Donor Events

Take Five at the Ritz – Summer 2014

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2013 Holiday Gala

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Special Thanks to Co-Chairs of the 2013 Holiday Gala Janet Pahl, Robin Holman and Diane Wendel . . .

. . . and to our sponsors and donors who made this night possible.

[panel class=”video”][/panel]Party-goers at the Hyatt Regency’s Lakeside Ballroom were treated to a champagne reception, opera performance by SNC student Bryce Bullins, dinner with fine wines, and dancing to the beat with the Jeff Leep Band. The evening was truly a wonderful opportunity for all of us to gather as a community and celebrate the spirit of the season.

2012 Holiday Gala

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The Holiday Gala is an annual fundraiser for Sierra Nevada College. The theme for the 2012 Gala celebrated the international students that attend Sierra Nevada College.

Donor Appreciation

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A big thank you to the donors and supporters of Sierra Nevada College!

Fried Chicken Dinner

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This evening of Southern cooking was sold at the White Party as a live auction item. Guests enjoys fried chicken cooked by President Lynn Gillette himself, and all the fixings of a southern home cooked meal.

White Party

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Guests enjoyed an evening of food, drinks and socializing at one of the most talked about parties in Tahoe during the summer of 2012. The White Party was the most successful fundraiser for Sierra Nevada college this year.

2011 Holiday Gala

Our many thanks to our 2011 Holiday Gala sponsors and supporters. A good time was had by all!


From left: Judith Spees, Gary Finch, Perri Finch, Charles Greene & Frank Spees


From left: Peter Kovacs, Maryanne Ingemanson, Phil Estipular, Micki Napp & Warren Kocmond


From left: Gene Pretti, Nate Horvath, Wayne Glass, Alison Pretti & Matt White


From left:: Ron Stanger, Randi Emlen-Moore, Joan Scherer, Chuck Levitan, Paul Scherer, Bea Wittenberg,

Wayne Glass, Shannon Beets, Ruth Glass & Roger Wittenberg


From left:  Walter Higgins, Jacqueline Higgins, Ron Ashley, Maureen Ashley, Dan O’Bryan, Atam Lalchandani,

Margo Lalchandani, Richard Offerdahl, Linda Offerdahl, Janet Pahl & Warren Kocmond


President Lynn G. Gillette

Gala Sponsors

Anonymous Barry Munitz Alison and Gene Pretti Melissa and Matt White Patti and Leroy Hardy Ritz Carlton Will Hoida Tim Callicrate Thunderbird Lodge Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Russell Dudley and the SNC Art Department Wynn Resorts Larry Ruvo Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada Margaret and Ben SolomonJulene Hunter Pilot Brand Foods Chef Laura Pauli J Lohr Vineyards Franz Weber Sugar Bowl Resort Trokay Cafe Fadel Gad and Joy Travel International Branko Zagar and the SNC Ski Team Linda and Richard Offerdahl and Dress The Part(y) Lake Tahoe School Anita and Tim Cohee Erika and Lynn Gillette Miriam and Wayne Prim Moonlighting & Sound Chris Plastiras


Reception and Reunion for University of L’Aquila Students at the Nevada Museum of Art


In the fall of 2009, Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe, in partnership with the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in Washington, D.C., developed a unique scholarship program designed to enable University of L’Aquila students to continue their education while their university is being rebuilt. Fundraising efforts, spearheaded by Sierra Nevada College Vice President of Development and College Relations Dr. Madylon Meiling, raised nearly $600K for the humanitarian initiative that provided twenty-four students with full one-year scholarships in 2009, with another fourteen students arriving in January 2010.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged the joint venture and generosity of the American academic community, noting “… the door to new experiences and opportunities in the wake of that tragic situation has been opened.”

In an event organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, in collaboration with Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe, thirty-four of the displaced students from the University of L’Aquila had the opportunity to view one of their hometown’s most important works of art during a special reunion event on March 9, 2010. Dignitaries who were in attendance during the event included Nicola Faganello, Consul General of Italy, Los Angeles; Mario Resca, Director General, Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities; and Rosanna Binacchi, Head of International Relations, Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities. The altarpiece joined Raphael’s masterpiece painting La Velata (The Woman with the Veil) also presented and exclusively sponsored by E. L. Wiegand Foundation’s Arte ITALIA.

