Ryan Lindquist is a popular guy, and not just because he has nearly 1,000 friends on Facebook. He’s also in charge of crafting one of the first impressions new students get of The University: Welcome Back Days.

Lindquist is an iconic figure on The University of New Mexico campus, and most recently he’s become synonymous with loud, bright, engaging, well-planned student special events. In fact, not a single Fiestas in the past 15 years has gone by when he wasn’t seen zipping around Johnson Field, helping to set up stages or fencing. And if there is a special event happening in the SUB, you can bet Lindquist is usually there – probably advising student programming committees or coordinating administrative staff while simultaneously welcoming students with a smile.

"It's really about getting students back into the school mindset" - Ryan Lindquist, SAC Interim Director

“My number one goal is always the students,” Lindquist said. “I want to make sure they have the most positive experience possible at UNM; and student activities and special events play a big role in that.”

Lindquist, a two-time UNM Alumnus, has served the university for the last sixteen years in the Student Activities Center (SAC). But going into this semester, he’s stepping into a new role as Interim Director. It’s an appointment recently retired SAC Director Debbie Morris says is highly deserved.

“Ryan has a special way about him. He’s not only able to wonderfully relate to and work with the students, but is also a master planner,” Morris said. “He’s able to see the overall picture of an event, and can manage it all the way down to the smallest detail. He’s always several steps ahead.”

He and his staff are gearing up for Welcome Back Days, one of the bigger events they coordinate every year. It’s his first big function as interim director, but Lindquist says he’s undaunted.

“I have an incredible staff working with me here at the SAC,” he said. “Mostly my goal as interim director is to make sure communications stay open and strong between our staff members, and also between the SAC and the departments that work closely with us.”

For the last 40+ years, Welcome Back Days has brought events to campus aimed at welcoming students back to the new semester and providing information about events and activities on campus. The 2017 schedule is already packed with activities, from a movie on Johnson Field, to information fairs showing students all the resources available to them.

“Welcome Back Days is really about getting students back into the school mindset,” Lindquist said. “Whether it’s reminding them about support programs at our great resource centers and departments, or helping them find social outlets to keep from getting burned out. Making sure students succeed is our number one job, and Welcome Back Days is a great way to kick that off.”


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