Board of Regents Honor Deceased Regent Sam Lieberman

LAS VEGAS – The Board of Regents are honoring the memory of deceased Regent Sam Lieberman by awarding him a Distinguished Nevadan Award posthumously, renaming the Nevada Regents’ Scholar Award to the Sam Lieberman Regents’ Award for Student Scholarship, and UNLV will award him with an honorary doctorate posthumously.

Regent Lieberman, who represented Regent District 5 covering parts of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and unincorporated Clark County since 2015 and was renowned for championing higher education causes, died unexpectedly April 3, 2020. He was 58.

“Speaking on behalf of the Board, I can say we all miss Sam terribly,” said Regent’s Chair Jason Geddes. “His passion for Nevada’s public higher education system was infectious and he cared very deeply about students. It is appropriate that we honor Sam’s memory in this way.”

A 1996 graduate of UNLV with a degree in Social Work, Regent Lieberman was committed to NSHE’s university and community college system both as a student and an active alumnus. He served as the chairman of the UNLV College of Liberal Arts Community Advisory Board, was a board member for the UNLV Alumni Association from 2000 to 2008 and was a past president of the Sigma Chi Alumni Association. He was also a member of the annual giving council for the UNLV Foundation and served on numerous professional search committees within NSHE.

Regent Lieberman was committed to enhancing the caliber of higher education for students, faculty, staff and alumni alike. He strongly believed college campuses should be an accessible community resource for Nevadans of all backgrounds.

He served as chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party from 2008-2011 and was active in the non-profit sector, serving in various capacities in organizations throughout the Southern Nevada community. He served as chairman of the Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter Regional Leadership Council. Regent Lieberman previously served as the chairman of the Board of Directors and as treasurer for Nevada Parents Encouraging Parents (Nevada PEP), a non-profit, statewide parent training information center for parents of children with disabilities.

Regent Lieberman also served as president of the Board of Directors of Congregation P’nai Tikvah.

The Sam Lieberman Regents’ Award for Student Scholarship, which includes a $5,000 stipend funded by NSHE, will continue to annually honor eight students for their academic achievements, leadership ability, and service contributions throughout the state.


The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Board of Regents.