Italian Ambassador to the United States Giulio Terzi commented during the farewell ceremony for the Beffi Triptych at the National Gallery in Washington, “The exhibition of the Triptych in the United States is highly symbolic: a testimony of Italy’s commitment to restore fully the cultural heritage of the Abruzzo region and a testimony of our gratitude to the United States for being among the first to offer assistance after the earthquake. The exhibition is part of the new broader policy of the Italian Government, which will make possible the loan of other significant masterworks to American museums.”

Nicola Faganello, Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, noted that, “The upcoming event brings together a masterpiece of the ancient cultural heritage of Abruzzo and a group of young students coming from its capital, L’Aquila. They are generously hosted at Sierra Nevada College, which I visited last January. They are given a chance to continue their education in the U.S., thus … [strengthening] the bonds between our two peoples.”

Alongside their studies in SNC’s progressive liberal arts curriculum, the students – like the Beffi Triptych – have served as Italian ambassadors and shared their perspectives of Abruzzo’s cultural heritage during Q&A with Dr. Madylon Meiling and David Walker, Nevada Museum of Art Executive Director and CEO.

Alessandra Cipollone, one of the displaced students, said, “The earthquake tragedy scarred me in a very deep way. In the aftermath of this tragic event, I faced questions about whether the death and destruction could have been avoided. The answer was me, my work, my expertise that could make the difference one day…. I promised myself that I will design safe building structures to prevent people from dying, like the 307 people killed in L’Aquila.”


2009 Holiday Gala & Tree Lighting

Friday, December 4th, 2009 | Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Lakeside Ballroom | Black Tie Optional

The holidays are a magical time for both students and the greater Sierra Nevada College community. Every year, we look forward to hosting friends of SNC at the Community Tree Lighting where the spirit of the holidays shines brightly. Families and friends came together for a special night full of festive activities and community camaraderie.

The holiday season is also a time to bring our generous SNC supporters together for an evening of glamour and glitz during the Sierra Nevada College Holiday Gala at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. It’s a night to honor and celebrate the strength of our connection with those who have dedicated much of their time, energy and resources to the college. This special evening highlighted the talent and achievements of our students, alumni and faculty.


“Recognizing Sierra Nevada College Scholarship Donors”

Hosted by Baxter’s JJ Morgan & Mark Estee and Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort. The generosity of those who provide academic scholarships to deserving SNC students was celebrated throughout an evening of recognition.


Robert Hass & Brenda Hillman | A Poetry Reading and Private Reception

Poets Brenda Hillman and Robert Hass visited the Sierra Nevada College campus on a quintessential Lake Tahoe fall afternoon September 25, 2009. This private welcoming reception included our SNC Associates and invited selected faculty and students. It was a rare opportunity to speak firsthand with two artists who have made a difference in American society. Following the intimate reception, Brenda and Robert read their poetry to over 150 students and guests. Robert Hass

Robert Hass is a poet of great eloquence, clarity, and force whose work is rooted in the landscapes of his native Northern California. In his tenure as a two-term United States poet laureate (1995-1997), Hass spent two years battling American illiteracy, armed with the mantra “imagination makes communities.” For Hass, everything is connected—when he works to heighten literacy, he is also working to promote awareness about the environment. In 2008, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Time and Materials. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Hass significantly broadened the role of poet laureate to include not only his love for poetry but also his concern for literacy and his passion for environmentalism.” His awards include two MacArthur Genius Fellowships, two National Book Critics’ Circle Awards, and the Yale Younger Poets Award. Currently a professor at UC Berkeley, his books include Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, and Sun Under Wood, as well as translations and critical works including Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry and The Essential Haiku. Hass is the founder of the River of Words program, an organization that focuses on issues of literacy and ecology.

