The Distinguished Nevadan is bestowed upon prominent individuals who have made significant achievements that have contributed to the cultural, scientific or social advancement of Nevada.
A native Nevadan, Senator Bryan began his legal career in 1964 as a Deputy District Attorney in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada. Two years later, he was named Clark County's first Public Defender.
In 1968, Richard Bryan was elected to the Nevada State Assembly. He was re-elected to the State Assembly in 1970. In 1972, he was elected to the State Senate and re-elected in 1976.
The former prosecutor won his first statewide election as Nevada's Attorney General where he played a major role in successfully defending Nevada's gaming regulatory structure in the Federal Courts.
In 1982, he was elected to the first of two terms as Nevada's governor. Under his leadership, economic diversification and the attraction of new businesses to Nevada became a priority.
In 1988, Bryan was elected to the first of two terms in the U.S. Senate. He was the only Senate member to simultaneously serve on these U.S. Senate Committees: Finance; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Banks, Housing and Urban Affairs.
The formal presentation of the award will take place during winter commencement at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.