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Our School's Namesake

Jan Jones Blackhurst is a long-time political and business leader who has left an indelible imprint on the lives of millions of people. She spent most of the 1990s as one of the most popular mayors in Las Vegas’ history. She then joined Caesars Entertainment, where she and her teams developed the industry’s first Responsible Gaming practices and are creating a diverse and inclusive workplace; advancing environmental stewardship; advocating for important social issues; and giving millions of dollars to individuals, families and communities in need.

Under Jan’s leadership:
● Caesars was the first casino in the industry to roll out a Responsible Gaming program
● Energy, water use and greenhouse gas emissions have all gone down significantly over the last 7-8 years
● Employee diversity has increased, with 41% of management positions held by women and 57% of employees from minority groups
● Employee engagement has never been higher, driven by a volunteer program where employees have donated 160,000 hours a year to both company and local causes.

With Jan’s guidance, the company also began to publicly advocate for human rights earning a 100% perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for nine consecutive years. Jan has

Photo of Jan Jones Blackhurst

Jan Jones Blackhurst

channeled her passion for charitable causes through her role as Vice-Chair of the Caesars Foundation, which strengthens communities through philanthropic activities and corporate gifts totaling $66 million since 2013.


Prior to joining Caesars in 1999, Jan served two terms as Mayor of Las Vegas. She was the city’s first female chief executive and one of its most popular mayors, having been reelected in 1995 by a 72 percent margin. While in office, Jan presided over an unprecedented period of economic, social and cultural expansion. She spearheaded a massive growth and redevelopment effort in the city’s once-neglected downtown neighborhood. Jan was also among the first mayors in the country to advocate for LGBT rights and issues as early as 1991.


Jan serves as a director of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and the Women's Campaign Fund in Washington, D.C. She also is a member of the Women's Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2016, Jan has been recognized with The Diversity in PR Award from PR Week, the Annual Black Images Honors from the 15th Annual Soul Festival, the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence from UNLVino and the Diversity Hero Award from PR Week. In early 2015, Jan was honored as the PR News CSR Professional of the Year and was named by the Las Vegas Business Press as one of its “Women Who Mean Business.” In 2014, she was one of the first women to be inducted into the American Gaming Association (AGA) Gaming Hall of Fame. Jan has been honored by the American Diabetes Association and the "I Have A Dream" Foundation, and she was named Humanitarian of the Year in 1998 by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 2005 she was honored by the Women of Diversity in their project "100 Years of Influence – The Role of Women Shaping the First 100 Years of Las Vegas." Jones Blackhurst holds a bachelor's degree in English from Stanford University and attended the University of Southern California's School of Food Marketing Management.

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