Happy 10th anniversary to the University of New Mexico-Taos branch, a picturesque campus in northern New Mexico, situated between the Rio Grande and the 1,000 year old Taos Pueblo. In 10 short years, enrollment grew from under 300 to a current high of 1,705 students. With this in mind, administrators decided to make the commencement ceremonies for the class of 2013 something special.

The graduation ceremony, and following reception, was held on May 10 at the historic Sagebrush Inn noted for its Old West charm and friendliness. The inn's Conference Center is the largest convention facility in Taos, but with more than a thousand people in attendance, the event turned into a standing-room-only crowd.

One reason for this year's outstanding success was keynote speaker Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, Representative of New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District.

"Don't forget what this feels like," Lujan said, "the joy that you have in your heart, the way your family and friends look at you today. Don't forget what success feels like. And don't forget where you come from. Be proud. I'm proud that I speak with an accent, an accent I obtained living in New Mexico."

Lujan talked about being a graduate of Pojoaque High School and how today, as a congressman, he sits across the table from the president of the United States talking about how to reduce global poverty.

Story by Bill Knief