Brenda Hillman

Also an activist, environmentalist and acclaimed poet, Brenda Hillman is the author of eight books of poetry.  Her most recent, Practical Water (2009), is similar to her previous two books, Cascadia and Pieces of Air in the Epic, both an elemental meditation and an ecopoetics; this time her subject is water: Taoist water, baptismal water, water from the muses’ fountains, the practical waters of hydrology from which we draw our being. She also co-edited the collection The Grand Permission: New Writing on Poetics and Motherhood. She is currently a professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. Hillman has been a recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors.  Pamela Greenberg writing for the Harvard Review observes, “If you are like me, you will read her and find you have entered a mind that, with all its quirks and subtexts, reminds you uncannily of your own. Hillman shows that poetry can teach us through metaphor something about the pure pleasure of being alive.” Hillman’s work is innovative and experimental. She shows particular interest in how the Romantic concepts of nature and spirit have manifested in contemporary poetry. In her essay entitled “Split, Spark, and Space,” Hillman writes about the emergence of different kinds of lyric impulses in her writing: “The sense of a single ‘voice’ in poetry grew to include polyphonies, oddly collective dictations, and the process of writing itself. This happened in part because of a rediscovered interest in esoteric western tradition and in part because I came to a community of women who were writing in exploratory forms…A poetic method which had heretofore been based on waiting for insight suddenly had to accommodate process, and indeterminate physics, a philosophy of detached looking.”


An Evening of Surprises

The magical Evening of Surprises, hosted by Camille & Larry Ruvo and Lori & Michael Milken, was held at the Shakespeare Ranch in Glenbrook, Nevada on June 5th, 2009.

Since the early 1900s, Glenbrook has been a place for people to come and enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Today, Camille and Larry Ruvo carry on that tradition with Shakespeare Ranch, the quintessential Glenbrook ranch, complete with the original barn, outbuildings and the Glenbrook Rodeo. Many dignitaries and elected officials, including several former Presidents of the United States, have been guests at Shakespeare Ranch. Shakespeare Ranch has become a complete recreational and historical experience at Lake Tahoe.

The festivities commenced in elegant style with a wine tasting hosted by Sierra Wine and Spirits of Nevada. Sommeliers, direct from California’s prestigious wine county, presented a stellar collection of outstanding bottles from some of the world’s top producers and acclaimed vineyards. The evening featured highly acclaimed four-star chef, Michael Mina, who introduced a selection of award-winning recipes from his nationally renowned restaurants. Guests lingered over the artwork of talented Sierra Nevada College student artists. The culinary experience coupled with stunning works of art turned into a winning combination.

Proceeds from this evening were designated to support the Sierra Nevada College Scholarship Program. This is just one of the ways SNC is working to strengthen the educational fabric of the state of Nevada.  As was powerfully stated that evening, the only real assurance to be had as we face an unpredictable future is the level of intellect that has been cultivated in our youth. The attendees of this event affirmed their commitment to higher education through their generous donations.


2008 Holiday Gala

Sierra Nevada College’s annual Holiday Gala on December 5th was not only a memorable evening but also a tremendous success. The theme, Lighting The Way, inspired the celebration of SNC’s  five-month scholarship campaign which raised $463,000 bringing the total amount collected during that period to $1.3 million. The Gala’s success reflected the generosity and commitment of our donors and friends who each embody a genuine philanthropic spirit and have helped make Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe what it is today.

Guests at the event, an invitation-only black-tie affair held in the Lakeside Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, were treated to a champagne reception, an art viewing of works created by SNC art students and faculty, and an outstanding culinary experience complete with musical entertainment performed by SNC students and the Marc Luperini Trio. The magical evening culminated in the special guest performance of 13-year-old, Tommi Williams. Tommi’s breathtaking voice touched the heart of everyone in attendance and affirmed the importance of the care necessary to foster true talent. Guests also received a special gift from one of the college’s Creativity, Innovation, and Sustainability classes.

At the evening’s end, President Maxson thanked the guests, “There is no greater gift that a college or university can receive than scholarships for academically talented students. If you really want to be an outstanding college, you must attract the best young minds. This money will allow us to do that by bringing the top high school students to (SNC) and Incline Village.” He credited the success of the 2008 Holiday Gala to the event’s chair, Madylon Meiling, the college’s new vice president for development.


Scholarship Donor Recognition Dinner

Sierra Nevada College’s annual Scholarship Donor Recognition Dinner was held on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008 on the SNC campus. Over twenty contributors were invited to a special evening of recognition and gratitude for the exceptional support they have shown over the years for the Sierra Nevada College Scholarship Program. A unique opportunity for our donors and the recipients of their generosity to meet for the first time, this event helps to put faces to names in a casual friendly atmosphere.  President Maxson emphasized, ”The single most important donation that Sierra Nevada College receives is for scholarships, and so we can’t think of a more worthy excuse for a gathering than putting together academically minded philanthropists with the students they are directly helping.”

Click here to play the video presentation.