On April 11, The University of New Mexico recognized 477 Lobo faculty and staff, celebrating employees with 15, 20, 30, and 35 years of service at the 43rd Annual Service Award Recognition Ceremony. This year, UNM paid special recognition to several employees who had served 40, 50, and one employee with an incredible 55 years of service to the University.

This is the first in-person ceremony that the Department of Human Resources has hosted since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today, we are honoring 477 faculty and staff who have given between 15 and an incredible 55 years of service to The University of New Mexico. This is a ceremony intended to honor your service and to thank you for everything that you have done to make UNM what it is today,” said UNM President Garnett S. Stokes. “As a university, we are grateful and grateful to you. We are proud to be with you today to celebrate your years of service. Congratulations on reaching this big milestone in your career.”

The honorees collectively contributed an impressive 10,091 years of service to the University.

“At UNM, people are and always will be our greatest asset,” said Kevin Stevenson, vice president of Human Resources. “We know that the growth and success of UNM is dependent upon our employees.”

Special honorees recognized for years of service at the event included:

●      Ramon Renteria, College Enrichment and Outreach Program - 55 years of service

●      Karl Hinterbichler, Department of Music - 50 years of service

●      Natalie Brigance, Student Affairs - 40 years of service

●      Carol King, School of Medicine - 40 years of service

“As a university, we are grateful and grateful to you. We are proud to be with you today to celebrate your years of service. Congratulations on reaching this big milestone in your career.”   UNM President Garnett S. Stokes

Renteria, Hinterbichler, Brigance, and King were all special honorees at the 43rd Annual Service Awards. Renteria was recognized for 55 years of service with the University. He began working at UNM in 1968 as an accountant in business contracts and grants. Today, he works with the College Enrichment and Outreach Program, still in accounting.

He has always loved the UNM community where he has had a wonderful experience helping people on campus. When asked what has been most rewarding for him, he answered that making friends and seeing those friendships blossom over the years has meant so much to him. If there is one thing Ramon has strived to exemplify during his career here at UNM, it has been to “treat each individual with respect - how he would like to be treated, no matter the level of position someone is in.”

Alongside Renteria, Karl Hinterbichler was also a special honoree being recognized for his 50 years of service. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Michigan. Following this, he performed with a symphony orchestra for two years in Florida before returning to school to earn a doctorate in Texas.

When asked what guiding principle he lives his life by, Hinterbichler said, “Most of all I love the University of New Mexico and love teaching here. I’ve been asked quite often, ‘Why don’t you retire?’ My mantra has always been: If I get up in the morning and don’t look forward to teaching, I will quit. To this day I’ve never felt that way.”

Brigance, who was recognized for her 40 years of service, is a proud first-generation college graduate who started her career at UNM in the College of Engineering after graduating from NMSU. The last 27 years, she has been in the Office for the Vice President for Student Affairs, working to help students succeed. When asked what has been the most rewarding, she wrote, “The people I’ve met and worked with, and those who have mentored me along the way. Working with students has been most rewarding and has kept me young at heart.”

King earned her B.S. and M.Ed. in education from South Dakota State University. She started working at UNM in 1983 as a clinical assistant in the Department of Internal Medicine. She has worked for Dr. David Schade, Division of Endocrinology, for 35 years. When asked about her most rewarding experience, she answered that helping faculty, other staff, and endocrinology patients is the most rewarding for her. King was recognized for her remarkable 40 years of service.

UNM’s service awards program recognizes individuals who reach milestones during the current fiscal year. This year’s honorees reached service milestones between July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024.

“I’m grateful to all the faculty and staff who make The University of New Mexico the remarkable institution it is today," said Stokes. "We are a better institution for your being part of it, and I thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, for The University of New Mexico”