Friday, Feb. 18, 2005 | midnight
In their careers and actions, the importance of education was championed by three business leaders who have helped shape Southern Nevada into what it is today.
Late Las Vegas Sun Publisher Hank Greenspun along with gaming leaders Glenn Schaeffer and William S. Boyd were inducted into the Nevada Business Hall of Fame on Thursday evening.
The awards are presented to business leaders in Nevada who have contributed significantly to the state's economic prosperity.
The ceremony was presented by the UNLV College of Business and auditing firm Deloitte.
Greenspun, who died in 1989, was honored for his legacy at the Sun as well as his real estate development success.
His wife, Barbara Greenspun, along with his son Brian, accepted the honor on Hank Greenspun's behalf. Barbara Greenspun is the publisher of the Las Vegas Sun and Brian Greenspun is the president and editor of the paper.
"My husband had great business strength," Barbara Greenspun said. "He had incredible vision of the future of Las Vegas that brought him to this point."
Brian Greenspun said his father was able to achieve much of his success in life because of his partnership with Barbara Greenspun.
Brian Greenspun told the audience that the honor of having his father inducted into the Nevada Business Hall of Fame would have come as somewhat of a surprise for the man who considered himself a life-long newspaperman.
"We grew up with certain knowledge that Hank Greenspun was a newspaperman. He was not a businessman, and when he was introduced that way he cringed," Brian Greenspun said.
Developer Irwin Molasky, a previous Nevada Business Hall of Fame inductee who helped present the award to the Greenspun family, also praised Hank and Barbara Greenspun.
"Because of the pioneering sprit you and Hank had, this city is the best city in the world to work in," Molasky said.
Through continued contributions by the Greenspun Family Foundation, Hank Greenspun's legacy has continued through UNLV. The Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies bears his name, and the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs at UNLV and Greenspun Junior High School in Henderson are both named after his family.
Boyd co-founded Boyd Gaming Corp. and is now chairman and chief executive of Boyd Gaming. A UNR graduate, he founded BankWest of Nevada 10 years ago, which has now been expanded into Western Alliance Bancorporation. Boyd, Boyd Gaming and the Boyd Foundation have been major donors to various local charities. Through an initial $5 million donation from Boyd, the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV was formed and is named after him.
Boyd said education is key to success and the future of the community.
"The most important thing we can give to our children is an education," he said.
Boyd Gaming stock has soared recently, after the company's 2004 purchase of Coast Casinos. Boyd's biggest properties include the Stardust, Sam's Town, the Orleans and the Suncoast.
Schaeffer is president and chief financial officer of Mandalay Resort Group. The Nevada Business Hall of Fame honored Schaeffer for his role in helping to reshape Las Vegas' gaming industry over the last decade. He also was instrumental in the creation of the Center for Responsible Gaming and he founded the International Institute of Modern Letters based at UNLV.
Schaeffer said his success his driven by a desire to learn.
"And I'm not done learning," he said.
Schaeffer single-handedly chose many of the tenants in the company's Mandalay Place retail plaza. He, along with Mandalay chieftains Mike Ensign and Bill Richardson, transformed the company from its Circus Circus, slot-driven roots into a hotel revenue-driven colossus.
Previous inductees to the Nevada Business Hall of Fame include William F. Harrah, Howard Hughes, Molasky, William "Si" Redd, Jim Rogers, E. Parry Thomas, J.A. Tiberti, Claudine Williams and Steve Wynn.
is a business writer for the Las Vegas Sun and its sister newspaper, In Business Las Vegas. She can be reached at (702) 259-8832 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.