In real Rebel spirit, UNLV blazed a trail to develop the very first specialized license plate program in Nevada. The year was 1993 and UNLV was searching for a way to money scholarships and motivate fans. They looked to their next-door neighbors in the east in Arizona for inspiration. The Arizona legislature developed its college license plate program in 1990 and collected more than $268,000 in earnings with a 92 percent renewal rate.
Fred C. Albrecht, ’71 M.Ed, did his research prior to affirming as executive director of UNLV Alumni Association at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Transport on Might 25, 1993. He pointed to states around the nation raising funds for their universities by doing this and asked lawmakers, Why should not UNLV?
Albrecht and UNLV athletics staff member Sheila Strike worked closely with legislators, the Nevada Highway Patrol, and personnel at University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) to create extensive support. Bob Miller, Nevada’s guv from 1989 to 1999, recently stated, “It was an imaginative way to raise funds for both the state and the universities.”
With support from many lawmakers and former Lt. Gov. Sue Wagner providing testimony also, the expense was approved in July 1993 and the Nevada DMV started releasing plates later that year.
Because its inception, the UNLV license plate program has actually raised more than $1.8 million for UNLV scholarships. Nevada DMV reports that 6,301 UNLV license plates are on the roadway today– that’s 45 percent greater than in 2012.
Today for each new license plate released, $25 gets routed to UNLV scholarships while each renewal brings $20.
From 1993 to 2010, the UNLV license plate included the mountain man variation of the mascot developed by Mike Miller. In 2010, the Alumni Association and UNLV Sports worked carefully with Nevada DMV and Nevada Highway Patrol to upgrade the plate. Three key modifications were made:
Update the mark to feature the UNLV logo and Hey Reb! head
Add a tagline, “Go Rebels!”
Modification the color of the plate lettering from blue to black (that blue, although a main color for Nevada’s plates, caused some visual confusion considering UNR’s school colors).
In 2018, the plate design was updated to follow brand-new UNLV branding requirements, match current colors and marks, and make sure the design is distinguishable from a distance.
UNLV’s first graduate is one factor the program grew so much in the past few years. Jon Cobain, ’64 BS Company Administration, who constructed an effective profession in mergers and acquisitions, was the very first Rebel to cross the phase at a UNLV’s first start. Between 2015-17, he sponsored a matching gift program for each new UNLV license plate registered. Because of Cobain’s gift, the license plate fund grew– providing 9 brand-new scholarship awards for UNLV trainees.
If you live in Nevada and would like a UNLV license plate, learn more about it on the UNLV plate program website.