Shelley Berkley of Touro University Nevada to be honored at Touro University’s 50th anniversary gala in New York City, Dec. 4

Shelley Berkley of Touro University Nevada to be honored at

Touro University’s 50th anniversary gala in New York City, Dec. 4


LAS VEGAS, NEV (Dec. 1, 2022) — Shelley Berkley, senior vice president of external affairs of the Touro University System, will be recognized at the 50th anniversary gala and convocation in New York City, December 4. She is one of four individuals being honored for leading the university system’s expansion, impact, and innovation over the past 50 years.

Berkley most recently served as CEO and Senior Provost of Touro University Western Division for more than eight years, during which she oversaw the growth and continued success of Nevada’s largest medical school and its only school of osteopathic medicine, Touro University Nevada.

“I am honored to be recognized among my colleagues during Touro’s 50th anniversary Gala as we celebrate the success of this invaluable system of higher education,” Berkley said. “In the U.S. and around the world, Touro is helping to educate students in several disciplines, most notably in health care and education. At Touro University Nevada, our medical school is educating the future physicians who are staying right here in our state to practice medicine after they graduate. I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had with Touro for the last decade and look forward to what the future holds for this institution.”

Berkley’s leadership was instrumental in helping guide the University through the unprecedented times of COVID-19, which included the transition to virtual learning and seeing to it that Touro served on the frontlines against the pandemic, beginning with testing and treating the Valley’s homeless population at Cashman Center in the earliest days. She has personally fostered and nurtured several notable partnerships that are improving the education of medical students at Touro, with the goal of improving the health care landscape in Southern Nevada. Her most notable accomplishments include:

  • Expanding the scope of annual enrollment in its medical school from 130 to 180 students. In 10 years, Touro will graduate roughly half of the estimated physicians needed in the state.
  • Securing a $3 million endowment gift from the State of Qatar in 2020 to support Touro’s Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities and allow Touro to hire more therapists and increase the number of families served.
  • Helping to raise millions of dollars to enhance the medical education at Touro by securing partnerships with several donors and organizations across Nevada, including the Engelstad Foundation, Michael Tang, Stephen J. Cloobeck, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, City National Bank, Sharon Sigesmund Pierce and Stephen Pierce, Tracy and Robert Eglet, and more.
  • Creating the Touro Gala, which has raised millions of dollars for student scholarships while attracting notable guest speakers, including U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the late Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis, and NBC News reporter Kerry Sanders.

Prior to joining Touro, Berkley served the State of Nevada in the United States House of Representatives from 1998 to 2013. She was the second woman elected to Congress from Nevada and the first woman to serve the 1st Congressional District that includes most of the city of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Strip and the city of North Las Vegas – the region’s most significant economic center. She served seven consecutive terms, a remarkable achievement. Prior to serving in Congress, Berkley was Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs at the Sands Hotel and Casino, a practicing attorney, and an elected member of the University Board of Regents.

The Touro University System was founded in 1970 by visionary educator, sociologist and rabbi, Dr. Bernard Lander, of blessed memory, to perpetuate the Jewish heritage, as well as to serve the general community in keeping with the historic Jewish commitment to intellectual inquiry, the transmission of knowledge and service to society. Today it is America’s largest private institution of higher and professional education under Jewish auspices, serving 19,000 students at 35 schools across four countries. In addition to its 50th anniversary, Touro is celebrating its new university status, a singular accomplishment. University status is awarded to academic institutions in recognition of the breadth and depth of degree programs offered. Touro students are pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in such fields as medicine, law, dentistry, psychology, business, education, Jewish studies, and other health science areas and disciplines.


Touro University Nevada (Touro) is Nevada’s largest school of medicine and largest school of physician assistant studies, fully accredited, and a private, non-profit, Jewish-sponsored institution. Opened in 2004, Touro was established to help address critical needs in health care and education and as a resource for community service throughout the state. Its mission is to provide quality education programs in the fields of healthcare and education in concert with the Judaic commitment to social justice, intellectual pursuit, and service to humanity. Touro is home to more than 1,500 students in a wide variety of degree programs including osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, education, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and medical health sciences. The University’s Henderson campus includes a multi-specialty health center for the public that accepts all health insurance and the multi-disciplinary Sharon Sigesmund Pierce and Stephen Pierce Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. For more information on Touro, visit or call 702-777-8687.

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