Honors College Alumnus of the Year
’03 BS Computer Science
Mr. Smylie is president of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, a 105-unit restaurant chain. In the past nine years, he has more than doubled the number of restaurants in the enterprise. He is also active philanthropically. Capriotti’s has partnered with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission and the No Kid Hungry campaign to provide food for families in need, among other efforts.
Why I’m a proud graduate of UNLV …
I moved to Las Vegas in 1990 when I was eight years old, at the start of the Runnin’ Rebels undefeated season. While the run ended in a traumatic Final Four loss, those childhood tears spilled over that game made me a Rebel for life. Years later, while most of my high school friends left Las Vegas for colleges elsewhere, I decided to stay home. I earned enough scholarship money to pay my tuition and I knew I would make the most out of going to school in the city where I ultimately wanted to plant my roots.
During my four years as an undergraduate and three as a graduate student at UNLV, I’m proudest of the relationships I made and preserved, thanks to being highly involved on campus. All of the great memories from Greek life, student government, and the dark-side of campus are precious, but it’s the friendships that have endured. These relationships are what have led me down my professional path and to my beautiful wife. I couldn’t imagine my life having not been a proud graduate of UNLV. Nearly everything I hold dear has come from that choice to stay home and be a Rebel.