Monday, May 17, 1999 | 11:34 a.m.
Muhammad Ali slipped quietly into the UNLV graduation ceremony Saturday morning to watch his eldest daughter receive a diploma.
UNLV spokesman Tom Flagg said the boxing legend watched from a box at the Thomas & Mack Center as Maryum Ali, 30, received a bachelor's degree in social work.
"He didn't want to detract from his daughter," Flagg said.
Almost 2,000 students received degrees in two separate ceremonies, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
More than 1,110 took part in the 9 a.m. ceremony and almost 800 participated in the 2 p.m. program, Flagg said. Because of growth at the university, Flagg said the ceremonies were split three years ago and fewer speakers were used.
The morning commencement was for those graduating from the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, College of Liberal Arts, College of Extended Studies, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, College of Sciences and College of Fine Arts.
The second ceremony was for students receiving degrees from the College of Business, College of Education, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering and College of Health Sciences.
The Community College of Southern Nevada issued almost 1,000 degrees and diplomas during its ceremony at the Thomas & Mack Center Sunday, an increase of 25 percent over the number awarded in 1998, said college spokesman John Kuminecz.
Kuminecz said 44 percent of the graduates achieved honors or high honors.
Almost 30 students earned multiple diplomas and one received four, including associates degrees in hotel management and real estate and certificates in hotel management and real estate.