Dunes Hotel in 1955 to building the MGM Grand in 1973 to being the primary shareholder of MGM Resorts International until 2011.
“There couldn’t possibly be a more fitting namesake for UNLV’s medical school than Kirk Kerkorian. Mr. Kerkorian was a visionary who not only helped transform Las Vegas into the world-class destination it is today but dedicated his life, fortune and legacy to improving lives in our community and beyond. There has been no greater champion for the advancement of medicine in Southern Nevada than Mr. Kerkorian, and MGM Resorts is honored to see our founder and his legacy continue to make a positive difference for our community in such profound and meaningful ways.”
The company Kerkorian formed, Tracinda Corporation, also had properties in Michigan, Mississippi and Macao.
In accordance with Kerkorian's private wishes, hundreds of millions of dollars of philanthropy has already been given to charitable organizations, according to representatives.
The recipients primarily include academic institutions for supporting medicine, science and education. The vast majority of this giving has been and will continue to be anonymous, but this unique naming opportunity had special significance, according to event organizers.
The Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV broke ground in October 2020 and is slated for completion in 2022, with the naming for the building and the school pending due to the Nevada System of Higher Education board of regents’ final approval at an upcoming meeting.
Thursday's press conference was held at the site of the UNLV School of Medicine's new medical education building on Shadow Lane just before 10 a.m.
A livestream of the announcement can be viewed below: