October 15, 2015

AZ Business Leaders

Robert Sarver honored for commitment to education

College Success Arizona announced that Robert Sarver, Chairman and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation, will be honored at the 2015 Leaders and Legends Celebration Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 in the Grand Ballroom of the Arizona Biltmore.

Leaders and Legends is an annual fundraising luncheon honoring an Arizona community leader or organization, dedicated to improving the college graduation rates for all Arizonans. Past Leaders and Legends honorees have included Derrick Hall, Don Smith, Salt River Project, John Zidich, and Rich Dozer.

“Going to college in Arizona was an important part of my own growth and professional development.  I think young people in our state should have the tools they need, not only to start college, but also to push forward to graduation,” said Robert Sarver. “A highly educated workforce is an essential component of a thriving business community. Helping to raise Arizona’s college graduation rate is a smart investment in our state’s continued economic success.”

Sarver serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Alliance Bancorporation, one of the fastest growing, publicly-traded bank holding companies in the U.S. Locally, Western Alliance operates as Alliance Bank of Arizona. He has been the managing partner of the Phoenix Suns for the last 11 years. During his tenure, the team has produced the fifth-best winning percentage in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Sarver also serves on the board of directors of Meritage Corporation, the NBA, the Weil Foundation, and the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona.

Additionally, the Leaders and Legends program will highlight a College Success Arizona Scholar who will share their inspirational education journey, and personal college success story. Special awards honoring two individuals for exemplary contributions to college access and success will also be presented. The inaugural College Success Arizona “Star” Award will recognize an Arizona college access practitioner for persistent and extraordinary support of students, and the Bob Craves “Vision of Success” award will highlight an individual who has shown tremendous support of College Success Arizona programs and  has a true vision of success for the future of Arizona.

Since 2005, College Success Arizona has committed nearly $14 million in scholarships, and success services, to over 1,000 Arizonan students. The Leaders and Legends fundraiser supports the College Success program, and provides all scholars a full time Success Advisor, to help clear barriers to educational success. Even though College Success Arizona students are considered “at-risk,” they have a 71% graduation rate; significantly higher than their counterparts across the state. While it is vital for the state to award more degrees, the stories of how College Success Arizona scholars benefit are the most compelling reasons for the work they do.