By Kayla Anderson | Wednesday, September 14, 2022
IVCBA, Newly Branded UNR at Lake Tahoe Hosts the Tahoe Forum This Friday

This Friday, September 16th, the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe (formerly known as Sierra Nevada University) is excited to host the Siebens-Binz Tahoe Forum with featured guests Sir Richard Branson and Dr. Guy Harvey in a presentation titled, “Aha Moments: The Gift of Imagination in Business and Life” to be held in the Sardella Commons area at its Incline Village campus. 

Sir Richard Branson is a British entrepreneur, billionaire, and business magnate who is best known for founding the Virgin Group in the 1970s. Known for his innovative spirit, Branson has dedicated his life to adventure and has dabbled in everything from selling records to space travel. He even broke the distance record in a hot air balloon in 1991, traveling 6,700 miles over the Pacific Ocean. 

Dr. Guy Harvey is a Jamaican conservationist and marine wildlife artist, specializing in depictions of sea life that have then been reproduced in clothing, jewelry, prints, posters, and more. He graduated from Aberdeen University in Scotland with the highest honors with a focus in marine biology in 1977 and later went on to earn a PhD from the University of the West Indies in 1982 in fisheries management. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Harvey went on to launch the Guy Harvey Research Institute and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. 

The Siebens-Binz Tahoe Forum was endowed in 2004 through a generous donation by Nancy Siebens-Binz, who is a lifelong traveler and aims to bring greater understanding and knowledge about the world through exposure to some of the major visionaries of our time. Since its inception, the Tahoe Forum has brought in numerous national and international leaders, intellectuals, and distinguished persons to speak in Incline Village, fostering bigger discussion and engagement amongst members and students in the Reno-Tahoe community.

The Tahoe Forum is generally held every two years; past speakers include Maye Musk (mother of Elon Musk), Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple Inc.), and Chilean American author Isabel Allende. Sir Richard Branson and Dr. Guy Harvey were originally scheduled to speak in September of 2021, but it got pushed back to this year due to COVID-19. 

“We are thrilled to host the Siebens-Binz Tahoe Forum this Friday, our first large-scale public event at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe,” Jill Heaton, Senior Vice Provost for UNR at Lake Tahoe, said. “UNR’s newest location is a gift of higher education that we truly treasure, which has been made possibly by our friends at Sierra Nevada University. The Tahoe Forum is endowed through the generosity of Ms. Nancy Siebens-Binz, one of Incline Village and Lake Tahoe’s most loyal and generous benefactors. We are thankful for her philanthropy and support of environmental conservation, which is the impetus of Friday’s event featuring Sir Richard Branson and Dr. Guy Harvey. We are looking forward to welcoming our distinguished guests, and to an afternoon of inspired discussion and learning together as a community.”

While this Friday’s Tahoe Forum is sold out, UNR at Lake Tahoe plans to launch a new series called Tahoe Talks where folks from the university community speak on specific topics related to the Lake Tahoe environment, sustainability, arts, and culture. There will likely be two Tahoe Talks held in the fall and two in the spring- four total within the academic year. 

For those that are attending this Friday’s “Aha Moments” presentation, note that event parking is limited, and the university strongly recommends carpooling. The Cornerstone Community Church on the corner of Highway 28 and Country Club Drive will have overflow parking available. 

About the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe

The University of Nevada, Reno changed names this academic season when it entered into an agreement to acquire Sierra Nevada University and start operating the North Lake Tahoe campus in July of this year. Like many privately-owned higher education institutions that depend on enrollment to stay afloat, the Sierra Nevada University Board of Trustees determined that the long-term financial future for the college was unsustainable and that it was time for a significant strategic change. Last June, it approached UNR with the idea to transfer over its academic assets and operations, which was approved by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents in July of 2021.

UNR Marketing Communications Officer Natalie Fry says that UNR is developing a multi-campus approach to solving the environmental challenges associated with Lake Tahoe and incorporating related issues more directly into the curriculum at its Incline Village campus. UNR believes that the acquisition will preserve the Incline Village higher learning institution for years to come and it will continue hosting important community programs that SNU used to offer in this collaborative transition. 

For more information about the newly branded UNR at Lake Tahoe campus, visit https://www.unr.edu/lake-tahoe.

About the Author Kayla Anderson
Kayla Anderson is a North Lake Tahoe-based freelance writer who regularly contributes to the Sparks Tribune, Tahoe Weekly and Tahoe.com Magazine.