Tom and Eileen Raney are supporting UNLV sophomore Jason Meza’s undergraduate education through their gift to the Libraries.
When longtime arts philanthropists Eileen and Tom Raney retired and moved to Las Vegas nine years ago, they had not anticipated that their legacy would reach beyond the arts—the common interest that had caused their paths to cross. The couple first met at one of Tom Raney’s many performances as a percussionist with the L.A. Chamber Orchestra and L.A. Opera, the two conversing as he played in the pit and she sat in the front row. “It was a conversation that went on for a couple of hours, interrupted by a ballet,” recalled Eileen Raney, a former management consultant in health care who held the title of national managing partner of research and development at Deloitte (responsible for innovation, market research, and thought leadership) before retiring.
In addition to the arts, however, the Raneys now support a student who has demonstrated financial need for his entire undergraduate career via the University Libraries’ Mason Undergraduate Peer Research Coach program.
The Raneys first learned about the University Libraries and the Mason Peer Coach program through their friends, fellow benefactors Flora and the late Stuart Mason, for whom the peer coach program is named. Inspired by Dean Patricia Iannuzzi’s vision of the University Libraries’ role in education and research, the Raneys began giving to the Libraries, and in 2010, Eileen joined the Libraries’ Advisory Board.
Last year, the Raneys began thinking of ways they could make an even greater impact; the peer coach program spoke to them. “The idea that we can help someone who would not have access (to a college education) is a powerful way to make a contribution, because I think it can change someone’s life,” Eileen said.
It already has, according to Jason Meza, the peer coach the Raneys are supporting. “I was very concerned about what I was going to do to pay for school,” Meza said, “but because of the Raneys, I can even take summer classes to get ahead.” In addition to supporting Meza’s academic goals, the Raneys’ gift enables the University Libraries to cultivate his professional development by engaging him as an educator of his peers.
For more information on how you can make a gift to support a program at the University Libraries, please contact Director of Development Tamara Josserand at tamara.josserand@ unlv.edu or (702) 895-2239.