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University of Phoenix and City of North Las Vegas Hold Event Announcing Jacob Kirkegard as Recipient of Scholarship Named for Late Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson

By Michele Mitchum

Kirkegard to receive honor at annual event alongside city leaders and distinguished guests 

University of Phoenix is pleased to announce Jacob Kirkegard as the recipient of the 2022 Tyrone Thompson Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship for prospective student applicants from the state of Nevada pursuing an undergraduate degree, at an October 2 event in collaboration with the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada.

“This scholarship has been an enormous blessing to me and my family,” states Kirkegard. “Continuing my education has always been a goal throughout my life, and I will use this incredibly momentous gift from Assemblyman Thompson’s family to better not only myself but also those around me. I will use my continuing education and degree as an inspiration, professionally and personally. Being a well-rounded mentor and role model is my ultimate goal, and this scholarship provides me with the resources to make that dream a reality.”

Kirkegard was formally announced as the scholarship recipient at an event on October 2, at City Hall of the City of North Las Vegas, which was attended by Mayor Pamela Goynes Brown, City Manager Will Harty, City of Las Vegas Deputy Chief Kyle Ward, and members of Thompson’s family in attendance. Lauri Perdue, National Workforce Director, University of Phoenix, attended the event proceedings. 

“It was a privilege to join the North Las Vegas community to celebrate Jacob Kirkegard as the 4th Annual Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson Scholarship recipient,” shared Perdue. “Awarding this scholarship is an example of how University of Phoenix continues our commitment to invest in the community and provide access to higher education. Kirkegard’s dedication to his academic goals is inspiring, and it is an honor to celebrate his accomplishments and support him in his endeavors.”

Kirkegard has lived in Las Vegas for 35 years and graduated from Centennial High School in 2004. Following high school, he worked as a professional musician and toured the world. Kirkegard has worked for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for the last 14 years, serving his community, and is currently assigned as a Task Force Officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. He is also a crisis negotiator and Vice President of the Nevada Narcotics Officers Association. Kirkegard has been married for 12 years and has a 9-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. His parents are both retired from careers in law enforcement, and his sister is a homicide detective with LVMPD. He aspires to promote positive changes in the Las Vegas community through leadership.

Nevada Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson, also known as “T-Squared,” was chair of the North Las Vegas Assembly Education Committee when he suddenly passed away in May 2019, at the age of 51. His untimely passing inspired the creation of the Tyrone Thompson Scholarship as a way for the University to honor Thompson for years to come. Thompson, an alum of University of Phoenix, was known as a champion in the areas of education, homelessness initiatives, public health issues and employment discrimination. Thompson delivered the commencement for the University in June 2017.

Thompson was appointed to the 17th District Assembly seat in 2013 and was serving his third elected term during the time of his passing. He represented a section of Northwest Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada. Before his time in the legislature, he served at the Clark County Organizational Development Center, the City of Las Vegas, and the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition. In addition to his work within the public sector, Thompson spent nearly 20 years volunteering as a court appointed advocate for children in the foster care system who had been abused or neglected.

About City of North Las Vegas

North Las Vegas stretches across the northern rim of the Las Vegas Valley and is home to more than 275,000 residents. As a premier place to live, work and play, North Las Vegas leads the valley in new home development while maintaining a longstanding tradition of successful economic development in a business-friendly environment. The City of North Las Vegas’ fast and faster approach has made the city a top destination in the country for development opportunities. North Las Vegas is a hub for new job creation and economic diversification that attracts global brands, innovative industries, manufacturing, e-commerce, and logistics centers.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix innovates to help working adults enhance their careers and develop skills in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, skills-mapped curriculum for our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and a Career Services for Life® commitment help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit