Outstanding Alumni of the Year

Kris Engelstad McGarry
’92 BA Psychology
’95 BSW Social Work

Kris Engelstad McGarry and her family have a long-standing commitment to supporting education and improving the quality of life in the Las Vegas Valley.

In June 2015, the Engelstad Family Foundation made a $10 million pledge to the new UNLV School of Medicine to fund 100 full four-year scholarships — 25 for the school’s 2017 charter class and 25 for each of the next three entering classes. Each scholarship is $100,000 over four years. This gift helped to complete the “60 by 16” scholarship drive to cover tuition for all 60 students in its charter class and provides 75 additional scholarships.

In 2009, the foundation donated $12.625 million to create the UNLV Engelstad Scholars’ Program, the largest active scholarship endowment in Nevada. The Engelstad Scholars’ Program awards full-tuition scholarships — renewable for up to four years — to UNLV students annually based on academic excellence, leadership, community service involvement and financial need. As part of the program requirements, scholars spend 100 hours each academic year engaged in community service with nonprofit organizations including the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and Three Square Food Bank. Fifty-five students are participating in the program this fall. That number will increase each fall until the program reaches its full complement of 100 scholars.

Engelstad McGarry is the daughter of Betty Engelstad and the late Ralph Engelstad, former owner of the Imperial Palace Hotel/Casino. The Engelstad Family Foundation has given more than $100 million to area nonprofits through the years and continues to be a major player in supporting agencies that address the community’s greatest needs.