Longtime UNLV backer, philanthropist Robert Layne dies


Josh Hawkins / UNLV Creative Services

Philanthropist and longtime UNLV supporter Robert “Bruce” Layne, left, is pictured with former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller at the UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner on Oct. 9, 2017.

Published Thu, Mar 14, 2019 (1:30 p.m.)

Updated Thu, Mar 14, 2019 (3:52 p.m.)

Philanthropist and longtime UNLV supporter Robert “Bruce” Layne died Friday at the age of 73 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, the university announced today.

Layne, who graduated from UNLV in 1969, was nominated to the UNLV Foundation board of trustees in 1986 and was an emeritus board member from 2017 until his death.

A Bishop Gorman High School graduate former UNLV — then Nevada Southern University — baseball player, Layne supported the university for decades, both financially and with his time, officials said. Over the years, he served on numerous committees and was credited with starting UNLV’s career day.

In February, a new baseball scoreboard named in Layne’s honor was unveiled at Earl Wilson Stadium on the UNLV campus. Layne made a large donation to build the scoreboard.

“The success of UNLV today is the result of people like Bruce, who gave their time and talent and cared deeply about students and this community,” said Scott Roberts, vice president of philanthropy and alumni engagement at UNLV.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics, Layne went into the insurance business, where he had a long and successful career. In 1984, he bought the Cash, Sullivan and Cross insurance agency, which was renamed Layne and Associates.

For five years, Layne served as an insurance instructor at UNLV’s business school and was a guest lecturer for various classes.

A memorial gift of $30,000 will be transferred to the UNLV Foundation Tribute Scholarship Endowment Fund in Layne’s honor, according to the school.

Layne supported numerous UNLV scholarship funds and athletic department endeavors. He was also active in such organizations as the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada Athletic Commission and what is now the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, among others.

"Our community lost one of its truly good people in Bruce Layne,” UNLV Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement. “He personified the student-athlete ideal as a competitor, a scholar and someone who made others around him better. It has been an absolute privilege to get to know Bruce and (his wife) Sherry. Their warmth, generosity and kindness have genuinely impacted my family as well as our department.”

Layne is survived by his wife, Sherry, two sons, Chad and Trevor, and five grandchildren. A service for Layne will take place at 10 a.m. on March 21 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Henderson.

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